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Report: Massachusetts is failing in medical liability reform

Whether or not you have persisting medical issues, it is important that you know where your nearest emergency room is. Many Massachusetts residents take comfort in knowing there is a hospital nearby they can trust to provide them care when they need it. Hospitals are regularly reviewed and inspected, with officials pouring over everything from the quality of care to the number of medical malpractice lawsuits. It is important for everyone to understand how their state's hospitals are ranked.

There is good news for people living in Massachusetts: The state received an A grade from the American College of Emergency Physicians for its efforts in the way of public health and injury prevention. Overall, the state ranked second for its emergency care system with a B- grade. The president of the Massachusetts College of Emergency Physicians noted that in light of tragedies like the Boston Marathon bombings and the uncertainty of ongoing health care reform, the importance of being prepared for disaster is especially paramount.

However, the state did not fare well in all areas, receiving a D- when it comes to medical liability reform. Massachusetts has one of the highest average payouts for medical malpractice cases. The report noted that the state needs to increase its hospital capacity to make sure quality care is provided in a timely fashion. Additionally, the state should improve its liability protection for mandated emergency care.

High medical malpractice settlements may be an indication of subpar are and serious doctor errors. Regardless of how well a hospital is performing, it only takes one mistake to cause a patient a lifetime of pain and suffering. Anyone who experiences a negligent doctor should contact an attorney to pursue a malpractice claim.

Source: Go Local Worcester, "MA Ranks Second in the Nation for Emergency Medical Care System," Health Team, Jan. 16, 2014

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