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Clinton Bill Would Reduce Medical Errors, Control Malpractice Costs

By Mark Scott

Washington, DC – US Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton unveiled legislation Wednesday that would reduce medical errors and control malpractice costs at the same time. She cited figures that show medical errors are responsible for 100,000 deaths a year in this country.

Clinton said physicians are hesitant to be open about errors for liability reasons. But she said that lack of openness prevents the full analysis that's needed to prevent errors in the future.

Clinton said the bill she introduced with Illinois Senator Barak Obama would address that.

"We create a voluntary program that encourages disclosure of errors. It offers an opportunity to enter into negotiations on early settlements and protects patients rights. It provides liability protections for health care providers who participate," Clinton said.

Clinton said some hospital systems and insurance companies in the country have adopted disclosure policies. She said her legislation would build on that by offering grant money and technical assistance to other hospital systems which are looking to change.