Sunday, April 29, 2007
That's what's happening some in Jersey:
If you want to see Ridgewood gynecologist Ruth J. Schulze, you'll have to sign a contract promising never to sue her for malpractice.
The veteran physician and a dozen other gynecologists in New Jersey require the contracts as a condition of treatment.
Schulze sees it as the only way to control the rising malpractice premiums that have put some of her brethren out of business.
The story indicates that patients aren't really quite giving up all rights to sue; they are instead agreeing to arbitration, to caps on noneconomic damages, and to no punitive damages.
The contract came about by way of a particular insurer specializing in OB/GYN coverage. The rates for doctors using the contract are approximately half of what they would be otherwise; the group also claims that it is much more aggressive about monitoring physician practice than is typical.