The Federal Government monitors the professional liability climate from a variety of perspectives on a regular basis. The search words “medical malpractice,” “medical liability” or “professional liability” will produce different but overlapping results on the following sites:
First Gov (firstgov.gov) is the U.S. Government’s official web portal. It indexes all U.S. government reports and information on the internet. There are links to press releases, lawmakers’ statements in Congress, Congressional reports, and bills submitted to Congress. Most are easily downloadable.
The U.S. Congressional Budget Office (CBO) (www.cbo.gov) website offers a list of CBO reports and an updated analysis (2009) of the effects of proposals to limit costs related to medical malpractice (tort reform).
The U.S. Congressional Research Service (CRS) of the Library of Congress provides a report (2006) on the subject of medical malpractice.
U.S. General Accounting Office (www.gao.gov) lists reports, most of which are downloadable, on relevant subjects such as the 2009 Federal Tort Claims Act, and the 2003 report, “Medical Malpractice: Implications of Rising Premiums on Access to Health Care.”
U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Civil Justice Statistics,
(www.bjs.gov) publishes recent statistics on civil litigation, including medical malpractice litigation. Refer to Civil Justice Surveys of State Courts. The most recent report, “Tort Bench and Jury Trials in State Courts, 2005″ includes recent statistics on medical malpractice case dispositions.
PubMed (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed) is the website for the National Library of Medicine. Physicians and other health care professionals can do literature searches, free of charge. For those unfamiliar with its use, it provides an on-line tutorial. It also provides links to related subjects and indicates when full text articles are available free of charge.
The National Practitioner Data Bank (www.npdb-hipdb.hrsa.gov) is the government based data bank that was established to encourage greater efforts in professional peer review and to restrict the ability of incompetent health care practitioners to move to state to state without discovery of previous unprofessional conduct. It requires that all health care professionals who make medical malpractice payments, have adverse actions on their licensure, clinical privileges, or professional society membership be reported. The most recent statistical Data by Profession and State report is readily available for downloading.