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No-Fault Malpractice Demonstration Projects

The federal government should support statewide experiments in no-fault malpractice insurance, subject to the conditions of full disclosure, prompt compensation, apology, and systemic learning and improvement.

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The federal government should support statewide experiments in no-fault malpractice insurance, subject to the conditions of full disclosure, prompt compensation, apology, and systemic learning and improvement. No-fault malpractice policy would adapt to health care settings the basic principles of worker compensation programs, which focus less on judicial contests and findings of fault than on administrative procedures for prompt and fair compensation of injured parties. This would, admittedly, be a reach for the federal government, since malpractice liability is largely a matter of state-level policy, not federal policy. The new administration should therefore seek demonstration authority under which the federal government can try to help or influence a trend toward no-fault regimes.

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