While our nation is facing a myriad of problems with
various elements of our healthcare system, none is more pressing
and immediate than the current medical liability crisis.
Medical, LLC (IONM) Intraoperative Neuromonitoring may help reduce
the incidence and severity of medical malpractice lawsuits. The
reasoning behind this is simple. If litigation occurs, the patient
will be assured that the hospital and surgeon have used all technological
means to reduce the possibility of a neurological deficit that
may occur as a natural or unavoidable consequence of the surgery.
protection is afforded by (IONM) Intraoperative Neuromonitoring
because neurophysiological baselines are performed prior to surgery
as well as post-surgically. Litigation may be avoided when the
surgeon and hospital can show that there were no changes in the
patient’s neural status from pre-surgery to post-surgery.
If monitoring is not performed, it could be argued that the failure
to conduct (IONM) Intraoperative Neuromonitoring testing to ascertain
if neurological compromise occurred was a negligent action.
to Jury Verdict Research data, medical liability awards are on
the rise: In 2000, the number of mega-verdicts ($1 million-plus)
had increased 52% compared to 1996 and the average award was nearly
to a national survey of neurosurgeons between 2000 and 2002 the
national average medical liability premium increased 63% to $72,682.
In some states, neurosurgeons liability premiums exceed $300,000.00
recent survey found that 55% of orthopedic surgeons nationwide
have reduced the type of operational procedures, with 39% avoiding
According to a nationwide survey conducted in 2002, 43% of neurosurgeons
reported that they no longer perform high-risk surgery such as
treating brain aneurysms, removing brain and spinal tumors or
complex spinal surgery.(1)
Statement of the Alliance of Specialty Medicine before the Senate
Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations
Subcommittee on the subject of “Causes of the Medical Liability
Insurance Crisis” Thursday, March 13, 2003.