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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.

Hanover 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.

Further 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.

According 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 $3.5 million.

According 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

A recent survey found that 55% of orthopedic surgeons nationwide have reduced the type of operational procedures, with 39% avoiding spine surgery.
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)

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.