Improved Functioning of the Liability System

The current professional liability system for maternity care is inefficient and ineffective for addressing negligent care, discourages providers from reporting adverse events, and impedes quality improvement. Defensive medicine reduces consumer choice, increases health care costs, and may perversely increase the risk of harm, while high liability insurance premiums challenge an already stressed maternity workforce. A functional liability system would minimize avoidable harm through improved safety and quality, appropriately support women and newborns who sustain negligent injury, obtain good value from resources directed to safety and liability, and decrease maternity professional fear and discontent.

Read more about liability system PROBLEMS and reform GOALS >>

Major Recommendations

  1. Improve the collection, analysis, and dissemination of aggregated occurrence data for quality improvement and actuarial setting of premium rates.
  2. Implement continuous quality improvement and clinical risk management programs to identify, prevent, and mitigate adverse events in maternity care.
  3. Explore alternative approaches that separate negligence and compensation, compensate patients quickly and fairly, and remove waste from the liability system.
  4. Align legal standards with objectives for a high-quality, high-performance maternity care system.

Learn more about the ACTION STEPS for implementing these recommendations. >>

Learn More, Make Change: Resources for Improvement