Health Care Law (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)
Health care law involves many facets of U.S. law, including TORTS, contracts, antitrust, and insurance. In 1990, the United States spent an estimated $500 billion on HEALTH CARE, which was more than 11 percent of the gross national product. According to statistics from the CENTERS FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID SERVICES (CMS), health care expenditures grew 6.5 percent per year from 1991 to 2001, and in 2001, the expenditures had grown to $1.4 trillion. The CMS predicts that these expenditures will grow by 7.3 percent annually and estimates that the U.S. will spend $3.1 trillion on health care in 2012.
One major area within health care law is MEDICAL MALPRACTICE, which is professional misconduct or lack of skill in providing medical treatment or services. The victims of medical malpractice seek compensation for their physical or emotional injuries, or both, through a NEGLIGENCE action.
A defendant physician may be found liable for medical malpractice if the plaintiff patient can establish that there was in fact a patient-physician relationship; that the physician breached (i.e., violated or departed from) the accepted standard of medical care in the treatment of the patient; that the patient suffered an injury for...
(The entire section is 4074 words.)
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