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Letters: Real healthcare reform

September 22, 2013

Re "When less medicine is more," Opinion, Sept. 18

We can save some of the $700 billion a year that Dr. Glenn D. Braunstein says is spent on ineffective care by reforming medical malpractice.

Much of the reason doctors run too many tests is to practice defensive medicine. No-fault systems like workers' compensation would greatly reduce healthcare costs and protect consumers. Courts should be involved only when gross negligence is a possible cause.

Braunstein also discusses unnecessarily long hospital stays. Here's a solution: Patients who demand longer stays when there is no medical need should be told clearly that they will be responsible for the cost of the additional stay. Then stand back as they make a rapid exit.

The system also works against timely discharge by imposing strict penalties for readmission. Eliminating these penalties when negligence is not involved might help solve this problem.

Arthur L. Wisot, MD

Rolling Hills Estates


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