As managed care organizations expand their programs of quality assurance and physician evaluation, more medical malpractice lawsuits may be brought against managed care organizations on the ground that, like hospitals, they are legally responsible for negligent corporate acts that injure patients.
However, the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) shields managed care organizations from liability when they are part of an employee group health plan governed by ERISA.
Unlike patients with other types of insurance, patients in ERISA health plans do not have a malpractice remedy for a managed care organization's negligence.
A few federal appeals courts recently recognized that ERISA plans can be vicariously liable for their physicians'medical malpractice, but only if the physician is the plan's employee or agent.
Yet ERISA still prohibits negligence claims against ERISA health plans for injuries resulting from denial of plan benefits, failure to use qualified physicians, utilization review, or improper plan administration.
Current managed care operations do not neatly distinguish between administering benefits and controlling quality of care.
Neither should the law.
ERISA should be amended to provide employees with the same remedies that patients in non-ERISA plans enjoy.
Mots-clés Pascal : Service santé, Responsabilité professionnelle, Faute professionnelle, Assurance maladie, Homme, Législation, Etats Unis, Amérique du Nord, Amérique, Système santé, Soin intégré
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Health service, Occupational responsibility, Malpractice, Health insurance, Human, Legislation, United States, North America, America, Health system, Managed care
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 96-0300062
Code Inist : 002B30A09. Création : 199608.