Position Statement: Medical Liability
The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) is committed to patient safety and accepts the responsibility to address quality improvement through processes of continuing medical education and reducing error. The AAO-HNS acknowledges that high medical liability insurance costs have contributed to decreased patient access to care, particularly in those states that have not enacted meaningful medical liability reform and for high-risk specialties. The AAO-HNS also recognizes that due to these costs, medical students are avoiding training in high-risk specialties and practicing physicians are avoiding the performance of medically necessary high-risk procedures. The AAO-HNS acknowledges research compiled by the American Medical Association (AMA) documenting that caps on non-economic damages lead to improved patient access to care, lower medical liability premiums, and lower healthcare costs. Therefore, the AAO-HNS strongly supports comprehensive medical liability reform, including reasonable limits on non-economic damages, both at the state and federal levels.
Important Disclaimer Notice (Updated 7/31/14)
Position statements are approved by the American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery or Foundation (AAO-HNS/F) Boards of Directors and are typically generated from AAO-HNS/F committees. Once approved by the Academy or Foundation Board of Directors, they become official position statements and are added to the existing position statement library. In no sense do they represent a standard of care. The applicability of position statements, as guidance for a procedure, must be determined by the responsible physician in light of all the circumstances presented by the individual patient. Adherence to these clinical position statements will not ensure successful treatment in every situation. As with all AAO-HNS/F guidance, this position statement should not be deemed inclusive of all proper treatment decisions or methods of care, nor exclusive of other treatment decisions or methods of care reasonably directed to obtaining the same results. Position statements are not intended to and should not be treated as legal, medical, or business advice.