A decision by the Baltimore jury last year to award an extraordinary $229.6 million to the family of a baby who suffered brain injury during birth at Johns Hopkins Bayview has rattled Maryland’s health care providers.
There is a lingering fear that the judgment not only sets a dangerous precedent in similar cases but also makes hospitals like Johns Hopkins struggle to cover malpractice insurance costs that will rise manifold.
So a legislation has been proposed that seeks to balance the odds for both the health care providers and the rights of those who suffer injury during administration of health care. The legislation proposes that instead of awarding a lump sum amount towards a victim’s future medical costs, the victim would receive a guarantee of lifetime care under a proposed Maryland Infant Lifetime Care Trust. Hospitals that deliver babies would contribute, and the trust would then cover victims’ medical bills.
It is expected that this would eliminate the need to speculate or assume the future costs of medical care as well as inadequate coverage. This would also help the hospitals keep the insurance costs to a minimum helping them stay in childbirth business.