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Affordable Care Act

Doctor: I Lost My Leg to a Medical Error

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University of Florida professor Frederick S. Southwick, who has spent decades doing research on  medical errors, writes about the excruciating irony of losing his leg to...you guessed it.

His essay, published in The New York Times as an op-ed, calls for changes that could cut down on the number of serious injuries from preventable errors, which he estimates at 1 million a year.

Those who make decisions in the health-care system have been either unable or unwilling to make changes that would curtail the errors, he writes. What other industry would cling so stubbornly to old habits that harm its customers?

Southwick says two features of the Affordable Care Act may make things better: paying based on quality, rather than quantity, of services; and creation of an expert panel to study which treatments give the best results and value.