As a personal injury and medical malpractice lawyer, one of the most emotional issues that I confront in my everyday life, is the so-called “medical malpractice crisis”. Doctors, insurance companies, drug companies and business groups claim that this crisis is not only driving up the cost of health-care but is driving physicians out of the region and towards states that offer “tort reform”. On the other hand, consumer groups have argued that no such “crisis” exists and that the only crisis is a growing epidemic of poor medical care. A recent study published in Consumer Reports supports the argument that in our region, that is the NY/NJ area, poor basic care at most area hospitals is a major contributing factor. Although many of our hospitals offer state-of-the-art facilities, they measured extremely poorly in four key areas of patient safety: hospital-acquired infections, readmissions, how well the staff communicates with patients regarding medications and discharge planning. These four major areas were calculated into a “patient safety score” for each hospital. Some of the local hospitals whose scores were lower than most other hospitals around the country, included some of our region’s most well-known institutions. You can read the article, which links to the list of hospitals, at ConsumerReports.org.