IN HONOR OF BLACK HISTORY MONTH, BLACK MATERNAL HEALTH ADVOCATES CALL ON CALIFORNIA LEADERS TO SUPPORT THE FAIRNESS FOR INJURED PATIENTS ACT
Advocates Cite Racial Disparities in Health Care Outcomes for People of Color
SACRAMENTO – A recent report from the California Department of Public Health on Maternal Mortality finds significant racial disparities in pregnancy-related mortality, particularly among Black women. This Black History Month, Fairness for Injured Patients Act advocates call out medical negligence caps, like MICRA, that target Black women frequently denying them justice.
The California Department of Public Health’s recent report on maternal mortality in California found that:
- racial/ethnic disparities in pregnancy-related mortality ratios worsened between 2008 and 2016, particularly among Black women.
- from 2014-2016, the pregnancy related mortality ratio for Black women was four to six times greater than the mortality ratios for women of other racial/ethnic groups.
Women are disproportionately harmed by California’s outdated limits on compensation for patients injured by medical negligence. Women of color are even more likely to experience medical negligence, regardless of socioeconomic status, because systemic inequities in our health care system subject people of color to lower quality health care.
“Nationally, Black women are 3 to 4 times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women,” said Morgan White, Director of Birth Equity Advocacy Project. “Now more than ever we must address this as the human rights issue it is and highlight the inequalities in the maternal care that families of color receive. We are proud to support the Fairness for Injured Patients Act to overturn California’s medical negligence cap that targets Black women and denies them justice.”
California’s nearly 50-year-old cap on compensation for patients harmed and killed by medical negligence disproportionately impacts communities of color, keeping people of color out of the courts and denying them justice.
In addition to a cap set in 1975, a recent LA Times investigation reveals that the California Medical Board has not been protecting patients who are victims of medical negligence — for nearly 5 decades.
The Fairness for Injured Patients Act (FIPA), will finally adjust the $250,000 cap set in 1975 for inflation, bringing it up to $1.2 million. It gives the power back to judges and jurors who will be able to decide if compensation above the cap is fair in cases of catastrophic injury or death. Juries will finally be informed about the existence of a cap.
The insurance industry is funding a nearly $50 million dollar campaign to oppose changing the 50-year-old law that harms patients.