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Business Week: The Truth About Malpractice Lawsuits

Since President Obama mentioned tort reform last week, several studies have been cited as to whether such reforms would make a difference in the overall budget.  Few studies seem to consider the effect on the physician or their practice.

Business Week reports that costs associated with malpractice lawsuits make up 1% to 2% of the nation’s $2.5 trillion annual health-care bill and that tort reform would barely make a dent in the total.  A comprehensive new report from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, using a database of employer-sponsored health plans covering 10 million Americans, looked at the impact of tort reform measures already enacted in more than 30 states. The authors concluded that comprehensive, nationwide reforms would lower overall health-care costs by 2.3% at most. “That’s significant, of course, but still fairly small,” says Kellogg professor Leemore S. Dafny, a co-author of the study.

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2 comments

  1. Since the day I started medical school it always puzzled me why most doctors in this
    country are so self serving. I felt most of them could care less about the health
    of the public as long as they continued to live a certain lifestyle. At this time
    we in this country have a chance to make sure all of our patients get the health
    care coverage they deserve and yes I’m willing to sacrifice salary for this cause.
    So what if our salaries go down a little bit, at least I’ll be able to send my
    patient with endometrial cancer and no insurance to any Gyn Oncologist for care.
    She is now waiting for her appointment because despite having a job her employer
    doesn’t provide health care. It is a shame that the doctors in this country are
    more interested in making sure they can drive a Lexus instead of making sure the
    American people can get the world class care they deserve

  2. Frederick M. Pevow, MD

    Re todays article on cost benefit of tort reform. 2.3% of 2.5 trillion is almost 53 billion.
    How can anyone consider 53 billion as negligible? That’s enough money fo pay one
    months premiums for the 43 million uninsured Americans.

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