Monday, September 22, 2014

LA Times: "New study shows that the savings from 'tort reform' are mythical"

Yet another study shows what we already knew:  medical malpractice tort reform has little to do with health costs.  The LA Times explains in this story.

Anyone paying attention to this topic knows study after study shows the same thing (go to the medical malpractice or the tort reform sections of this blog and scroll down for stories on this), but tort reformers keep making the same unsupported tired arguments over and over again.  Most recently, this has been the gist of the campaign in California against a ballot initiative to raise the cap on compensation for med mal cases.  As I said in my original post on that subject, it is ironic that the slogan of the campaign is "check the facts" when it does not provide any to support its allegations.

Among other things, the new study suggests that "[a]ny "tort reform" stringent enough to make [the costs of so-called defensive medicine] go away would likely create other costs, such as a rise in medical mistakes generated by the elimination of the oversight exercised by the court system" and then concludes that "[s]ince it doesn't appear that "tort reform" would have any effect on this spending, there seems little reason to pursue it as a means to dramatically reduce health care spending in the United States."

These conclusions are also supported by the new edition of the book Medical Malpractice by the Numbers that I wrote about here and here.

h/t TortsProf Blog

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