Debunking Tort Reform for Medical Malpractice: CJD Study

briefing book
The Center for Justice and Democracy has updated their research on medical malpractice: “Medical Malpractice by the Numbers.
Highlights:

* Medical malpractice insurance companies are making twice the profit of the entire property/casualty insurance industry. In fact, the med mal insurance industry has had seven years of underwriting profit – something completely unheard of in the property/casualty sector. (Page 53.)

* After Texas enacted severe limits on medical malpractice lawsuits, including “caps” on damages, rates of preventable errors rose, “consistent with hospitals gradually relaxing (or doing less to reinforce) patient safety standards.” (Page 83.)

* Medical malpractice premiums are not rising; other factors are contributing to the plight of physicians, specifically “health insurers that clamp down on the size of physician fees and deny payment for services that they deem unnecessary.” (Page 56.)

* When asked their main reason for leaving New York state, newly trained physicians cited the “Cost of Malpractice Insurance” practically dead last on a list of many factors, the most important of which was “Proximity to Family.” Even the general category “Other” outranked “Cost of Malpractice Insurance.” Moreover, New York’s liability laws were not even mentioned as a factor. (Page 52.)