Study: no link between tort reform, reduced defensive medicine.


The Insurance Journal (8/7, 18K) reports that a study in the August Health Affairs “found no consistent relationships” between “physicians’ level of malpractice concern with objective state-level indicators of malpractice liability risk.” Instead, “physicians’ perception of their risk…predicts their practice of defensive medicine,” suggesting “that traditional malpractice reforms, such as caps on damages, don’t change how physicians practice.” Unlike previous studies that “focused on physician self-reports of how they would treat hypothetical patients,” this study used Medicare claims data to examine doctor’s actual behavior.