New Studies Show "Caps" on Damages Ruin Health Care

New Studies Show "Caps" on Damages Ruin Health Care

Posted by: DC/Friday, November 20, 2015/Categories: In The News

New research by esteemed, longtime academics in the field of medical malpractice examined the impact of caps on preventable errors in hospitals. They looked at national Patient Safety Indicators (PSIs) in states that enacted caps during the last "hard" insurance market (2002 to 2005) and then compared these data to other "control" states. PSIs include such things as operative and post-operative errors, infections, birth-related errors and cases at risk, like hospital-acquired pneumonia. They found "consistent evidence that patient safety generally falls" after caps are enacted. They said, "The broad relaxation of care suggests that med mal liability provides ‘general deterrence’ – an incentive to be careful in general – in addition to any ‘specific deterrence’ it may provide for particular actions...” Notably, this is the first study ever that evaluates the health consequences of any kind of "tort reform.”

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