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NEW STUDIES SHOW: “CAPS” ON DAMAGES RUIN HEALTH CARE

April 2, 2016

It is now indisputable that “caps” on compensation in medical malpractice cases (so-called “tort reform”) harm not just injured patients and their families. They are also wrecking health care for everyone else. The Center for Justice & Democracy at New York Law School reported three new studies by esteemed academics in the field of medical malpractice research confirm for the first time that “caps” lead to more medical errors, higher health care costs and no increase in patient care physicians.

MORE MEDICAL ERRORS: They found “consistent evidence that patient safety generally falls” after caps are passed. “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.…”

HIGHER HEALTH CARE COSTS: They found “damage caps have no significant impact on Medicare Part A (hospital) spending, but lead to 4-5% higher Medicare Part B (physician) spending” [emphasis in the original]. “Damage caps have long been seen by health policy researchers and policymakers as a way to control healthcare costs however, “there is no evidence that limiting med mal lawsuits will bend the healthcare cost curve, except perhaps in the wrong direction. Policymakers seeking a way to address rising healthcare spending should look elsewhere.”

NO INCREASE IN PHYSICIANS: They found “no evidence that cap adoption predicts an increase in total patient care physicians, in specialties that face high med mal risk (except plastic surgeons), or in rural physicians.” “Physician supply does not seem elastic to med mal risk. Thus, the states that want to attract more physicians should look elsewhere.”

Finally, in some states with very low damages caps such as Texas and California lawyers are no longer taking on medical malpractice cases. However, if you or your family member is a military dependent and injury or death at a military hospital, even in states with damage caps, we can help.

Please contact our experienced military medical malpractice lawyers for a free, confidential consultation by either calling toll-free at 877-695-8757 (calls are answered 24/7), e-mailing us at LawHelp@MiitaryMedicalMalpractice.com, or by filling out the form at the top right side of this page.

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