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Five Myths of Medical Malpractice – Part 4

May 14, 2017

Myth 4: Physicians Move in Large Numbers to States That Adopt Damages Caps

If physicians relocate because of liability risk, damages caps are an obvious strategy for attracting more physicians, particularly in lawsuit-prone specialties. Reform advocates have argued that damages caps have exactly this effect. Various researchers have studied the impact of damages caps on physician supply. In one study, researchers examined Texas’s experience after it adopted damages caps in 2003. Before Texas adopted tort reform, proponents claimed that physicians were deserting Texas in droves. After tort reform was enacted, proponents claimed that there had been a dramatic increase in physicians moving to Texas because of the improved liability climate. However, researchers found no evidence to support either claim. Physician supply was not measurably stunted prior to reform, and it did not measurably improve after reform.

It is now clear that damage caps do not cause doctors to relocate.

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To read more go to: Hyman, David A and Silver, Charles, Five Myths of Medical malpractice, CHEST 2013; 143 (1): 222 – 227

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