New York Personal Injury Law Blog » tort reform


March 10th, 2010

Report: Medical Malpractice Payments Hit New Low

The tort “reformers” won’t be happy with this; yet more evidence that medical malpractice lawsuits are not the problem with healthcare costs.

OK, here you go, short and sweet, the lede:

Fewer medical malpractice payments were made on behalf of doctors in 2009 than any year on record, according to the National Practitioner Data Bank.

This finding contradicts claims that medical malpractice litigation is to blame for rising healthcare costs and that changing the liability system to the detriment of patients will not curb costs.

The value of malpractice payments was also the lowest since 1999. Adjusted for inflation, payments were at their lowest since 1992, a Public Citizen analysis of the NPDB shows.

Also part of the article, malpractice payments on behalf of doctors equals just 0.14 of 1% of overall US healthcare spending.

And for that, there are people who want to close the courthouse doors.

You can read the rest here: Analysis: Medical malpractice payments continue to fall.
And prior commentary from me here:

  • The False Premises of Medical Malpractice “Reform” (Response to Richard Epstein in WSJ) (6/30/09)

    There’s an old saying, “garbage in, garbage out.” If you use a false premise to substantiate an argument then the result will be worthless. And that is exactly what University of Chicago law professor Richard A. Epstein does today in the Wall Street Journal (via PofL)…

  • Do Texas Med-Mal Damage Caps Work? (What Do You Mean By “Work?”) (4/14/09)

    But what, exactly does it mean for a statute to “work” when it reduces the ability of the most badly injured individuals to recover for their loss?

    Does offering government protectionism for tortfeasors mean it works?

    Does stopping those who’ve been victimized from recovering from their loss mean it works?

    Does destroying the concept of personal responsibility for one’s actions mean it works?

  • My Tort “Reform” Op-Ed in Today’s Journal News (7/29/08)

    Re “Tort reform needed in New York state,” a July 23 letter by Cortes E. DeRussy of Bronxville that blamed the “trial-bar friendly state Legislature” for refusing to enact malpractice reforms needed to keep doctors from fleeing the state:

    The DeRussy letter repeated a common myth in an argument for tort “reform,” claiming that one of the primary reasons for increased medical malpractice insurance was “unusually high judgments.” DeRussy couldn’t be more wrong…

  • The Medical Malpractice “Crisis” Hoax — From Public Citizen (1/24/07)

    Since others had already pointed out the Public Citizen report exposing the hoax of a medical malpractice “crisis” I wasn’t going to bother. But there was Pres. Bush last night at his State of the Union speech once again leading people astray, when he said:

    “And to protect good doctors from junk lawsuits, by passing medical liability reform.”

    Good doctors, however, don’t seem to be the problem. Since 1991, according to the report, 5.9 percent of U.S. doctors were responsible for 57.8 percent of the number of medical malpractice payments. That is an extraordinary statistic.

  • Debunking Yet Another Tort “Reform” Column, This Time in Forbes (7/15/09)

    I feel like a broken record sometimes, rebutting the same disingenuous tort “reform” nonsense over and over. The latest comes from Forbes (via PofL), in a piece written by Manhattan Institute fellow John Avlon, regarding the amount that New York City pays out in settlements and verdicts….

  • Why New York Medical Malpractice Insurance Jumped 14% (7/31/07)

    You may have seen the screaming New York headlines: Doctors hit with 14% increase in medical malpractice rates! Doctors in high risk specialties paying 6-figure insurance premiums! Insurance reserves so low carriers may become insolvent! Blame the lawyers! came the cry from the doctor’s, for surely it must be due to medical malpractice cases. A little protectionism called tort “reform” would go a long way to curing the problem. Right?

    Ahh, but truth is another matter…

hat tip: JusticeDotOrg

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