The effect of medical malpractice liability on rate of referrals received by specialist physicians

Published: March 26, 2013
Category: Bibliography > Papers
Authors: Fendrick AM, Nan B, Spurr SJ, Xu X
Countries: United States
Language: null
Types: Performance Analysis
Settings: Hospital, Specialist

Health Econ Policy Law 8:453-475.

Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA; Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA; University of Michigan, School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI, USA; University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

Using nationally representative data from the United States, this paper analyzed the effect of a state’s medical malpractice environment on referral visits received by specialist physicians. The analytic sample included 12,839 ambulatory visits to specialist care doctors in office-based settings in the United States during 2003–2007. Whether the patient was referred for the visit was examined for its association with the state’s malpractice environment, assessed by the frequency and severity of paid medical malpractice claims, medical malpractice insurance premiums and an indicator for whether the state had a cap on non-economic damages. After accounting for potential confounders such as economic or professional incentives within practices, the analysis showed that statutory caps on non-economic damages of $250,000 were significantly associated with lower likelihood of a specialist receiving referrals, suggesting a potential impact of a state’s medical malpractice environment on physicians’ referral behavior.

United States,Practice Patterns Comparison,Performance Assessment,Fraud and Abuse Detection,Defensive Medicine/economics,Defensive Medicine/statistics & numerical data,Defensive Medicine/trends,Health Care Surveys/statistics & numercial data,Health Expenditures/trends,Insurance,Liability/economics,Insurance,Liability/legislation & jurisprudence,Liability/trends,Malpractice/economics,Malpractice/statistics & numerical data,Models,Econometric,Practice Patterns,Physicians’/economics,Practice Patterns,Physicians’/trends,Referral and Consultation/economics,Referral and Consultation/trends,Specialization/economics,Specialization/trends

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