Medical Malpractice Reform and Implications for Health Insurance Costs

What effect have recent medical malpractice reforms had on health insurance costs? Specifically, the researchers 1) evaluated the effect of tort reforms on physician (general practitioners and several specialty practices) malpractice insurance premiums; 2) determined the extent to which malpractice liability contributes to higher total health care costs, both by pass-through of physician malpractice insurance premiums and through “defensive medicine;” and 3) evaluated the effect that economic conditions and changes in the health care environment have exerted on malpractice premiums. The objective of this study was to provide a rigorous analysis of the effects of malpractice reform on the current environment and identify the savings, if any, that consumers can expect to see as a result of reforms.