Friday, July 8, 2011

Tort Reform

In my previous post I discussed medical malpractice.  The majority of malpractice claims (sixty-four percent) are either withdrawn, dropped or dismissed without any payment to the plaintiff.  In an effort to fix some of these problems, some states (California and Texas) enacted tort reform (some like to call it medical liability reform).    There is also current legislation to make tort reform national law (the Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-Cost, Timely Healthcare (HEALTH) Act of 2011).  So far in areas where there is tort reform, states  have seen decreased the numbers of malpractice cases and a decrease in the cost of liability insurance, leading to increased numbers of practicing physicians in those states which helps relieve physician shortages.    However, there haven't been any clear indications that tort reform actually decreases the cost of health care, but it is still too early to tell the long term effects of tort reform.  I believe in the long run it will decrease defensive medicine leading to decrease health care costs.

For more information check out this article:  Medical Liability Reform: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly,


  1. How do we know which states have tort reform? What about ny?

  2. Great question. Most states do have some tort reform, but it varies from state to state. New York has damage caps for the amount someone can recover for malpractice liability. This link summarizes this:

    If the HEALTH Act passes, there would be uniform damage caps.