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Tort reform
Old 06-21-2012, 12:23 AM   #1
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Tort reform

Tort reform is not a panacea to decreased medical costs. While yearly malpractice premiums did decrease, the cost of care did not. (This begs the question -- if the consumer didn't get the savings, where did the savings go?)

New study: Tort reform has not reduced health care costs in Texas
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Old 06-21-2012, 07:39 AM   #2
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When I saw this topic in this sub-forum, I was just thinking to myself, that I'll bet this topic is talking about how tort reform lowers the cost of health care, and was thinking I would need to reply with, "well not in Texas." Much to my surprise, when I opened your post, that was exactly what the article was all about, ugh
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Old 06-21-2012, 11:42 AM   #3
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California has had medical malpractice tort reform for decades. Since the 70's
'nuff said.

An interesting documentary on the subject is "Hot Coffee".
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eridanus
Tort reform is not a panacea to decreased medical costs. While yearly malpractice premiums did decrease, the cost of care did not. (This begs the question -- if the consumer didn't get the savings, where did the savings go?)

New study: Tort reform has not reduced health care costs in Texas
Not too surprising. Most reliable studies put the litigation cost at somewhere around 2%, far less than a typical years hike in medical costs. The highest reliable number I can find is about 10%, from a 1996 study from two Stanford economists who also found a 2% litigation cost, along with roughly an 8% cost from "defensive medicine" such as extra diagnostic tests.

(I consider numbers spewed by organizations with an obvious agenda, such as lobbying organizations and PACs, to be unreliable. I know how to construct a survey to validate a desired conclusion...)
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:45 PM   #5
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It's actually not easy to calculate a firm number. One can't only look at the direct cost of litigation (legal costs and judgments paid out). One also has to look at the cost of higher malpractice insurance costs as well as the extra costs of "defensive medicine" (aka "legal CYA medicine) where doctors order a lot more tests than are likely necessary for a diagnosis.

And unsurprisingly, strong advocates for and against medical tort reform have become masterful at spinning the data so it's either seen (respectively) a huge cost that needs to be addressed or a trivial matter that isn't worth the effort or loss of recourse for the patients.
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:28 PM   #6
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And as to why the reduced malpractice premiums didn't lower costs to patients--that kind of thing only happens in markets with efficient competition and pricing. That's far from what we have today in our health care delivery "system".
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Old 06-22-2012, 07:11 AM   #7
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And as to why the reduced malpractice premiums didn't lower costs to patients--that kind of thing only happens in markets with efficient competition and pricing. That's far from what we have today in our health care delivery "system".
+1 and no gummit involvement
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