Another reason that malpractice reform is overrated

One of the few points of consensus in the “replace” part of “repeal and replace” is that malpractice reform should play a central role. Proponents claim that fear of lawsuits drives substantial over-utilization of services by clinicians practicing “defensive medicine.” In other words doctors are doing a lot more than medically necessary just to cover their own behinds.

I don’t but this argument. First, when the extent of defensive medicine has been studied it’s been shown to have a rather small impact. Second, “the number and total value of malpractice payments made on behalf of physicians” has dropped every year for the last eight. These arguments are relatively well known.

But there’s another reason malpractice reform is a bit of a yawner. People accept without question the assertion that doctors and hospitals do more for defensive reasons. Financial incentives are rarely mentioned, yet in today’s fee-for-service environment defensive medicine can actually increase providers’ incomes. As we move to bundled payments and Accountable Care Organizations, which don’t have such incentives, my sense is that providers will become less defensive and start to forego some of the defensive practices in place today.

2 thoughts on “Another reason that malpractice reform is overrated

  1. Pingback: HWR and Malpractice Reform – Colorado Health Insurance Insider | malpracticelawsuitslaw.net

  2. massage london

    Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all of us you actually recognize what you
    are speaking about! Bookmarked. Please additionally talk over with my web site =).
    We may have a hyperlink trade contract among us

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s