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Health Aff (Millwood). 2004 Jan-Jun;Suppl Web Exclusives:W4-20-30.

The medical malpractice 'crisis': recent trends and the impact of state tort reforms.

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Department of Health Policy and Management, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.


By many accounts, the United States is in the midst of its third medical malpractice "crisis." Physicians in several states are facing high and rising premiums. The largest national medical malpractice carrier and some large multistate physician-backed liability firms have recently left the market. Rising premiums are traced largely to increases in claims severity. Capping malpractice payments has been advanced as one approach to slowing the growth in premiums. This analysis finds that premiums in states that cap awards are 17.1 percent lower than in states that don't cap. At issue, however, is whether these stopgap solutions promote the goals of the U.S. liability system.

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