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Health Aff (Millwood). 2007 Jan-Feb;26(1):215-26.

Disclosure of medical injury to patients: an improbable risk management strategy.

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  • 1Department of Health Policy and Management, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


Pressure mounts on physicians and hospitals to disclose adverse outcomes of care to patients. Although such transparency diverges from traditional risk management strategy, recent commentary has suggested that disclosure will actually reduce providers' liability exposure. We tested this theory by modeling the litigation consequences of disclosure. We found that forecasts of reduced litigation volume or cost do not withstand close scrutiny. A policy question more pressing than whether moving toward routine disclosure will expand litigation is the question of how large such an expansion might be.

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