Report Ranks States on Need for Medical Malpractice Reform

side note: The U.S. Index of Health Ownership, published by PRI, will not be updated in full for 2010, but there is a 2010 U.S. Tort Liability Index. The Tort Index includes 42 variables divided into inputs and outputs. The top states in inputs are Oklahoma, Texas, and Ohio. Top in outputs are Alaska, Hawaii, and North Carolina. The U.S. Index of Health Ownership borrows 8 of these 42 variables to create a new a medical-tort index*. The top five in this ranking are Mississippi, Nevada, Michigan, Colorado, and Louisiana. Bottom five are Iowa, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Evidence indicates that even the top states are lagging in some variables, leading to increased health care costs and defensive medicine.

Eight Variables:
1) ratio of malpractice losses per projected personal health expenditures
2) pain and suffering caps
3) caps on punitive damages
4) attorney fee limits
5) pre-trial screening/arbitration
6) FDA/FTC defense allowed?
7) conditions for expert witnesses
8 ) statue of limitations

We think that information like this is important to get into the average Joe’s hand b/c with knowledge comes power……we need to educate folks on why they have been paying more for their healthcare and to protect an important asset of every community: The Physician.

There are many variables that go into why a doctor pays as much as they do for medical malpractice insurance, but this is a very important one.

Written By: Sarah McIntosh
Publication date: 08/04/2010
Publisher: The Heartland Institute

physician worrys about Tort reform effecting the cost of her medical malpractice insuranceA new report by the Pacific Research Institute (PRI), a San Francisco-based think tank, ranks the states on their medical-malpractice and tort liability policies and indicates where each state has room to improve. The study ranks the fifty states based on numerous factors, which together illustrate the importance of medical malpractice reform in controlling health care costs, according to study author John Graham.

Using information from the 2010 edition of the U.S. Tort Liability Index by Lawrence J. McQuillan and Hovannes Abramyan, which analyzed some 42 variables, PRI ranked the states by calculating where they ought to stand on each type of measurement. John Graham, director of health care studies at PRI and author of the report, said the study illustrates which states are “getting it right” and which are not.

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