The State of Defensive Medicine, Part V: What are MICRA’s most Effective Provisions?

In segment five of our interview with Dr. Richard Anderson, Chairman and CEO of The Doctors Company, we ask him about the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA), which was enacted in California in 1975. MICRA was instituted to help lower medical malpractice insurance premiums, which had become prohibitively expensive for many physicians in California by 1975. It has frequently served as a model for tort reform initiatives in many other states. MICRA has several provisions, including a cap on noneconomic damages, a cap on attorney’s fees, and periodic payments, which allows physicians and insurance companies to pay awards over an extended time period rather than all at once.

Dr. Anderson also discusses the benefits that a federal version of MICRA might provide to the healthcare system, given the mobility of the population and that standards-of-care do not change state-by-state. However, a federal version of MICRA is not likely to happen, as tort reform measures are considered at the state, and not the national, level. See below to watch Part V of the interview. For the full interview, click here.


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