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  • Writer's pictureKirk Hartley

RAND Speaks Again – Factual Evidence Knocks Out Medical Malpractice Myths

Forbes and others are reporting on the latest set of facts and research on effects – or lack of effects – from so-called “medical malpractice reform.” The data is from RAND, and is published here in the NEJM. An October 15 ,2014 story from Forbes provides an overview. Here’s the key quote:

“A new analysis by the RAND Corporation of the behavior of emergency room physicians in three states that raised malpractice standards shows doctors still order expensive and often unnecessary medical tests. In this study, malpractice reform laws in Texas and South Carolina had no effect on the use of expensive imaging and a law in Georgia had only a small drop in emergency room charges.

“Physicians say they order unnecessary tests strictly out of fear of being sued, but our results suggest the story is more complicated,” said Dr. Daniel A. Waxman, a researcher at RAND who is the leader author of the study, “The Effect of Malpractice Reform on Emergency Department Care” published in a special article in the Oct. 16 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The study was funded by the Veterans Affairs Office of Academic Affiliations.”

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