Health Insurance and Public Policy: Risk, Allocation, and Equity

By Miriam K. Mills; Robert H. Blank | Go to book overview

suits represents only a small percent ( Danzon, 1985:20-25; U.S. Congress, Senate Hearings, 1986:2). Although there is an increasing number of large settlements, these occur in only severe cases. It is a matter of judgment how much compensation severely injured people are entitled to beyond the payment for medical expenses and economic losses. For a majority of suits the physician wins and no compensation is awarded. The average dollar amount awarded in a finding of negligence is modest ( Blum, 1989).

Some reforms of the tort system do seem prudent. A statute of limitations, longer for minors, seems justified to put more certainty into the system. The admission into evidence of collateral benefits has shown an impact in reducing claim frequency and severity and seems justified. Additionally, an initial arbitration system whose impact is to reduce the significant litigation costs of the system should also be considered. But overall, given the purposes of the tort system to compensate victims of malpractice and to deter its commission, it should be essentially allowed to work as a regulator in the medical care market.


REFERENCES

American Medical Association. 1986. Socioeconomic Characteristics of Medical Practice. 1986. Chicago: American Medical Association.

Blum A. 1989. "Malpractice: Claims Down, Costs Up." National Law Journal, January, 1.

Brinkley J. 1986. "State Medical Boards Disciplined Record Number of Doctors in '85." New York Times, November 19:1.

Corsi J. 1984. Judicial Politics. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Daly J. C. 1977. The Medical Malpractice Dilemma. Washington, DC: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research.

Danzon P. M. 1985. Medical Malpractice: Theory, Evidence, and Public Policy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

-----. 1986a. "The Frequency and Severity of Medical Malpractice Claims: New Evidence." Law and Contemporary Problems 49:57-84.

-----. 1986b. "Medical Malpractice Claims: New Evidence." Medical Malpractice 28.

-----. 1986c. New Evidence in the Frequency and Severity of Medical Malpractice Claims. Santa Monica, CA: Rand Corporation.

Danzon P. M. and L. A. Lillard. 1983. "Settlement Out of Court: The Disposition of Medical Malpractice Claims." Journal of Legal Studies 12:345-77.

Miller E. J. 1988. "Public Members on Professional Regulatory Boards: The Case of Lawyers in Wisconsin." Administration and Society 20:369-90.

Richards B. 1988. "Doctors Seek Crack Down on Colleagues Paid for Testimony on Malpractice Suits." Wall Street Journal, November 7:B1.

U.S. Congress. House Hearings. 1986. Hearings before the Subcommittee on Health and the Environment of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. Medical Malpractice, hearing no. 99-152.

U.S. Congress. Senate Hearings. 1986. Hearings before the Committee on Labor

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