The Impact of Noneconomic Damages Cap on Health Care Delivery in Hospitals

Source: Anca M. Cotet, American Law and Economics Review, Vol. 14 no, 1, Spring 2012
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From the abstract:
Previous literature focused on narrowly defined treatments reached conflicting conclusions about the association between tort reforms and treatment intensity. Using county-level panel data, I evaluate the impact of noneconomic damages caps on broadly defined measures of health care delivery in hospitals. Caps adoption leads to a 3.5% decrease in surgeries, a 2.5% decrease in admissions, a 4.5% decrease in outpatient visits but has no significant effect on emergency care. These results are not driven by spillovers across state borders or by improvements in health and are accompanied by an increase in mortality from complications of medical and surgical care.

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