The medical malpractice insurance “crises” and federal medical malpractice tort reform: Collection and analysis of bills passed by the United States House of Representatives from 1995–2005
There have been three medical malpractice insurance "crises" in the United States over a time spanning roughly the past three decades (Poisson, 2004, p. 759-760). Each crisis is characterized by a number of common features, including rapidly increasing medical malpractice insurance premiums, cancellation of existing insurance policies, and a decreased willingness of insurers to offer or renew medical malpractice insurance policies (Poisson, 2004, p. 759-760). Given the recurrent "crises," many sources argue that medical malpractice insurance coverage has become too expensive a commodity—one that many physicians simply cannot afford (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS], 2002, p. 1-2; Physician Insurers Association of America [PIAA], 2003, p. 1; Jackiw, 2004, p. 506; Glassman, 2004, p. 417; Padget, 2003, p. 216). The prohibitively high cost of medical liability insurance is said to limit the geographical areas and medical specializations in which physicians are willing to practice. As a result, the high costs of medical liability insurance are ultimately said to affect whether or not people have access to health care services. In an effort to control the medical liability insurance crises—and to preserve or restore peoples' access to health care—every state in the United States has passed "at least some laws designed to reduce medical malpractice premium rates" (GAO, 2003, p.5-6). More recently, however, the United States has witnessed a push to implement federal reform of the medical malpractice tort system. Accordingly, this project focuses on federal medical malpractice tort reform. This project was designed to investigate the following specific question: Do the federal medical malpractice tort reform bills which passed in the House of Representatives between 1995 and 2005 differ in respect to their principle features? To answer this question, the text of the bills, law review articles, and reports from government and private agencies were analyzed. Further, a matrix was compiled to concisely summarize the principle features of the proposed federal medical malpractice tort reform bills. Insight gleaned from this investigation and matrix compilation informs discussion about the potential ramifications of enacting federal medical malpractice tort reform legislation.
Law|Public health|Health care
Wesorick, Matthew H, "The medical malpractice insurance “crises” and federal medical malpractice tort reform: Collection and analysis of bills passed by the United States House of Representatives from 1995–2005" (2007). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1447075.