Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=820325
 
 

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Defensive Medicine and Disappearing Doctors?


Katherine Baicker


Harvard University - Department of Health Policy & Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Amitabh Chandra


Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)


Regulation, Vol. 28, No. 3, pp. 24-31, Fall 2005

Abstract:     
There is a great deal of public debate about potential reforms of the malpractice system. A closer look at available data suggests that some of the rhetoric surrounding this debate may be misleading. First, increases in malpractice payments do not seem to be the driving force behind increases in premiums. Second, increases in malpractice costs do not seem to affect the overall size of the physician workforce, although they may affect some subsets of the physician population more severely. Third, we find evidence that the strongest effect of greater malpractice pressure is in increased use of imaging services, with somewhat smaller effects on the use of other discretionary, generally low-risk services such as physician visits and consultations, use of diagnostic tests, and minor procedures. We find little evidence of increased utilization of major surgical procedures.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 8

Keywords: malpractice, premiums, physicians, insurance, medicine, doctors

JEL Classification: I1, K32, G22

Accepted Paper Series


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Date posted: October 19, 2005  

Suggested Citation

Baicker, Katherine and Chandra, Amitabh, Defensive Medicine and Disappearing Doctors?. Regulation, Vol. 28, No. 3, pp. 24-31, Fall 2005. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=820325

Contact Information

Katherine Baicker (Contact Author)
Harvard University - Department of Health Policy & Management ( email )
677 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
United States
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Amitabh Chandra
Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )
79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany
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