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Tort Reform and the Length of Physician Office Visits

Sebastian Panthöfer ()

UC3M Working papers. Economics from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía

Abstract: By holding healthcare providers accountable for medical errors, the medical malpractice system should steer physicians towards providing adequate levels of care. This paper tests whether tort reforms induce physicians to be more or less careful when treating patients, using the length of office visits as a proxy for physician efforts. Analyzing data from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey on more than half a million physician office visits between 1993 and 2011, I find that caps on noneconomic damages, caps on punitive damages, and reforms of the joint-and-several liability rule have no impact on the time physicians spend with patients. Reforms of the collateral-source rule decrease the length office visits in some specifications and act as a substitute for managed care.

Keywords: Liability; pressure; Tort; reform; Managed; care (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: K13 L11 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016-11-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea and nep-law
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:cte:werepe:23861

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