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Health Affairs, is a bimonthly, peer reviewed journal of health policy and managed care published since 1981 by the non-profit Project HOPE. Health Affairs has become one of the most respected of all health policy journals, with the largest circulation and readership. After studying 30 years of data, Health Affairs published an article in May 2006 which concluded that the medical malpractice “crisis” had been greatly exaggerated.
After studying data from 1970 to 2000, the article concluded:
To paraphrase Mark Twain’s comment on reading his obituary in a newspaper, the reported recent demise of medical practice as a result of rising malpractice premiums has been greatly exaggerated. The perception that increased malpractice premiums cause a crisis is at odds with evidence from AMA surveys. These surveys indicate that premiums have consistently been a small percentage of the total practice expense except within anesthesiology, which is a result of its having much lower than average non-premium expenses. When premium increases occurred between 1970 and 1986, and from 1996 to 2000, they only had a small effect on net income.
Remember, this is a study BY the health care industry FOR the health care industry. In short, the sky is not falling and medical malpractice lawsuits and attorneys who bring them for victims of malpractice do not have any significant effect upon health care, income of health care providers, or, for that matter, the premiums charged. Whatever health care crisis exists is in the delivery of competent health care at a cost the average citizen can afford.