Doctors don’t flee states over malpractice liability

Public News Service busts the tort reform myth that physicians are abandoning their practices for states with tougher malpractice award caps.

Doctors aren’t running scared. That’s the finding of a recent report that looks at the notion that physicians are fleeing states without caps on medical malpractice judgments, fearing higher medical liability costs. The report from the American Association for Justice uses data from the American Medical Association.

Denver attorney Michael Mihm says that even with Colorado’s legal cap on the amount victims can recover in medical malpractice cases, the state actually has fewer doctors per capita than states without such caps.

“The statutes that limit the recovery of ordinary people injured by medical negligence have got nothing to do with physicians’ decisions to stay in the state.”

He says doctors decide where to live and work the same way as everyone else.

“You know, good schools, is it a nice place to live; it’s got nothing to do with the caps on medical malpractice recovery.”

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