Effects of a Malpractice Crisis on Specialist Supply and Patient Access to Care

  • July 01, 2004
  • By Michelle M. Mello, J.D., David M. Studdert, LL.B., Sc.D., Catherine M. DesRoches, Dr.P.H., Jordon Peugh, M.A., Kinga Zapert, and Troyen A. B
During “malpractice crises,” concerns are expressed that liability costs drive high-risk specialist physicians from practice, creating access-to-care problems. A mail survey of 824 surgical and other specialists in Pennsylvania found that the liability environment is having demonstrable effects on the supply of specialists and their willingness to perform high-risk procedures.

The survey, part of the Project on Medical Liability in Pennsylvania funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, was published this month in Annals of Surgery.