Monday, February 13, 2006
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation issued a "synthesis report" [PDF] with what certainly appears to be a careful, balanced approach to explaining the basics of medical malpractice insurance, the factors that go into setting premiums, how much we spend on medical malpractice insurance, what constitutes a medical malpractice insurance "crisis," and how such crises affect premiums.
A key (if unsurprising) observation in the report is the fact that interest groups tend to focus on one of two "genesis stories" to the exclusion of the other. In other words, tort reform advocates focus on litigation costs, while plaintiffs' attorneys and consumer groups focus on the insurance cycle and investment outcomes, and neither group recognizes alternative sources as being a factor. The report suggests that both factors are involved and are interrelated.