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Sunday, May 7, 2006

PIAA Study on Tort Reform's Effectiveness

The Physician Insurers Association of America has released [press release] a study [PDF] by Daniel Kessler at Stanford's School of Business.  Its conclusions:

Increased claims costs are the primary driver of premium rate increases.

Tort reforms decrease claims costs and, in turn, premiums for physicians.

There is no evidence that anticompetitive behavior, weak regulation, insurer investment decisions, or other features of capital markets are important contributors to rising  premiums.

So far as I can tell, the study does not evaluate whether the claims costs that were eliminated were for "frivolous" claims, or indeed evaluate the nature of the claims costs reduced at all.  (That's not a criticism of the study; it's not what he was asked to do.)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/tortsprof/2006/05/piaa_study_on_t.html

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Comments

Hilarious. If ATLA released a study, tort reform advocates would immediately start screaming about bias. PIAA funds this and they get treated like some sort of totally disinterested party.

Posted by: Seth (not a lawyer) | May 8, 2006 6:44:30 AM

I'm not doubting it necessarily, but by whom is PIAA being treated as disinterested? I've only seen one press story (a UPI piece) discussing it and it's just noting its existence and conclusions, along with identifying the funding source. I wish it had tried to get some form of analysis, but since it didn't, I don't really fault it for not having someone calling bias, especially since it did note the funding.

But I also haven't dug around a lot, so if there are other sources acting like it's disinterested, I just don't know it.

(Also, in case your reference is to my post, I figure the readership of this blog is sophisticated enough to notice the funding source; that is, I think, consistent with other posts.)

Posted by: Bill Childs | May 8, 2006 7:17:28 AM

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