Patient Safety Indicators

Authors of recent studies examined five U.S. states that have “caps,” as well as what is known as Patient Safety Indicators (PSIs). More recently, caps have been placed on compensation for medical malpractice cases, or “tort reform.” These studies compared various data, and found evidence that, in those states where caps on recovery had been passed or recently come into existence, the states’ Patient Safety general ratings subsequently decreased.

More specifically, Bernard S. Black, David Hyman and Myungho Paik authored a study entitled “Do Doctors Practice Defensive Medicine, Revisited,” Northwestern University Law & Economics Research Paper No. 13-20; Illinois Program in Law, Behavior and Social Science Paper No. LBSS14-21 (October 2014). As a result of their study, they found that there have been rises in the rates of the Patient Safety Indicators after tort caps are implemented, and subsequently found “consistently gradual relaxation of care or failure to reinforce care standards over time.”

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