Study: Physician growth higher in tort-reform states

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States that enacted malpractice reforms had an increase in their overall supply of physicians, according to a study in the current issue of JAMA.

States capping non-economic damages in malpractice cases experienced a 2.4% increase in overall physician supply compared with states without such caps, investigators found.

The study says physician services increased in every state from 1985 to 2001, but states with damage caps saw a higher than average increase. In addition, the study finds that more of the services growth was among doctors with 20 or more years of experience.

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