CBO: Capping damages in malpractice suits would not contain costs

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A Congressional Budget Office report says limiting damages in malpractice lawsuits would do little to decrease overall healthcare costs. Various liability claims have led to soaring insurance premiums for, and huge settlements against, numerous long-term care providers.

"Even large savings in premiums can have only a small direct impact on healthcare spending -- private or governmental -- because malpractice costs account for less than 2% of that spending," the report says.

Insurance premiums are based on location and medical specialty instead of individual practice records. Therefore, the CBO says, providers are "not generally exposed to the financial risk of their own malpractice risk." Caps on damages would most likely not prevent widespread access to care, or deter medical errors, the report says.

To read the report, go to: .

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