Study: Lawsuits not to blame for doctors’ rising premiums

A new study by Dartmouth College researchers, published May 31 by the journal Health Affairs and reported yesterday in The Boston Globe, says that increases in doctors’ insurance premiums are the result not of medical malpractice lawsuits, but of insurers’ poor investments.

The Boston Globe article says:

“Re-igniting the medical malpractice overhaul debate, a new study by Dartmouth College researchers suggests that huge jury awards and financial settlements for injured patients have not caused the explosive increase in doctors’ insurance premiums.

“The researchers said a more likely explanation for the escalation is that malpractice insurance companies have raised doctors’ premiums to compensate for falling investment returns.”

The full text of the report is available here.