Texas Law To Cap Patients' Huge Court Awards Didn't Magically Cut Costs: Study

University of Texas Law Professor Charles SilverUniversity of Texas Law Professor Charles Silver

Photo: University of Texas

People who want to cut back on huge court awards for patients suing their doctors like to claim that doing so would dramatically cut health costs.However, a new study by the University of Texas School of Law rejects that popular argument, finding the Lone Star State’s 2003 tort reforms didn’t actually cut medical costs.

Those in favour of tort reform – which reduces court awards for patients who sue their doctors – typically argue it would stop doctors from ordering unnecessary tests to fend off potential lawsuits.

University of Texas researchers studied Medicare claims to examine whether tort reform actually reduced spending, and reported Thursday that in some cases physician spending actually rose after tort reform.

In sum, the researchers said, they found absolutely no evidence that tort reform saved money.

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