Where’s the evidence that doctors flock to states with caps on medical malpractice damage awards?
Monday, December 3, 2012
One of the arguments that proponents of caps on compensation for those harmed by medical negligence, like California’s unjust MICRA law, like to make is that doctors flee states with no caps and are attracted to practice in states that artificially limit their liability for medical errors.
But look very carefully at the chart below…you’ll see in 2011 states that don’t have caps on malpractice damage awards actually had 22% more doctors, relative to their population, than states like California that have such caps:
You can’t use these numbers to prove that doctors prefer not having caps on damage awards. But they also make a strong argument against the notion that not having caps leads to some sort of “doctor drain.”
The latest edition of the AMA’s annual Physician Characteristics and Distribution also shows that the number of physicians in the U.S. continues to rise faster than the population and is now at a record level:
The number of doctors per capita in the U.S. is now double what it was in 1970.