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A recently published study from Northwestern University reviewed whether tort law deters negligent behavior. The study found consistent evidence that patient safety generally falls after medical malpractice reforms, compared to control states.
The study examined whether medical malpractice reforms affected in-hospital patient safety, using Patient Safety Indicators (PSIs) – measures of adverse events developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality – as proxies for overall safety. In five states that adopted caps on damages safety fell after the reforms.