Parikh: Malpractice reform’s no cost-cutter


Rahul Parikh, M.D., writing on, talks about his own tendencies toward defensive medicine and debunks the idea that malpractice suits are driving up costs and pushing doctors toward defensive medicine.

Photo by Maggie Osterberg via Flickr.

In particular, Parikh targets a Wall Street Journal opinion piece penned by three past AMA presidents. The trio attacks the public option and presses instead for malpractice reform.

Parikh responds:

Their refrain is familiar to anybody following the healthcare reform debate. The only problem is that it’s not true. There’s nothing “sure or quick” about changing medical liability laws that will improve healthcare or its costs. Defensive medicine adds very little to healthcare’s price tag, and rising malpractice premiums have had very little impact on access to care.

He then tackles, point by point, the most common arguments advanced by proponents of malpractice reform.

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