Mello et al.: does state-level malpractice exposure correlate with health care quality?

Michelle Mello and colleagues examined reports in a federal health database to determine whether there were observable relationships between the intensity of litigation environments on a state level and measures of hospital outcomes. “No consistent association between malpractice environment and hospital process-of-care measures was found. … Overall, little evidence was found that greater malpractice risk improves adherence to recommended clinical standards of care, but some evidence was found that malpractice risk may encourage defensive medicine.” [Tim Allen, M.D. J.D.]