- Protecting Access to Care Act: “House passes medical malpractice bill” [Kimberly Leonard/Washington Examiner, GovTrack, Todd Shryock/Medical Economics, my earlier]
- “FDA’s Gottlieb Hints at a Huge Overhaul of Health Tech Regulations” [Mike Riggs, Reason]
- “Law Review Article on Off-label is On Target” [Stephen McConnell, Drug & Device Law on Conners, “Illuminating the Off-label Fable: How Off-label Promotion May Actually Help Patients”]
- There’s a British website called Stop Suing the NHS, here is a sample post, and here is more about the writer, Susanne Cameron-Blackie;
- Another survey ranks New York worst state for doctors, trial lawyer supremacy in legislature a major reason [Thomas Stebbins, Gotham Gazette]
- Iowa law requires Certificate of Need for freestanding surgical centers. Sweet deal for exempt hospital competitors [Eric Boehm/Reason, Mike Rappaport/Law and Liberty]
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.]
- Scott Gottlieb likely to steer FDA in right direction [Daniel Klein]
- Study of shorter versus longer medical consent forms “finds no significant difference in comprehension, satisfaction, enrollment” [Grady et al., PLOS via Michelle Meyer]
- C’mon, ACLU and Covington: “Lawsuit Aims to Force Catholic Hospitals Perform Transgender-Related Surgeries” [Scott Shackford]
- So much: “What The New York Times Gets Wrong On Vaping Regulation” [Sally Satel]
- “Should you be compensated for your medical waste, especially if it turns out to be valuable? The right answer is: no.” [Ronald Bailey, Reason on Henrietta Lacks story]
- Kimberly-Clark: we’ve sold 70 million MicroCool hospital gowns without a single complaint of injury from alleged permeability. Calif. jury: that’ll be $454 million [Insurance Journal]
- States that are best at deploying coercive public health laws are also generally unable to resist meddling of other sorts [Werner Troesken via Vincent Geloso, Notes on Liberty]
- Artificial intelligence in medical practice could help curb defensive medicine — if the law cooperates [Shailin Thomas]
- “How Two Florida Hospitals Used the Power of the State to Stop Another From Being Built” [Eric Boehm, Reason]
- Organ transplants and the right to try [Sally Satel, Volokh/AEI]
- “Stronger malpractice laws may not prevent surgical complications” [Reuters/Fox News]
- State attorney general intervention and drug prices [Marc Kilmer/Maryland Public Policy Institute, Dan Menefee/Maryland Reporter]
- U.S. Surgeon General’s office, WHO campaign against vaping, e-cigarettes. Lessons of harm reduction forgotten [Jacob Sullum, Jonathan Adler, Todd Krainin]
- Plenty of other hospitals are willing to do this surgery. Catholic facilities should have conscience right to refuse [AP/NJ.com on St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center case, Stephen Miller/IGF]
- Study: states with stronger physician protection from malpractice suits had lower usage of imaging tests [Radiology Business on Suhui Li et al., Journal of the American College of Radiology]
- Hospitals that require employees to take flu shots to protect patients and others may pay dearly if they’re stingy with the religious exemptions [Jon Hyman]
- “Maybe For-Profit Hospitals Aren’t So Bad” [Shailin Thomas, Harvard “Bill of Health”]
- “New Study Finds 90% of California Pharmaceutical Plaintiffs are from Other States” [U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform on Mark Behrens study for CJAC]
- U.K.: “People who have 2 or 3 drinks a night will be sent for liver scans under plans to crack down on ‘heavy drinking'” [Katie Gibbons, The Times via Christopher Snowdon, who comments: “The line between healthcare and punishment begins to blur.”]
- Why was Sofia Vergara sued in Louisiana? It’s the only state that accords status to an embryo as “juridical person” [Naomi Cahn, Concurring Opinions]
- Scope-of-practice restrictions for certified nurse midwives primarily serve as barriers to practice rather than having effect on health outcomes [Charles Hughes, Cato]
- Has veterinary care in US avoided the upward cost pressures of (human) health care, as is often claimed? Maybe not [Arnold Kling]
- “New Zealand to compensate organ donors” [Alex Tabarrok, Ilya Somin] Federal fisc could save billions in dialysis outlays by adopting reforms along similar lines [Sally Satel, Forbes]
- Hospital takes baby to wrong mom for nursing, upwards of $50,000 balm sought [Minneapolis Star-Tribune]
- “You’ve been warned. National-origin discrimination is a national strategic priority for the EEOC.” [Jon Hyman, earlier]
- 2015 charge statistics: “The EEOC has now re-calibrated its entire enforcement machinery to churn out quick cost-of-defense settlements.” [Merrily Archer]
- “Death by HR: EEOC Incompetence and the Coming Idiocracy” [Jeb Kinnison]
- Liquor-hauling case aside, EEOC accommodation claims on behalf of Muslim complainants closely resemble those for members of other religious groups [Eugene Volokh]
- “No Evidence That Training Prevents Harassment, Finds EEOC Task Force” [Christina Folz, SHRM]
- Hospital that requires employees to announce ahead of time if they have religious objections to flu vaccination hit with EEOC charge for not being accommodating enough [EEOC press release]
- “The IRS warned Obama it was illegal to pay ObamaCare subsidies to insurance companies.” They went ahead anyway. [The Week, Paul Caron/TaxProf]
- Medical liability payouts back on rise after decade of decline; of top ten states per capita, all are in Northeast except New Mexico (6th) and Illinois (8th) [New Jersey Civil Justice Institute]
- “Why isn’t there more telemedicine?” [Austin Frakt, NYT via Tyler Cowen]
- Would Prince have fared better had law allowed easier access to anti-addiction drug buprenorphine? [Jeb Kinnison]
- Down memory lane: how advocacy foundations funded Elizabeth Warren’s research on medical bankruptcy [Jon Henke]
- Ways to get cheaper pharmaceuticals through competition rather than regulation [Charles Hooper and David Henderson, Regulation magazine (Cato), more from Henderson]
In a previous round, Steve Lubet challenged Alice Goffman’s much-praised book on urban criminal justice, On the Run, on many grounds. Among them was Goffman’s portrayal of Philadelphia police as routinely arresting men with outstanding warrants who showed up at city hospitals to seek ordinary medical care or visit expectant mothers or other family members. Now, in the wake of coverage in the New York Times Magazine, Lubet is back with two more posts (so far) explaining why he sees no good evidence for the claim. Paul Campos contributes a pair of new posts skeptical toward other aspects of the book. Earlier here and, on the book more generally, here.
It’s a familiar libertarian insight that regulation often holds government itself to lower standards than it does private actors. Pension funds for public employees are mostly immune from the federal solvency and funding requirements that apply to their private counterparts; Federal Trade Commission rules against false advertising by private companies do not restrain false advertising by government actors on the same topics; the FTC can fine companies massively for data breaches even as the federal government itself suffers gigantic losses of sensitive data to foreign actors with few, if any, visible career consequences for those who had dozed; anticompetitive practices per se illegal under antitrust law become legal when the states engage in them, and so on and so forth.
Now David Konisky of Indiana University and Manuel Teodoro of Texas A&M, in a study published by the American Journal of Political Science entitled “When Governments Regulate Governments,” have taken a look at some data:
Our empirical subjects are public and private entities’ compliance with the U.S. Clean Air Act and Safe Drinking Water Act. We find that, compared with private firms, governments violate these laws significantly more frequently and are less likely to be penalized for violations.
For the study, Konisky and Teodoro examined records from 2000 to 2011 for power plants and hospitals regulated under the Clean Air Act and from 2010 to 2013 for water utilities regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The study included over 3,000 power plants, over 1,000 hospitals and over 4,200 water utilities — some privately owned and others owned by public agencies.
* For power plants and hospitals, public facilities were on average 9 percent more likely to be out of compliance with Clean Air Act regulations and 20 percent more likely to have committed high-priority violations.
* For water utilities, public facilities had on average 14 percent more Safe Drinking Water Act health violations and were 29 percent more likely to commit monitoring violations.
* Public power plants and hospitals that violated the Clean Air Act were 1 percent less likely than private-sector violators to receive a punitive sanction and 20 percent less likely to be fined.
*Public water utilities that violated Safe Drinking Water Act standards were 3 percent less likely than investor-owned utilities to receive formal enforcement actions.
[After speculating that public operators may find it harder to raise funds promptly for needed facilities improvements:] Public entities also face lower costs for violating the regulations, the authors argue. There is evidence from other studies that they are able to delay or avoid paying fines when penalties are assessed. And officials with regulatory agencies may be sympathetic to violations by public entities, because they understand the difficulty of securing resources in the public sector.