The impact of malpractice fears on cesarean section rates

Lisa Dubay, Robert Kaestner, Timothy Waidmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A longstanding issue in the health care industry is whether physicians' malpractice fears lead to defensive medicine. We use national birth certificate data from 1990 through 1992 to conduct a county fixed-effects analysis of the impact of malpractice claims risk on cesarean-section rates and infant health. Malpractice claims risk is measured by obstetricians' malpractice premiums. The study provides evidence that physicians practice defensive medicine in obstetrics but that the impact of increased cesarean sections that results from malpractice fears on total obstetric care costs is small. The study also finds that physicians' defensive response varies with the socioeconomic status of the mother.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)491-522
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Health Economics
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1999
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Malpractice
Cesarean Section
Fear
Defensive Medicine
Physicians
Obstetrics
Birth Certificates
Health Care Sector
Social Class
Mothers
Cesarean section
Costs and Cost Analysis
Defensive medicine

Keywords

  • Cesarean section
  • Defensive medicine
  • Malpractice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics

Cite this

The impact of malpractice fears on cesarean section rates. / Dubay, Lisa; Kaestner, Robert; Waidmann, Timothy.

In: Journal of Health Economics, Vol. 18, No. 4, 08.1999, p. 491-522.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Dubay, Lisa ; Kaestner, Robert ; Waidmann, Timothy. / The impact of malpractice fears on cesarean section rates. In: Journal of Health Economics. 1999 ; Vol. 18, No. 4. pp. 491-522.
@article{9d3f7cdb9a634acabc3e4c740185c28a,
title = "The impact of malpractice fears on cesarean section rates",
abstract = "A longstanding issue in the health care industry is whether physicians' malpractice fears lead to defensive medicine. We use national birth certificate data from 1990 through 1992 to conduct a county fixed-effects analysis of the impact of malpractice claims risk on cesarean-section rates and infant health. Malpractice claims risk is measured by obstetricians' malpractice premiums. The study provides evidence that physicians practice defensive medicine in obstetrics but that the impact of increased cesarean sections that results from malpractice fears on total obstetric care costs is small. The study also finds that physicians' defensive response varies with the socioeconomic status of the mother.",
keywords = "Cesarean section, Defensive medicine, Malpractice",
author = "Lisa Dubay and Robert Kaestner and Timothy Waidmann",
year = "1999",
month = "8",
doi = "10.1016/S0167-6296(99)00004-1",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "18",
pages = "491--522",
journal = "Journal of Health Economics",
issn = "0167-6296",
publisher = "Elsevier",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The impact of malpractice fears on cesarean section rates

AU - Dubay, Lisa

AU - Kaestner, Robert

AU - Waidmann, Timothy

PY - 1999/8

Y1 - 1999/8

N2 - A longstanding issue in the health care industry is whether physicians' malpractice fears lead to defensive medicine. We use national birth certificate data from 1990 through 1992 to conduct a county fixed-effects analysis of the impact of malpractice claims risk on cesarean-section rates and infant health. Malpractice claims risk is measured by obstetricians' malpractice premiums. The study provides evidence that physicians practice defensive medicine in obstetrics but that the impact of increased cesarean sections that results from malpractice fears on total obstetric care costs is small. The study also finds that physicians' defensive response varies with the socioeconomic status of the mother.

AB - A longstanding issue in the health care industry is whether physicians' malpractice fears lead to defensive medicine. We use national birth certificate data from 1990 through 1992 to conduct a county fixed-effects analysis of the impact of malpractice claims risk on cesarean-section rates and infant health. Malpractice claims risk is measured by obstetricians' malpractice premiums. The study provides evidence that physicians practice defensive medicine in obstetrics but that the impact of increased cesarean sections that results from malpractice fears on total obstetric care costs is small. The study also finds that physicians' defensive response varies with the socioeconomic status of the mother.

KW - Cesarean section

KW - Defensive medicine

KW - Malpractice

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0032865181&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0032865181&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/S0167-6296(99)00004-1

DO - 10.1016/S0167-6296(99)00004-1

M3 - Article

VL - 18

SP - 491

EP - 522

JO - Journal of Health Economics

JF - Journal of Health Economics

SN - 0167-6296

IS - 4

ER -