Doctors are increasingly practicing medicine in DC, Md, and Va. This fact flatly rejects the myth that physicians are fleeing because of medical liability concerns. The new figures from the American Medical Association (AMA) show the number of doctors has risen over the last five years and also outpaced the metropolitan area’s population growth.
“The AMA’s own figures show that tort reform is clearly unnecessary, and may actually be detrimental to patient safety,” states Salvatore J. Zambri, senior partner at Regan Zambri & Long and Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. According to a comprehensive study by the American Association for Justice, nationwide, all states saw an increase in doctors; however, the number of physicians per capita (100,000 population) is 13 percent higher in states without caps. In the four states that doctor growth did not outpace population (Georgia, Alaska, Utah and Montana), caps have been passed. Additionally, a study released in December 2008 from the American College of Emergency Physicians showed that states with tort reform scored far worse in patient safety.
“Safety improves when patients can hold negligent hospitals or doctors accountable,” said Zambri. “Tort reform will only help insurance companies that want to hoard more profits while leaving patients less safe.”