The authors thank Dana Mukamel, Ph.D., Bruce Jacobs, Ph.D., Susan Fisher, Ph.D., and Richard Frankel, Ph.D., all of whom commented on earlier versions of this work, and Peter Veazie, Ph.D., who gave statistical advice.
Cultures of Claiming: Local Variation in Malpractice Claim Frequency
Article first published online: 4 FEB 2008
©2008, Copyright the Authors
Journal of Empirical Legal Studies
Volume 5, Issue 1, pages 77–107, March 2008
How to Cite
Hart, K. D. and Peters, P. G. (2008), Cultures of Claiming: Local Variation in Malpractice Claim Frequency. Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, 5: 77–107. doi: 10.1111/j.1740-1461.2007.00119.x
- Issue published online: 4 FEB 2008
- Article first published online: 4 FEB 2008
Several studies have examined rates of malpractice claims at state levels, but there is little systematic work looking at variations of claiming rates within a state. This study reports on small-area variations in malpractice claim rates within New York State over a 14-year period. Counties with high rates generally had high rates over the entire period, while counties with low rates maintained low rates. Rates across counties varied considerably, with an almost five-times difference between the rates for the lowest county and the highest county. In a multivariate analysis using claim data from five years, we found median family income was one of the strongest factors positively associated with the claim rate. A measure of the risk of hospital admissions for an adverse outcome also had a strong association with the county's malpractice claim rate, but the risk factor was negatively associated with high claim rates, perhaps suggesting an association with quality of care and malpractice claims.