The medical malpractice review panel is a widely adopted tort reform, but few empirical data exist regarding its utility. This cross-sectional study evaluated potential associations between the medical malpractice panel status of a state (mandatory submission panel, optional submission panel, or no panel) and measures of cost, timeliness, and efficiency of medical malpractice claims resolution for the year 2002. Effects of differences in baseline state characteristics that could affect those associations were analyzed using a multiple regression analysis. After adjusting for significant covariates among measures of socioeconomic characteristics, judicial system frequency and function, and other statutory tort reforms, multiple regression analysis found no significant relationship at the state level in the year 2002 between the predictor variable, panel status, and the dependent variables of paid loss ratio, paid defense cost ratio, reported physician malpractice payment, dollars of paid defense cost per dollar of paid loss, reported annual physician malpractice insurance premium for internal medicine, general surgery, and obstetrics/gynecology, time from incident of malpractice to payment of claim, and ratio of paid to unpaid claims (p values > 0.05). These observations are consistent with the hypothesis that the medical malpractice review panel is a statutory reform of secondary or neutral effect.