In this paper, we explore the sensitivity in the clinical decisions of physicians to the standards of care expected of them under the law, drawing on the abandonment by states over time of rules holding physicians to standards determined by local customs and the contemporaneous adoption of national-standard rules. Using data on broad rates of surgical interventions at the county-by-year level from the Area Resource File, we find that local surgery rates converge towards national surgery rates upon the adoption of national-standard rules. Moreover, we find that these effects are more pronounced among rural counties.
Michael D. Frakes et al., Do Physicians Respond to Liability Standards?, 171 Journal of Institutional & Theoretical Economics 58-77 (2015)
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Liability (Law), Physicians—Malpractice, Physician practice patterns, Medical economics