IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/yor/hectdg/16-31.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Do Doctors Prescribe Antibiotics Out of Fear of Malpractice?

Author

Listed:
  • Panthöfer, S.

Abstract

This paper investigates whether doctors prescribe antibiotics to protect themselves against potential malpractice claims. Using data from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey on more than half a million outpatient visits between 1993 and 2011, I find that doctors are 6% less likely to prescribe antibiotics after the introduction of a cap on noneconomic damages. Over 140 million discharge records from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample do not reveal a corresponding change in hospital stays for conditions that can potentially be avoided through antibiotic use in the outpatient setting. These findings, as well as a stylized model of antibiotic prescribing under the threat of malpractice, suggest that liability-reducing tort reforms can decrease the amount of antibiotics that are inappropriately prescribed for defensive reasons.

Suggested Citation

  • Panthöfer, S., 2016. "Do Doctors Prescribe Antibiotics Out of Fear of Malpractice?," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 16/31, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  • Handle: RePEc:yor:hectdg:16/31
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.york.ac.uk/media/economics/documents/hedg/workingpapers/1631.pdf
    File Function: Main text
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Daniel P. Kessler & Mark McClellan, 1996. "Do Doctors Practice Defensive Medicine?," NBER Working Papers 5466, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Shurtz, Ity, 2013. "The impact of medical errors on physician behavior: Evidence from malpractice litigation," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 331-340.
    3. Dubay, Lisa & Kaestner, Robert & Waidmann, Timothy, 2001. "Medical malpractice liability and its effect on prenatal care utilization and infant health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 591-611, July.
    4. Ronen Avraham, 2007. "An Empirical Study of the Impact of Tort Reforms on Medical Malpractice Settlement Payments," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(S2), pages 183-229, June.
    5. Danzon, Patricia M., 2000. "Liability for medical malpractice," Handbook of Health Economics,in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 26, pages 1339-1404 Elsevier.
    6. Ity Shurtz, 2014. "Malpractice Law, Physicians' Financial Incentives, and Medical Treatment: How Do They Interact?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(1), pages 1-29.
    7. Kathryn Zeiler & Charles Silver & Bernard Black & David A. Hyman & William M. Sage, 2007. "Physicians' Insurance Limits and Malpractice Payments: Evidence from Texas Closed Claims, 1990-2003," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(S2), pages 9-45, June.
    8. Kwon, Illoong & Jun, Daesung, 2015. "Information disclosure and peer effects in the use of antibiotics," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 1-16.
    9. Daniel Kessler & Mark McClellan, 1996. "Do Doctors Practice Defensive Medicine?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 353-390.
    10. Sofia Amaral-Garcia & Paola Bertoli & Veronica Grembi, 2015. "Does Experience Rating Improve Obstetric Practices? Evidence From Geographical Discontinuities in Italy," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp540, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    11. Andrew Friedson & Thomas Kniesner, 2012. "Losers and losers: Some demographics of medical malpractice tort reforms," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 45(2), pages 115-133, October.
    12. Toshiaki Iizuka, 2007. "Experts' agency problems: evidence from the prescription drug market in Japan," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(3), pages 844-862, September.
    13. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-In-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275.
    14. Janet Currie & W. Bentley MacLeod, 2008. "First Do No Harm? Tort Reform and Birth Outcomes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 795-830.
    15. Heckman, J.J. & Hotz, V.J., 1988. "Choosing Among Alternative Nonexperimental Methods For Estimating The Impact Of Social Programs: The Case Of Manpower Training," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 88-12, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
    16. Sofia Amaral‐Garcia & Paola Bertoli & Veronica Grembi, 2015. "Does Experience Rating Improve Obstetric Practices? Evidence from Italy," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(9), pages 1050-1064, September.
    17. Matter, Ulrich & Stutzer, Alois, 2015. "Politico-economic determinants of tort reforms in medical malpractice," Working papers 2015/02, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
    18. Fogelberg, Sara, 2013. "Effects of Competition between Healthcare Providers on Prescription of Antibiotics," Working Paper Series 949, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised 20 Nov 2014.
    19. Daniel Bennett & Che-Lun Hung & Tsai-Ling Lauderdale, 2015. "Health Care Competition and Antibiotic Use in Taiwan," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 371-393, June.
    20. Avraham, Ronen & Schanzenbach, Max, 2015. "The impact of tort reform on intensity of treatment: Evidence from heart patients," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 273-288.
    21. Lundin, Douglas, 2000. "Moral hazard in physician prescription behavior," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 639-662, September.
    22. David Dranove & Subramaniam Ramanarayanan & Yasutora Watanabe, 2012. "Delivering Bad News: Market Responses to Negligence," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55(1), pages 1-25.
    23. Dubay, Lisa & Kaestner, Robert & Waidmann, Timothy, 1999. "The impact of malpractice fears on cesarean section rates," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 491-522, August.
    24. Currie, Janet & Lin, Wanchuan & Meng, Juanjuan, 2014. "Addressing antibiotic abuse in China: An experimental audit study," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 39-51.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    antibiotic misuse; antibiotic resistance; liability pressure; defensive medicine;

    JEL classification:

    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • K13 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Tort Law and Product Liability; Forensic Economics

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:yor:hectdg:16/31. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jane Rawlings). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/deyoruk.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.