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Medical Malpractice Liability and Its Effect on Prenatal Care Utilization and Infant Health

Publication Abstract

Dubay, L., R. Kaestner, and Timothy A. Waidmann. 2001. "Medical Malpractice Liability and Its Effect on Prenatal Care Utilization and Infant Health." Journal of Health Economics, 20(4): 591-611.

In this paper we conduct the first national evaluation of the effect of malpractice liability pressure, as measured by malpractice premiums, on prenatal care utilization and infant health. Our results indicate that a decrease in malpractice premiums that would result from a feasible policy reform would lead to a decrease in the incidence of late prenatal care by between 3.0 and 5.9% for black women and between 2.2 and 4.7% for white women. Although, we found evidence that malpractice liability pressure was associated with greater prenatal care delay and fewer prenatal care visits, we did not find evidence that such pressure negatively affected infant health. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

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