Amaral‐Garcia, S., Bertoli, P., Grembi, V. (2015)
Does experience rating improve obstetric practices? Evidence from Italy. Health Economics24(9), 1050-1064

Abstract:

Using inpatient discharge records from the Italian region of Piedmont, we estimate the impact of an increase in malpractice pressure brought about by experience-rated liability insurance on obstetric practices. Our identification strategy exploits the exogenous location of public hospitals in court districts with and without schedules for noneconomic damages. We perform difference-in-differences analysis on the entire sample and on a subsample which only considers the nearest hospitals in the neighborhood of court district boundaries. We find that the increase in medical malpractice pressure is associated with a decrease in the probability of performing a C-section from 2.3 to 3.7 percentage points (7-11.6%) with no consequences for medical complications or neonatal outcomes. The impact can be explained by a reduction in the discretion of obstetric decision-making rather than by patient cream skimming.