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This paper explores the primary issues surrounding the malpractice crisis currently facing the healthcare system and asks the question ‘is it truly a crisis or is it an effective marketing campaign waged by interested parties?’ The authors discuss the primary issues presented by both the supporters of tort reform and the opposition to tort reform. As is true for many issues in healthcare, final analysis suggests that tort reform is needed or not needed depends on the analysts' role in the system. The authors argue that the evidence suggests malpractice reform will produce desired results if the goal is to reduce the physician's cost of doing business and/or enhance the profit margin of insurance companies. If it is society's goal to reduce overall healthcare costs, the evidence at best is, however, unclear. The authors speculate that providers and others are employing fear marketing in an effort to reduce their cost of doing business.


This article first appeared in the March 2007 issue of Journal Of Medical Marketing and is reprinted with permission. Final version can be found at

Copyright © 2007 by SAGE Publications