Obstetric practice patterns in Washington State after tort reform: has the access problem been solved?

  • Abstract

    We surveyed all potential obstetric providers in Washington state in the spring of 1989 to determine whether the passage of tort reform in 1986 had improved access to care for rural and medically indigent women. We found that, although the exodus of family physicians from obstetric practice that had been observed between 1985-1986 appears to have slowed, there is still substantial net attrition among family physicians. As a result, rural patients are having increasing difficulty obtaining local access to obstetric care. By contrast, the supply of obstetricians and midwives seems to be stable. All three groups of providers are increasingly reluctant to provide care to the growing number of Medicaid patients. Although tort reform may have slowed the rate at which providers are quitting obstetrics, equilibrium has not yet been achieved. Shortages of rural physicians and inadequate Medicaid reimbursement rates must be addressed to improve obstetric access for underserved groups.

  • Authors:

    Rosenblatt RA, Whelan A, Hart LG

  • Journal/Publisher:

    Obstet Gynecol

  • Edition:

    Dec 1990. 76(6):1105-1110

  • Link to Article

    Access the article here: Obstet Gynecol

  • Citation:

    Rosenblatt RA, Whelan A, Hart LG. Obstetric Practice Patterns In Washington State After Tort Reform: Has The Access Problem Been Solved? Obstet Gynecol. Dec 1990 76(6):1105-1110

  • Related Studies:

    Obstetrical Access in Washington State