The bottom line: Our original findings remain correct. There is no evidence that the number of physicians per capita practicing in Texas is larger than it would have been without tort reform. Any effect of tort reform is too small for us to measure, against the background of other, larger forces affecting physician supply, both in Texas and nationally. This ‘non-result’ is broadly consistent with other studies, most of which find that state-level tort reform has a modest impact on physician supply. It also offers a counterpoint to these studies, by demonstrating that the small average effects found in other studies will not reliably appear in any given state, even one which undergoes especially dramatic reform.
Indeed, the paper finds that Texans’ access to primary care physicians actually declined slightly after Rick Perry’s tort reform became law, and that the number of primary care physicians per capita in Texas is significantly lower than in the United States as a whole: