Scholarly Comments on Academic Economics

A Rejoinder on the Effects of a Communication-and-Resolution Program on Hospitals’ Malpractice Claims and Costs

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Abstract

In this issue of Econ Journal Watch, Maayan Yitshak-Sade, Allen Kachalia, Victor Novack, and Michelle M. Mello replied to our article in Econ Journal Watch critiquing their (and additional co-authors’) 2018 analysis of the “effects” of a communication-and-resolution program on outcomes at several hopspitals in Massachusetts. We appreciate their current statement that they did not intend to provide a causal analysis, and we make suggestions about better language they could have used to reduce our and others’ confusion about their intentions in their analysis appearing in Health Affairs. We also discuss the problems of ignoring estimates of outcome “spikes” that occur immediately after the institution of a new program. Finally, we comment on the scientific problems of, and researcher responsibilities from, having a data use agreement that does not permit outside analysts to evaluate the quality of one’s empirical results.

This article is a response to Reply to LeCraw, Montanera, and Mroz on Hospitals’ Malpractice Claims and Costs by Maayan Yitshak-Sade, Allen Kachalia, Victor Novack, and Michelle M. Mello (EJW, September 2023).