A study from the University of Michigan was started about 15 years ago to improve the communication between doctors and patients. This study encouraged doctors to talk more with their patients and to apologize for any misunderstandings about their treatments. In addition they were to guide and explain the cause and effects of possible problems and reasoning behind preventative measures. In 2010, the study was published and showed that after the program began, claims respectively had dropped by 36% and lawsuits by 65%. This had led to overall dramatic expense cuts, usually over 50%. In addition, another study released in 2014 stated that despite a phenomenal patient increase in clinics, the malpractice claims had been cut in half.
Studies from as far back as 20 years have reported that tort reform is not the solution for keeping malpractice expenses down. Doctors that are repeatedly sued for malpractice have only one thing in common-poor communication. Be it failure to explain side effects, long term effects, or rushing patients to a decision, miscommunication by far is a real problem in causing medical claims to be brought. Doctors who have had a history of complaints are more likely to become involved in a medical dispute as opposed to their more transparent colleagues. It is doctors who give clear instructions and guidance that are far less likely to be sued. Despite the success in the study, doctors are reluctant to adapt to its findings and are focusing on the face-value option of tort reform.