Academic Appointments


2014-15 Courses


Journal Articles

  • The Medical Liability Climate and Prospects for Reform JAMA-JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION Mello, M. M., Studdert, D. M., Kachalia, A. 2014; 312 (20): 2146-2155
  • Mandatory reports of concerns about the health, performance and conduct of health practitioners MEDICAL JOURNAL OF AUSTRALIA Bismark, M. M., Spittal, M. J., Plueckhahn, T. M., Studdert, D. M. 2014; 201 (7): 399-403
  • Relationship between stressfulness of claiming for injury compensation and long-term recovery: a prospective cohort study. JAMA psychiatry Grant, G. M., O'Donnell, M. L., Spittal, M. J., Creamer, M., Studdert, D. M. 2014; 71 (4): 446-453


    IMPORTANCE Each year, millions of persons worldwide seek compensation for transport accident and workplace injuries. Previous research suggests that these claimants have worse long-term health outcomes than persons whose injuries fall outside compensation schemes. However, existing studies have substantial methodological weaknesses and have not identified which aspects of the claiming experience may drive these effects. OBJECTIVE To determine aspects of claims processes that claimants to transport accident and workers' compensation schemes find stressful and whether such stressful experiences are associated with poorer long-term recovery. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS Prospective cohort study of a random sample of 1010 patients hospitalized in 3 Australian states for injuries from 2004 through 2006. At 6-year follow-up, we interviewed 332 participants who had claimed compensation from transport accident and workers' compensation schemes ("claimants") to determine which aspects of the claiming experience they found stressful. We used multivariable regression analysis to test for associations between compensation-related stress and health status at 6 years, adjusting for baseline determinants of long-term health status and predisposition to stressful experiences (via propensity scores). MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Disability, quality of life, anxiety, and depression. RESULTS Among claimants, 33.9% reported high levels of stress associated with understanding what they needed to do for their claim; 30.4%, with claim delays; 26.9%, with the number of medical assessments; and 26.1%, with the amount of compensation they received. Six years after their injury, claimants who reported high levels of stress had significantly higher levels of disability (+6.94 points, World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule sum score), anxiety and depression (+1.89 points and +2.61 points, respectively, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale), and lower quality of life (-0.73 points, World Health Organization Quality of Life instrument, overall item), compared with other claimants. Adjusting for claimants' vulnerability to stress attenuated the strength of these associations, but most remained strong and statistically significant. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Many claimants experience high levels of stress from engaging with injury compensation schemes, and this experience is positively correlated with poor long-term recovery. Intervening early to boost resilience among those at risk of stressful claims experiences and redesigning compensation processes to reduce their stressfulness may improve recovery and save money.

    View details for DOI 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2013.4023

    View details for PubMedID 24522841

  • What happens to coroners' recommendations for improving public health and safety? Organisational responses under a mandatory response regime in Victoria, Australia. BMC public health Sutherland, G., Kemp, C., Bugeja, L., Sewell, G., Pirkis, J., Studdert, D. M. 2014; 14: 732-?


    Several countries of the British Commonwealth, including Australia and the United Kingdom, vest in coroners the power to issue recommendations for protecting public health and safety. Little is known about whether and how organisations that receive recommendations act on them. Concerns that recommendations are frequently ignored prompted the government of Victoria, Australia, to introduce a requirement in 2008 compelling organisations that receive recommendations to provide a written statement of action.We conducted a prospective study of organisations that received recommendations from Victorian coroners over a 33-month period. Using an online survey, we asked representatives of "recipient organisations" what action (if any) their organisations took, and what factors influenced their decision. We also probed views of the quality of the recommendations and the mandatory response regime in general. Responses were analysed at the recommendation- and recipient organisation-level by calculating counts and proportions and using chi-square analyses to test for sub-group differences.Ninety of 153 recipient organisations surveyed responded (59% response rate); they received 164 recommendations (mean = 1.9; range, 1-7) from 74 cases. A total of 37% (60/164) of the recommendations were accepted and implemented, 27% (45/164) were rejected, and for 36% (59/164) the recommended action was "supplanted" (i.e., action had already been taken). In nearly half of rejected recommendations (18/45), recipient organisations indicated implementation was not logistically viable. In half of supplanted recommendations, an internal investigation had prompted the action. Three quarters (67/90) of recipient organisations believed the introduction of a mandatory response regime was a good idea, but fewer regarded the recommendations they received as appropriate (52/90) or likely to be effective in preventing death and injury (45/90).Only a third of coroners' recommendations were implemented by the organisations to which they were directed. In drawing policy lessons, it is important to separate recommendations that were rejected from those in which action had already been taken. Rejected recommendations raise questions about the quality of the recommendations, the reasonableness of the organisation's response, or both. Supplanted recommendations focus attention on the adequacy of consultation between coroners and affected organisations and the length of time it takes for recommendations to be issued.

    View details for DOI 10.1186/1471-2458-14-732

    View details for PubMedID 25037095

  • MarketWatch - Patients in conflict with managed care: A profile of appeals in two HMOs HEALTH AFFAIRS Gresenz, C. R., Studdert, D. M., Campbell, N., Hensler, D. R. 2002; 21 (4): 189-196
  • Expanded managed care liability: What impact on employer coverage? HEALTH AFFAIRS Studdert, D. M., Sage, W. M., Gresenz, C. R., Hensler, D. R. 1999; 18 (6): 7-27


    Policymakers are considering legislative changes that would increase managed care organizations' exposure to civil liability for withholding coverage or failing to deliver needed care. Using a combination of empirical information and theoretical analysis, we assess the likely responses of health plans and Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) plan sponsors to an expansion of liability, and we evaluate the policy impact of those moves. We conclude that the direct costs of liability are uncertain but that the prospect of litigation may have other important effects on coverage decision making, information exchange, risk contracting, and the extent of employers' involvement in health coverage.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000083687800002

    View details for PubMedID 10650685

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