Academic Appointments


2017-18 Courses


All Publications

  • Handgun Acquisitions in California After Two Mass Shootings ANNALS OF INTERNAL MEDICINE Studdert, D. M., Zhang, Y., Rodden, J. A., Hyndman, R. J., Wintemute, G. J. 2017; 166 (10): 698-?


    Mass shootings are common in the United States. They are the most visible form of firearm violence. Their effect on personal decisions to purchase firearms is not well-understood.To determine changes in handgun acquisition patterns after the mass shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012 and San Bernardino, California, in 2015.Time-series analysis using seasonal autoregressive integrated moving-average (SARIMA) models.California.Adults who acquired handguns between 2007 and 2016.Excess handgun acquisitions (defined as the difference between actual and expected acquisitions) in the 6-week and 12-week periods after each shooting, overall and within subgroups of acquirers.In the 6 weeks after the Newtown and San Bernardino shootings, there were 25 705 (95% prediction interval, 17 411 to 32 788) and 27 413 (prediction interval, 15 188 to 37 734) excess acquisitions, respectively, representing increases of 53% (95% CI, 30% to 80%) and 41% (CI, 19% to 68%) over expected volume. Large increases in acquisitions occurred among white and Hispanic persons, but not among black persons, and among persons with no record of having previously acquired a handgun. After the San Bernardino shootings, acquisition rates increased by 85% among residents of that city and adjacent neighborhoods, compared with 35% elsewhere in California.The data relate to handguns in 1 state. The statistical analysis cannot establish causality.Large increases in handgun acquisitions occurred after these 2 mass shootings. The spikes were short-lived and accounted for less than 10% of annual handgun acquisitions statewide. Further research should examine whether repeated shocks of this kind lead to substantial increases in the prevalence of firearm ownership.None.

    View details for DOI 10.7326/M16-1574

    View details for Web of Science ID 000401240200013

    View details for PubMedID 28462425

  • The effect of federal and state off-label marketing investigations on drug prescribing: The case of olanzapine PLOS ONE Wang, B., Studdert, D. M., Sarpatwari, A., Franklin, J. M., Landon, J., Kesselheim, A. S. 2017; 12 (4)


    In the past decade, the federal government has frequently investigated and prosecuted pharmaceutical manufacturers for illegal promotion of drugs for indications not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ("off-label" uses). State governments can choose to coordinate with the federal investigation, or pursue their own independent state investigations. One of the largest-ever off-label prosecutions relates to the atypical antipsychotic drug olanzapine (Zyprexa). In a series of settlements between 2008 and 2010, Eli Lilly paid $1.4 billion to the federal government and over $290 million to state governments. We examined the effect of these settlements on off-label prescribing of this medication, taking advantage of geographical differences in states' involvement in the investigations and the timing of the settlements. However, we did not find a reduction in off-label prescribing; rather, there were no prescribing changes among states that joined the federal investigation, those that pursued independent state investigations, and states that pursued no investigations at all. Since the settlements of state investigations of off-label prescribing do not appear to significantly impact prescribing rates, policymakers should consider alternate ways of reducing the prevalence of non-evidence-based off-label use to complement their ongoing investigations.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0175313

    View details for Web of Science ID 000399375800039

    View details for PubMedID 28388667

  • Linking Immunization Status and Eligibility for Welfare and Benefits Payments: The Australian "No Jab, No Pay" Legislation. JAMA Yang, Y. T., Studdert, D. M. 2017; 317 (8): 803-804

    View details for DOI 10.1001/jama.2017.0123

    View details for PubMedID 28245331

  • Association of Unsolicited Patient Observations With the Quality of a Surgeon's Care. JAMA surgery Kachalia, A., Mello, M. M., Studdert, D. M. 2017

    View details for DOI 10.1001/jamasurg.2016.5705

    View details for PubMedID 28199449

  • Testing the Immunity of the Firearm Industry to Tort Litigation JAMA INTERNAL MEDICINE Studdert, D. M., Donohue, J. J., Mello, M. M. 2017; 177 (1): 102-105


    In the absence of congressional action to reinstate the federal ban on assault weapons, tort litigation offers an alternative strategy for regulating what have become the weapons of choice in mass shootings. However, opportunities to bring successful claims are limited. To prevail, plaintiffs must show that their suit fits within exceptions to the broad immunity from tort actions that Congress gave the firearm industry in the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. In one particularly high-profile lawsuit, families of victims of the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012 sued the makers and sellers of the military-style rifle used in the attack, alleging negligence and deceptive marketing. The trial court dismissed the case on October 14, 2016, but the plaintiffs plan to appeal. We review the history of tort litigation against the firearm industry, outline the Newtown families' claims, and describe the decision.

    View details for DOI 10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.7043

    View details for Web of Science ID 000392196200023

    View details for PubMedID 27842188

  • Outcomes of notifications to health practitioner boards: a retrospective cohort study BMC MEDICINE Spittal, M. J., Studdert, D. M., Paterson, R., Bismark, M. M. 2016; 14


    Medical boards and other practitioner boards aim to protect the public from unsafe practice. Previous research has examined disciplinary actions against doctors, but other professions (e.g., nurses and midwives, dentists, psychologists, pharmacists) remain understudied. We sought to describe the outcomes of notifications of concern regarding the health, performance, and conduct of health practitioners from ten professions in Australia and to identify factors associated with the imposition of restrictive actions.We conducted a retrospective cohort study of all notifications lodged with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency over 24 months. Notifications were followed for 30-54 months. Our main outcome was restrictive actions, defined as decisions that imposed undertakings, conditions, or suspension or cancellation of registration.There were 8307 notifications. The notification rate was highest among doctors (IR = 14.5 per 1000 practitioners per year) and dentists (IR = 20.7) and lowest among nurses and midwives (IR = 2.0). One in ten notifications resulted in restrictive action; fewer than one in 300 notifications resulted in suspension or cancellation of registration. Compared with notifications about clinical care, the odds of restrictive action were higher for notifications relating to health impairments (drug misuse, OR = 7.0; alcohol misuse, OR = 4.6; mental illness, OR = 4.1, physical or cognitive illness, OR = 3.7), unlawful prescribing or use of medications (OR = 2.1) and violation of sexual boundaries (OR = 1.7). The odds were higher where the report was made by another health practitioner (OR = 2.9) or employer (OR = 6.9) rather than a patient or relative. Nurses and midwives (OR = 1.8), psychologists (OR = 4.5), dentists (OR = 4.7), and other health practitioners (OR = 5.3) all had greater odds of being subject to restrictive actions than doctors.Restrictive actions are the strongest measures health practitioner boards can take to protect the public from harm and these actions can have profound effects on the livelihood, reputations and well-being of practitioners. In Australia, restrictive actions are rarely imposed and there is variation in their use depending on the source of the notification, the type of issue involved, and the profession of the practitioner.

    View details for DOI 10.1186/s12916-016-0748-6

    View details for Web of Science ID 000391068500001

    View details for PubMedID 27908294

  • The Australian longitudinal study on male health-methods BMC PUBLIC HEALTH Currier, D., Pirkis, J., Carlin, J., Degenhardt, L., Dharmage, S. C., Giles-Corti, B., Gordon, I., Gurrin, L., Hocking, J., Kavanagh, A., Keogh, L. A., Koelmeyer, R., LaMontagne, A. D., Schlichthorst, M., Patton, G., Sanci, L., Spittal, M. J., Studdert, D. M., Williams, J., English, D. R. 2016; 16


    The Australian Longitudinal Study on Male Health (Ten to Men) was established in 2011 to build the evidence base on male health to inform policy and program development.Ten to Men is a national longitudinal study with a stratified multi-stage cluster random sample design and oversampling in rural and regional areas. Household recruitment was conducted from October 2013 to July 2014. Males who were aged 10 to 55 years residing in private dwellings were eligible to participate. Data were collected via self-completion paper questionnaires (participants aged 15 to 55) and by computer-assisted personal interview (boys aged 10 to 14). Household and proxy health data for boys were collected from a parent via a self-completion paper-based questionnaire. Questions covered socio-demographics, health status, mental health and wellbeing, health behaviours, social determinants, and health knowledge and service use.A cohort of 15,988 males aged between 10 and 55 years was recruited representing a response fraction of 35 %.Ten to Men is a unique resource for investigating male health and wellbeing. Wave 1 data are available for approved research projects.

    View details for DOI 10.1186/s12889-016-3698-1

    View details for Web of Science ID 000392422000003

    View details for PubMedID 28185550

  • Inequalities in socio-economic characteristics and health and wellbeing of men with and without disabilities: a cross-sectional analysis of the baseline wave of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Male Health BMC PUBLIC HEALTH Kavanagh, A. M., Aitken, Z., Emerson, E., Sahabandu, S., Milner, A., Bentley, R., LaMontagne, A. D., Pirkis, J., Studdert, D. 2016; 16


    Internationally, men with disabilities have higher rates of social and economic disadvantage and poorer health and wellbeing than men without disabilities. No single study has provided comprehensive, population-level information about the magnitude of such differences among adult men using a well-validated instrument to measure disability.We analysed baseline data from Ten to Men - an Australian longitudinal study of male health. Ten to Men used a stratified multi-stage cluster random sample design to recruit a national sample of males aged 10 to 55 years residing in private dwellings. Data were collected between October 2013 and July 2014 from 15,988 males. This analysis was restricted to 18-55 year old participants with data available on age and disability (n = 13,569). We compared the demographic, socio-economic characteristics and health and wellbeing of men with and without disabilities using chi squared tests for proportions and t tests for continuous variables. Linear regression adjusted for age was used to assess the association between disability status and health and wellbeing, which were measured using the SF-12 mental and physical health component scores and the Personal Wellbeing Index.Men with disabilities were older and more likely to be born in Australia, speak English at home, be Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and were less likely to be married or de facto, or to live in urban areas. They were less likely to have completed secondary school, be employed and live in affordable housing, and were more likely to live on low incomes, in more socio-economically disadvantaged areas, and in rental accommodation and to experience shortages of money. Among employed men, those with disabilities were less likely to be in high skilled jobs, worked less hours on average, and were more likely to report that they would prefer to work more. Men with disabilities had lower levels of social support and community participation and poorer mental and physical health and overall wellbeing.Adult men with disabilities experience marked social and economic disadvantage and poorer health and wellbeing. Improving the health and wellbeing of disabled men should be a priority for public health researchers and policy-makers.

    View details for DOI 10.1186/s12889-016-3700-y

    View details for Web of Science ID 000392422000005

    View details for PubMedID 28185560

  • Evaluation of California's Armed and Prohibited Persons System: study protocol for a cluster-randomised trial. Injury prevention Wintemute, G. J., Beckett, L., Kass, P. H., Tancredi, D., Studdert, D., Pierce, G., Braga, A. A., Wright, M. A., Cerdá, M. 2016


    Too little is known about the effectiveness of efforts to prevent firearm violence. Our objective is to evaluate California's Armed and Prohibited Persons System (APPS), a law enforcement intervention that seeks to recover firearms from individuals who purchased them legally but subsequently became prohibited from having access to firearms. Prohibitions usually arise from events suggesting an increased risk for future violence.This group-randomised trial involves approximately 20 000 APPS-eligible individuals in 1041 communities. Randomisation was performed at the community level, to early or later intervention (Group 1 and Group 2, respectively) with stratification by region, population and violent crime rate.APPS is being implemented by the California Department of Justice. The principal outcome measure is the incidence of arrest for a firearm-related or violent crime. Primary analysis will be on an intention-to-treat basis, comparing individuals in Group 1 and Group 2 communities. Analyses will focus on time to event, using proportional hazards regression with adjustment for the clustered nature of the data and incorporating individual- and community-level characteristics. Secondary analyses will examine the effect of the intervention on an as treated basis, effects on subgroups, and effects on community-wide measures such as crime rates.APPS may have a significant impact on risk for future violence among members of its target population. The findings of this study will likely be generalisable and have clear implications for violence prevention policy and practice.NCT02318732.

    View details for DOI 10.1136/injuryprev-2016-042194

    View details for PubMedID 27729440

  • Duration of death investigations that proceed to inquest in Australia INJURY PREVENTION Studdert, D. M., Walter, S. J., Kemp, C., Sutherland, G. 2016; 22 (5): 314-320


    Recent government inquiries in several countries have identified the length of time it takes coroners to investigate deaths due to injury and other unnatural causes as a major problem. Delays undermine the integrity of vital statistics and adversely affect the deceased's family and others with interests in coroners' findings. Little is publicly known about the extent, nature and causes of these delays.We used Kaplan-Meier estimates and multivariable regression analysis to decompose the timelines of nearly all inquest cases (n=5096) closed in coroners' courts in Australia between 1 January 2007 and 31 December 2013.The cases had a median closure period of 19.0 months (95% CI 18.4 to 19.6). Overall, 70% of cases were open at 1 year, 40% at 2 years and 22% at 3 years, but there was substantial variation by jurisdiction. Adjusted analyses showed a difference of 22 months in the average closure time between the fastest and slowest jurisdictions. Cases involving deaths due to assault (+12.2 months, 95% CI 7.8 to 17.0) and complications of medical care (+9.0 months, 95% CI 5.5 to 12.3) had significantly longer closure periods than other types of death. Cases that produced public health recommendations also had relatively long closure periods (+8.9 months, 95% CI 7.6 to 10.3).Nearly a quarter of inquests in Australia run for more than 3 years. The size of this caseload tail varies dramatically by jurisdiction and case characteristics. Interventions to reduce timelines should be tried and carefully evaluated.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000385948400002

    View details for PubMedID 27435099

  • Mandatory responses to public health and safety recommendations issued by coroners: a content analysis. Australian and New Zealand journal of public health Sutherland, G., Kemp, C., Studdert, D. M. 2016; 40 (5): 451-456


    This study investigated the extent to which mandatory responses to coronial recommendations in one state of Australia (Victoria) provided a clear picture of action taken by organisations to protect public health and safety.Analysis of organisations' responses to recommendations issued by coroners over the first three years of Victoria's newly introduced mandatory response regime was carried out.Most responses were provided to the court within the legislated three-month timeframe and were signed by persons in senior or executive management. Analysis of 282 recommendation-response pairs, found that less than half (44%) provided explicit statements about whether action had or would be taken. In the remaining 56% of responses there was no explicit statement of action or intent. Ambiguity in the response was strongly associated with lack of implementation.Our findings suggest that the founding objectives of Victoria's innovative mandatory response regime are being compromised by the opacity of many response letters. Implications for public health: Recommendations from the coroner can profoundly affect whether the community is exposed to unsafe practices, policies and products, but without such compliance, the potential for the coroner to make a meaningful contribution to protecting public and safety is substantially compromised.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/1753-6405.12580

    View details for PubMedID 27623713

  • Cohort Profile: Ten to Men (the Australian Longitudinal Study on Male Health). International journal of epidemiology Pirkis, J., Currier, D., Carlin, J., Degenhardt, L., Dharmage, S. C., Giles-Corti, B., Gordon, I. R., Gurrin, L. C., Hocking, J. S., Kavanagh, A., Keogh, L., Koelmeyer, R., LaMontagne, A. D., Patton, G., Sanci, L., Spittal, M. J., Schlichthorst, M., Studdert, D., Williams, J., English, D. R. 2016

    View details for PubMedID 27686951

  • Legal and Policy Interventions to Improve Patient Safety CIRCULATION Kachalia, A., Mello, M. M., Nallamothu, B. K., Studdert, D. M. 2016; 133 (7): 661-671
  • Prevalence and Characteristics of Physicians Prone to Malpractice Claims. New England journal of medicine Studdert, D. M., Bismark, M. M., Mello, M. M., Singh, H., Spittal, M. J. 2016; 374 (4): 354-362


    The distribution of malpractice claims among physicians is not well understood. If claim-prone physicians account for a substantial share of all claims, the ability to reliably identify them at an early stage could guide efforts to improve care.Using data from the National Practitioner Data Bank, we analyzed 66,426 claims paid against 54,099 physicians from 2005 through 2014. We calculated concentrations of claims among physicians. We used multivariable recurrent-event survival analysis to identify characteristics of physicians at high risk for recurrent claims and to quantify risk levels over time.Approximately 1% of all physicians accounted for 32% of paid claims. Among physicians with paid claims, 84% incurred only one during the study period (accounting for 68% of all paid claims), 16% had at least two paid claims (accounting for 32% of the claims), and 4% had at least three paid claims (accounting for 12% of the claims). In adjusted analyses, the risk of recurrence increased with the number of previous paid claims. For example, as compared with physicians who had one previous paid claim, the 2160 physicians who had three paid claims had three times the risk of incurring another (hazard ratio, 3.11; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.84 to 3.41); this corresponded in absolute terms to a 24% chance (95% CI, 22 to 26) of another paid claim within 2 years. Risks of recurrence also varied widely according to specialty--for example, the risk among neurosurgeons was four times as great as the risk among psychiatrists.Over a recent 10-year period, a small number of physicians with distinctive characteristics accounted for a disproportionately large number of paid malpractice claims.

    View details for DOI 10.1056/NEJMsa1506137

    View details for PubMedID 26816012

  • Reporting of health practitioners by their treating practitioner under Australia's national mandatory reporting law. Medical journal of Australia Bismark, M. M., Spittal, M. J., Morris, J. M., Studdert, D. M. 2016; 204 (1): 24-?


    To describe the frequency, nature and outcomes of reports about health practitioners made by their treating practitioners under Australia's new mandatory reporting system.Retrospective case file review and analysis of treating practitioner reports received by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency between 1 November 2011 and 31 January 2013, and of the outcomes of the completed investigations of these reports to November 2014.Characteristics of treating practitioners and reported practitioners; nature of the care relationship; grounds for report; regulatory action taken in response to report.Of 846 mandatory reports about medical practitioners, 64 (8%) were by treating practitioners. A minority of reports (14 of 64) were made by a practitioner-patient's regular care provider; most (50 of 64) arose from an encounter during an acute admission, first assessment or informal corridor consultation. The reported practitioner-patients were typically being treated for mental illness (28 of 64) or substance misuse (25 of 64). In 80% of reports (50 of 64), reporters described practitioner-patients who exhibited diminished insight, dishonesty, disregard for patient safety, or an intention to self-harm.The nature and circumstances of the typical treating practitioner report challenge assumptions expressed in policy debates about the merits of the new mandatory reporting law. Mandatory reports by treating practitioners are rare. The typical report is about substance misuse or mental illness, is made by a doctor who is not the patient's regular care provider, and identifies an impediment to safely managing the risk posed by the practitioner-patient within the confines of the treating relationship.

    View details for PubMedID 26763812

  • The Choice Between Total Hip Arthroplasty and Arthrodesis in Adolescent Patients: A Survey of Orthopedic Surgeons JOURNAL OF ARTHROPLASTY Kelman, M. G., Studdert, D. M., Callaghan, J. J., Farid, M. S., Titan, A. L., Dietz, F. R. 2016; 31 (1): 70-75

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.arth.2015.07.020

    View details for Web of Science ID 000366677000014

    View details for PubMedID 26298281

  • Views on mandatory reporting of impaired health practitioners by their treating practitioners: a qualitative study from Australia BMJ OPEN Bismark, M. M., Mathews, B., Morris, J. M., Thomas, L. A., Studdert, D. M. 2016; 6 (12)


    To explore the views and experiences of health sector professionals in Australia regarding a new national law requiring treating practitioners to report impaired health practitioners whose impairments came to their attention in the course of providing treatment.We conducted a thematic analysis of in-depth, semistructured interviews with 18 health practitioners and 4 medicolegal advisors from Australia's 6 states, each of whom had experience with applying the new mandatory reporting law in practice.Interviewees perceived the introduction of a mandatory reporting law as a response to failures of the profession to adequately protect the public from impaired practitioners. Mandatory reporting of impaired practitioners was reported to have several benefits: it provides treating practitioners with a 'lever' to influence behaviour, offers protections to those who make reports and underscores the duty to protect the public from harm. However, many viewed it as a blunt instrument that did not sufficiently take account of the realities of clinical practice. In deciding whether or not to make a report, interviewees reported exercising clinical discretion, and being influenced by three competing considerations: protection of the public, confidentiality of patient information and loyalty to their profession.Competing ethical considerations limit the willingness of Australian health practitioners to report impaired practitioner-patients under a mandatory reporting law. Improved understanding and implementation of the law may bolster the public protection offered by mandatory reports, reduce the need to breach practitioner-patient confidentiality and help align the law with the loyalty that practitioners feel to support, rather than punish, their impaired colleagues.

    View details for DOI 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-011988

    View details for Web of Science ID 000391303600011

    View details for PubMedID 27993902

  • Relationship between penalties for road traffic infringements and crash risk in Queensland, Australia: a case-crossover study INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF EPIDEMIOLOGY Walter, S. J., Studdert, D. M. 2015; 44 (5): 1722-1730

    View details for DOI 10.1093/ije/dyv148

    View details for Web of Science ID 000367178000039

  • Will Divestment from Employment-Based Health Insurance Save Employers Money? The Case of State and Local Governments JOURNAL OF EMPIRICAL LEGAL STUDIES Goldhaber-Fiebert, J. D., Studdert, D. M., Farid, M. S., Bhattacharya, J. 2015; 12 (3): 343-394

    View details for DOI 10.1111/jels.12076

    View details for Web of Science ID 000360209700001

  • Shifting Vaccination Politics - The End of Personal-Belief Exemptions in California NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE Mello, M. M., Studdert, D. M., Parmet, W. E. 2015; 373 (9): 785-787

    View details for DOI 10.1056/NEJMp1508701

    View details for Web of Science ID 000360171700002

    View details for PubMedID 26200843

  • Compensation Seeking and Disability After Injury: The Role of Compensation-Related Stress and Mental Health JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PSYCHIATRY O'Donnell, M. L., Grant, G., Alkemade, N., Spittal, M., Creamer, M., Silove, D., McFarlane, A., Bryant, R. A., Forbes, D., Studdert, D. M. 2015; 76 (8): E1000-?

    View details for DOI 10.4088/JCP.14m09211

    View details for Web of Science ID 000361593800002

    View details for PubMedID 26335085

  • Searching for Public Health Law's Sweet Spot: The Regulation of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages. PLoS medicine Studdert, D. M., Flanders, J., Mello, M. M. 2015; 12 (7)


    David Studdert and colleagues explore how to balance public health, individual freedom, and good government when it comes to sugar-sweetened drinks.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001848

    View details for PubMedID 26151360

  • Searching for Public Health Law's Sweet Spot: The Regulation of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages. PLoS medicine Studdert, D. M., Flanders, J., Mello, M. M. 2015; 12 (7)

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001848

    View details for PubMedID 26151360

  • Survival of the fittest: retrospective cohort study of the longevity of Olympic medallists in the modern era BRITISH JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE Clarke, P. M., Walter, S. J., Hayen, A., Mallon, W. J., Heijmans, J., Studdert, D. M. 2015; 49 (13): 898-902


    To determine whether Olympic medallists live longer than the general population.Retrospective cohort study, with passive follow-up and conditional survival analysis to account for unidentified loss to follow-up.15 174 Olympic athletes from nine country groups (United States, Germany, Nordic countries, Russia, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Canada, and Australia and New Zealand) who won medals in the Olympic Games held in 1896-2010. Medallists were compared with matched cohorts in the general population (by country, age, sex, and year of birth).Relative conditional survival.More medallists than matched controls in the general population were alive 30 years after winning (relative conditional survival 1.08,95% confidence interval 1.07 to1.10). Medallists lived an average of2.8 years longer than controls. Medallists in eight of the nine country groups had a significant survival advantage compared with controls. Gold, silver, and bronze medallists each enjoyed similar sized survival advantages. Medallists in endurance sports and mixed sports had a larger survival advantage over controls at 30 years (1.13, 1.09 to 1.17; 1.11,1.09 to 1.13) than that of medallists in power sports (1.05,1.01 to 1.08).Olympic medallists live longer than the general population, irrespective of country, medal, or sport. This study was not designed to explain this effect, but possible explanations include genetic factors, physical activity, healthy lifestyle, and the wealth and status that come with international sporting glory.

    View details for DOI 10.1136/bjsports-2015-e8308rep

    View details for Web of Science ID 000356361400013

    View details for PubMedID 26084528

  • Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act What Every Physician Should Know About the Federal Antidumping Law CHEST Hyman, D. A., Studdert, D. M. 2015; 147 (6): 1691-1696


    Since 1986, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) has imposed an obligation on hospitals and physicians to evaluate and stabilize patients who present to a hospital ED seeking care. Available sanctions for noncompliance include fines, damages awarded in civil litigation, and exclusion from Medicare. EMTALA uses several terms that are familiar to physicians (eg, "emergency medical condition," "stabilize," and "transfer"), but the statutory definitions do not map neatly onto the way in which these terms are used and understood in clinical settings. Thus, there is potential for a mismatch between a physician's on-the-spot professional judgment and what the statute demands. We review what every physician should know about EMTALA and answer six common questions about the law.

    View details for DOI 10.1378/chest.14-2046

    View details for Web of Science ID 000355837900051

    View details for PubMedID 26033130

  • The PRONE score: an algorithm for predicting doctors' risks of formal patient complaints using routinely collected administrative data BMJ QUALITY & SAFETY Spittal, M. J., Bismark, M. M., Studdert, D. M. 2015; 24 (6): 360-368


    Medicolegal agencies-such as malpractice insurers, medical boards and complaints bodies-are mostly passive regulators; they react to episodes of substandard care, rather than intervening to prevent them. At least part of the explanation for this reactive role lies in the widely recognised difficulty of making robust predictions about medicolegal risk at the individual clinician level. We aimed to develop a simple, reliable scoring system for predicting Australian doctors' risks of becoming the subject of repeated patient complaints.Using routinely collected administrative data, we constructed a national sample of 13,849 formal complaints against 8424 doctors. The complaints were lodged by patients with state health service commissions in Australia over a 12-year period. We used multivariate logistic regression analysis to identify predictors of subsequent complaints, defined as another complaint occurring within 2 years of an index complaint. Model estimates were then used to derive a simple predictive algorithm, designed for application at the doctor level.The PRONE (Predicted Risk Of New Event) score is a 22-point scoring system that indicates a doctor's future complaint risk based on four variables: a doctor's specialty and sex, the number of previous complaints and the time since the last complaint. The PRONE score performed well in predicting subsequent complaints, exhibiting strong validity and reliability and reasonable goodness of fit (c-statistic=0.70).The PRONE score appears to be a valid method for assessing individual doctors' risks of attracting recurrent complaints. Regulators could harness such information to target quality improvement interventions, and prevent substandard care and patient dissatisfaction. The approach we describe should be replicable in other agencies that handle large numbers of patient complaints or malpractice claims.

    View details for DOI 10.1136/bmjqs-2014-003834

    View details for Web of Science ID 000355207300004

    View details for PubMedID 25855664

  • Medical liability and reporting malpractice payments--reply. JAMA Mello, M. M., Studdert, D. M., Kachalia, A. 2015; 313 (10): 1058-1059

    View details for DOI 10.1001/jama.2015.0688

    View details for PubMedID 25756448

  • Global Health Law (Book Review) MILBANK QUARTERLY Book Review Authored by: Studdert, D. M. 2015; 93 (1): 211-214
  • A step towards evidence-based regulation of health practitioners AUSTRALIAN HEALTH REVIEW Bismark, M. M., Fletcher, M., Spittal, M. J., Studdert, D. M. 2015; 39 (4): 483-485

    View details for DOI 10.1071/AH14222

    View details for Web of Science ID 000360660800023

  • 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

  • Relationship Between Stressfulness of Claiming for Injury Compensation and Long-term Recovery JAMA PSYCHIATRY Grant, G. M., O'Donnell, M. L., Spittal, M. J., Creamer, M., Studdert, D. M. 2014; 71 (4): 446-453
  • 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