HR Policy strongly supports legislation which would provide critical reforms to existing medical malpractice laws while maintaining necessary patient protections. Frivolous medical malpractice suits and excessive awards unnecessarily add to the cost of health care in the United States. Medical malpractice reform is an important step in helping to control the trend of upward spiraling health care costs. Medical liability lawsuits have resulted in high insurance premiums for medical providers which are passed on to employer-sponsored health care plans and to individual health care consumers. High medical malpractice insurance premiums have led to shortages of certain medical specialists in some geographic areas. In addition, fear of medical malpractice suits has led some medical providers to practice defensive medicine by over-utilizing diagnostic tests and procedures, which further drives up health care costs. Unfortunately, the provisions regarding medical malpractice in PPACA are limited and insufficient and the Association had hoped for stronger measures that would help to contain increasing health care costs.