Special Projects

State Discipline of Physicians: Assessing State Medical Boards Through Case Studies

The National Health Law and Policy Resource Center has collaborated with the Urban Institute on a project titled, State Discipline of Physicians: Assessing State Medical Boards which was funded by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Assessment and Planning of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Since State Medical Boards can limit or remove a physician’s license to practice, they can play an important role in disciplining physicians for substandard care. The project assessed the role of State Medical Boards in disciplining physicians on the basis of six case studies and available national data.

Project Publications

Bovbjerg,, R., Aliago, P., and Gittler, J. (2006). State discipline of physicians: Assessing State Medical Boards through case studies.

Prostate Cancer Geocoding: Ensuring Fitness for Use

The National Health Law and Policy Resource Center has collaborated with the Center for Health Policy and Research at the University of Iowa College of Public Health on a project titled Prostate Cancer Geocoding : Ensuring Fitness for Use, which was funded by Association of Schools of Public Health and the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The project examined various aspects of the geocoding of data about cancer cases. The geocoding of this data entails using Geographic Information System (GIS) technology to assign geographic identifiers to computer records of cancer cases and death, thereby tying the information in these records to a geographic location or space. Geocoding permits the creation of visual representations of geographic patterns of cancer incidence and mortality rates in maps. By linking geocoded cancer sets to other geocoded data sets, including demographic, socioeconomic, environmental and health services data sets, it also becomes possible to identify and analyze relationships between cancer cases and deaths and other variables.

In connection with the project, the Resource Center conducted research regarding privacy,, confidentiality and security issues raised by the legally mandated reporting of cancer cases to state cancer registries, the geocoding of these cases and the use of geocoded registry data for a variety of purposes. The Center also conducted a fifty state survey of cancer reporting and registry statutes and regulations.

Project Publications

Rushton G., Armstrong M.P,, Gittler J., ; Greene B.R., Pavlik C.E., West M.M., Zimmerman D.L. (2006). “Geocoding in cancer research: A review,” Am J Prev Med 30(2Suppl).

Rushton, G., Armstrong, M.P., Gittler, J., Greene. B.R., Pavlik, C.E., West, M.M., Zimmerman, D.L. (2007).Geocoding health data: The use of geographic codes in cancer prevention and control, practice and research. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, Taylor & Francis.

Judicial Management of Jury Awards for Non-Economic and Punitive Damages

The National Health Law Policy Resource Center conducted a project titled Judicial Management of Jury Awards for Non-Economic Damages, which was funded by the State Justice Institute and the Bureau of Maternal and Child Health, HRSA, Public Health Services, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The purpose of the project was to develop methodology, procedures , data bases and guidelines to foster more effective state appellate court review of non-economic damage awards. The specific focus of the project was medical malpractice wards in cases involving pregnant women and children.

Project Publications

Baldus, D., MacQueen J.C. and Woodward G. (1996). “Additur/Remittitur Review: An Empirically Based Methodology for the Comparative Review of General Damages Awards for Pain, Suffering, and Loss of Enjoyment of Life,” In L. Kramer (Ed.) Reforming the Civil Justice System. 386-415. New York, NY: NYU Press.

Baldus, D., MacQueen, J.C. and Woodward G. (1995). Improving Judicial Oversight of Jury Damage Assessments: A Proposal for the Comparative Additur/Remittitur Review of Awards for Nonpecuniary Harms and Punitive Damages.” Iowa Law Review 80(5): 1109 -1267.