After malpractice caps, doctors ordered fewer invasive tests to diagnose heart attacks

One factor can sway a doctor’s behavior when diagnosing a heart attack: whether the state has a law capping malpractice damages.
Source: SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images

A patient comes into a hospital emergency department, troubled by chest pain that comes and goes. The doctor asks some questions, draws on clinical experience, and orders a test to rule out — or in — a heart attack.

That test could be a stress test that tracks the patient with an electrocardiogram while running on a treadmill. Or it could be a more specific but also more invasive test: an angiography that

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