New look at medical malpractice – by the numbers

Our friends at the Center for Justice & Democracy recently released its newly updated briefing book, which compiles the latest statistics and research on issues related to medical malpractice. Some of the highlights:

  • The cost of medical malpractice [claims] is growing at the slowest rate in the 14-year history of the Aon/ASHRM Hospital and Physician Professional Liability Benchmark report. (Page 8)
  • Medical malpractice insurance companies are making twice the profit of the entire property/casualty insurance industry. In fact, the med mal insurance industry has had seven years of underwriting profit – something completely unheard of in the property/casualty sector. (Page 53)
  • After Texas enacted severe limits on medical malpractice lawsuits, including “caps” on damages, rates of preventable errors rose, “consistent with hospitals gradually relaxing (or doing less to reinforce) patient safety standards.” (Page 83)
  • “An average of 103,000 doctors, nurses, medical technicians and health care aides a year were abusing or dependent on illicit drugs.”  (Page 7)
  • Medical malpractice premiums are not rising. (Page 56)
  • When asked their main reason for leaving New York state, newly trained physicians cited the “Cost of Malpractice Insurance” practically dead last on a list of many factors, the most important of which was “Proximity to Family.”  Even the general category “Other” outranked “Cost of Malpractice Insurance.”  Moreover, New York’s liability laws were not even mentioned as a factor. (Page 52)

Read the full briefing book here.

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