A recent report by patient safety organization CRICO Strategies shows a decline in medical malpractice claims from 2007 to 2016. In that timeframe, claims declined 27% from 5.1 cases per 100 physicians to 3.7 cases. The report compiled 10 years of data involving 124,000 patients.
According to a summary from Business Insurance, the report highlights the decline in malpractice claims against obstetricians and gynecologists, two medical fields known for high claim rates. The report saw a 44% decline in claims in this field with 5.1 cases per 100 physicians.
While malpractice cases have declined over a 10 year period, case management costs have increased. The CRICO report cites an annual 3.5% increase with an average cost of $46,000 per case. There are a number of reasons why costs are increasing. But the report places a large share of the blame on cases featuring multiple defendants and the use of medical professional liability (MPL) insurance.
The report shows a two month decline in the average time malpractice cases are resolved with indemnity, down from 29 months to 27. The report credits the speedy resolution of cases as a major factor in the decrease.
In the 10-year span of the report, average indemnity payments increased 3% per year.
CRICO Strategies is a division of The Risk Management Foundation of Harvard Medical Institutions Inc.
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