Friday, July 17, 2009

Medical Malpractice Payments Fall, While Health Care Cost Rise

A new report out by Public Citizen shows that medical malpractice payments were at or near record lows in 2008, but the decline almost certainly indicates that a lower percentage of injured patients received compensation, not that health safety has improved.

It finds that:
"The cost of the medical malpractice liability system — if measured broadly by adding all malpractice insurance premiums — fell to less than 0.6 percent of the $2.1 trillion in total national health care costs in 2006, the most recent year for which the necessary data to make such comparisons are available. The cost of actual malpractice payments fell to 0.18 percent - one-fifth of 1 percent - of all health care costs in 2006. Annual malpractice payments have subsequently fallen from $3.9 billion in 2006 to $3.6 billion in 2008, but comparative data on total health care costs are not available."
You can download the full study here: The 0.6 Percent BogeymanMedical Malpractice Payments Fall to All-Time Low as Health Care Costs Continue to Rise

See summary press release here: Med Mal Payments