Friday, August 19, 2011

Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Common, Payments Are Not

Kaiser Health News reports on the findings of a study published this month by the New England Journal of Medicine suggesting that "only one in five malpractice lawsuits results in a payout. The authors conclude that the truth behind these numbers is complicated."

The study is Malpractice Risk According to Physician Specialty, Anupam B. Jena, M.D., Ph.D., Seth Seabury, Ph.D., Darius Lakdawalla, Ph.D., and Amitabh Chandra, Ph.D. N Engl J Med 2011; 365:629-636

A related Associated Press article on the study in the Philadelphia Inquirer carries these interesting statistics from the study...
  • "Only 1 in 5 malpractice claims against doctors leads to a settlement or other payout"
  • "Each year about 1 in 14 doctors is the target of a claim"
  • "most physicians and virtually every surgeon will face at least one [malpractice claim] in their career"
The chart below summarizes lawsuits and payouts by specialty as found in the study.

To read the full study and methodology, including more charts like the one above, click on: Malpractice Risk According to Physician Specialty to go to

No comments: