Recent studies suggest that a third of the nation's paid medical malpractice claims are from just 1 percent of active physicians in the U.S. The studies also reveals that the physicians of a risk of future paid claims are the ones that have already paid claims due to medical malpractice.
How do these statistics help? The professor of medicine and law at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, says the results suggest it is possible to reduce the number of future paid medical malpractice claims by identifying "claim-prone" physicians. He believes this information has not been taken into account by liability insurers or health care organizations. The problem is the number of repeated medical malpractice has never been studied nationwide. However, this is not new news to some medical malpractice experts who have noticed this trend for decades.
The study was conducted by Stanford and the University of Melbourne in Australia in which they reviewed the information provided by the U.S. National Practitioner Data Bank, which is private from the public. The study showed the medical malpractice paid claims from 2005-2014 cost a staggering $24.6 billion with an average payout of $371,000 per claim. Those numbers do not even include the cost of legal fees. The study also revealed that about one-third of the medical malpractice claims involved patients who died and 54% of patients who were significantly injured. Repeat medical malpractice offenders also share traits such as physicians who are male, and older than 35 years-of-age. Among these who faced double the risk of future claims were orthopedic surgeons, general surgeons, neurosurgeons, and obstetrician-gynecologists.
However, some say this information is also due to the nature of the work the physician conducts. Those that perform more risky procedures are often more susceptible to failure. It is not that they are bad doctors, it is that they are more likely to attract claims.
Many of the information collected, reviewed and concluded can be argued. But the most important conclusion comes from the physician's past claims history. Again, the physicians at risk of future paid claims are the ones that have already paid claims of medical malpractice. The greater the number of paid claims, the greater the risk for future. Many are starting to ask, why are physicians that have paid four or five claims in the last decade still practicing medicine.
If you or a loved one have suffered injuries due to the negligence or misconduct of a physician is it possible you are entitled to compensation. Contact St. Louis’ best medical malpractice attorneys at Meyerkord & Kurth, LLC, for a free no obligation consultation.