For the second consecutive year, medical malpractice payouts increased over 4% from the previous year. After seeing a steady decline in medical malpractice payout amounts from 2003 through 2012, malpractice payouts started to rise in 2013 and continued to rise at a steady pace in 2014 – marking a trend of increased medical malpractice payouts in the United States.
The National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) data in 2014 saw an increase of 4.4% in total payout amounts, bringing the total closer to the $4 Billion mark. In fact, if the trend continues, 2015 could be the year that the United States crosses the $4 Billion threshold.
Several states saw a decrease in medical malpractice payout amounts, such as California and much of the western United States. However, most states saw an increase – particularly states in the south and the northeast.
New York is again the highest state in terms of per capita payouts at $36.15 paid out for every individual residing in the state. The northeast as a whole had a per capita payout rate of $28.20, which is more than 3 times greater than the next highest region (the Midwest).
Clearly, the 2014 data shows medical malpractice payouts are again trending upward after nearly a decade of decreasing payouts. As a leader in medical malpractice insurance and consulting services, Diederich Healthcare saw physician malpractice insurance premiums generally decrease as the payouts decreased. Now that payouts nationwide have started to increase the last couple of years, we expect malpractice insurance carriers to take a closer look into their rates to determine if they are still adequate in light of this increasing trend.
The full payout analysis is 10 pages in length and can be viewed and downloaded at: http://www.diederichhealthcare.com/the-standard/2015-medical-malpractice-payout-analysis/.
The data from the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) was released on February 25, 2015 and has over 1 million rows of information collected from Sept 1, 1990 to December 31, 2014. As the governing entity that keeps records of all negative actions that have been brought against any medical worker, the National Practitioner Data Bank’s goal is to improve healthcare and service for both the provider and patient, as well as reduce fraud and abuse of the medical system. More information about the NPDB can be found at http://www.npdb-hipdb.hrsa.gov.
Diederich Healthcare, a division of Diederich Insurance Agency, LLC; provides comprehensive medical malpractice insurance and consulting services to over 13,000 healthcare providers throughout the United States. Diederich Healthcare’s network of over two-hundred contracted insurance affiliates assures healthcare clients greater portability, market accessibility, and effective consultation. Through Diederich’s 13 U.S. regional offices and multiple sales and service centers, the company strives to provide superior client services. As a leader in the industry for almost 40 years, our goal is to deliver cost-effective quality insurance to our physician clients.To contact the author, call 800-457-7790 and ask for Matt Thompson.