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What Can Be Learned From Medical Malpractice Payouts

Harvey L. Walner & Associates, Ltd.
Harvey L. Walner & Associates, Ltd.

March 31, 2014

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The National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) is a compilation of data about medical malpractice payouts. Anytime there is a written demand for a medical practitioner to “payout” it must be reported to the NPDB within thirty days. Verbal payout demands and payout demands made solely to the hospital (versus the practitioner) are not reported. Although the data bank does not capture all payouts it is useful to see medical malpractice lawsuit statistics and to evaluate the effects of medical malpractice reforms.

Last month Diederich Healthcare, an insurance carrier, released its 2014 report. The report is an analysis of 2013 medical malpractice payouts and the 3rd annual analysis from Diederich. 

2013 was the first time in a decade where there has been an overall increase in total payout amounts. Illinois is within the top 10 states of medical malpractice payouts per capita. This is an important step in healthcare accountability.

Other findings showed a majority of payouts are the result of settlement (96%, in fact). The highest percentage of allegations was tied to a failure to diagnose, resulting in over a billion dollars of medical malpractice payouts. And here are the stats about the cause of the injury related to the reported medical malpractice payouts:

  • 33% Diagnosis related
  • 23% Surgical Mistakes
  • 18% Treatment
  • 10% Obstetrics
  • 5 % Medication
  • 5% Anesthesia
  • 4% Monitoring
  • 2% Equipment
  • 1% Other

Interestingly, death—the gravest injury—comprised 31% of the reported allegations in 2012 and was not included in Deiderich’s analysis of 2013.

This analysis shows that injuries due to medical malpractice happen regularly and are often severe. Holding medical professionals accountable takes time, expertise and attorneys who care. At Walner & Associates we help you get the payout you deserve.

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