Stanford researchers have found that a mere one percent of physicians are associated with one-third of paid malpractice claims in the U.S.
Researchers analyzed over 66,000 paid medical malpractice claims filed against 54,000 U.S. physicians from 2005 to 2014. They focused on paid malpractice claims as paid status is indicative of inadequate care.
Eighty-two percent of these doctors are male and are older. Over half of the paid claims reviewed in the study pertained to four areas of medical practice: internal medicine, general or family medicine, general surgery, and gynecology and obstetrics.
According to the study, the top predictor of malpractice-prone doctors are previous claims of malpractice.
The risk of future malpractice claims is three times higher among physicians with three previous malpractice claims, as compared to doctors with only one prior medical malpractice claim. The risk of future claims rises with every new malpractice claim made against a doctor.
In addition to the connection between certain physicians and paid malpractice claims, researchers uncovered statistics regarding malpractice claims in general:
- Nearly one in three medical malpractice claims are paid
- 54 percent of medical malpractice claims involve a serious injury
- 33 percent of paid medical malpractice claims reviewed in the study concerned patient death
- In the 10-year period researchers focused on, six percent of doctors had paid medical malpractice claims
Researchers say that while risk factors have been uncovered, healthcare systems and malpractice insurers need to pinpoint physicians at high risk for new malpractice claims and intervene to prevent their occurrence. Increased supervision and training could improve care among high-risk physicians.
If a physician’s negligence has caused you harm, you may be entitled to compensation. The medical malpractice attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers will fight to maximize your compensation and hold negligent doctors responsible for their actions.