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1 of Docs Responsible for 32 of Malpractice Payments

Image: 1 of Docs Responsible for 32 of Malpractice Payments
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Thursday, 28 Jan 2016 07:53 AM

A small number of doctors make up a big share of malpractice claims in the United States, according to a study published Wednesday.

Just one percent of practicing physicians "accounted for 32 percent of paid malpractice claims over a decade," said the study in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Researchers at Stanford University in California and the University of Melbourne in Australia looked at more than 66,000 malpractice claims paid in relation to the work of more than 54,000 US physicians between January 2005 and December 2014.

They found that those most likely to be involved in a malpractice claim were more likely to be older, male doctors in the fields of neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery, general surgery, plastic surgery or obstetrics-gynecology.

Repeat offenders were also common.

"Male physicians had a 40 percent higher risk of recurrence than female physicians," said the study.

The lowest risks of recurrence were seen in psychiatrists and pediatricians.

Also, physicians under 35 showed about one-third the risk of repeated malpractice, compared to their older colleagues, said the study.

"The fact that these frequent flyers looked quite different from their colleagues -- in terms of specialty, gender, age and several other characteristics -- was the most exciting finding," said co-author David Studdert, professor of medicine and law at Stanford.

"It suggests that it may be possible to identify high-risk physicians before they accumulate troubling track records, and then do something to stop that happening."

Nearly one-third of all claims related to patient deaths, and 54 percent related to serious physical injury.

Plaintiffs won verdicts in just three percent of the claims.

The remainder resulted in out-of-court settlements.

The average amount of a settlement or court-ordered payment was $371,054.

 

 

© AFP 2017

 
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A small number of doctors make up a big share of malpractice claims in the United States, according to a study published Wednesday.Just one percent of practicing physicians accounted for 32 percent of paid malpractice claims over a decade, said the study in the New...
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Thursday, 28 Jan 2016 07:53 AM
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