Medical Malpractice Claims In Iowa — Official Report

According to the Iowa Medical Malpractice Annual Report for Calendar Year 2009, the average payments of benefits plus allocated loss adjustment expenses for all closed claims was about $128,000 for 2009, and the average incurred losses and allocated loss adjustment expenses for all open claims was about $143,000. With regard to the listed medical specialties, hospitals and clinics or corporations had the most number of claims reported in both the open and closed claim reports. Of the closed claims provider specialty categories with 20 or more claims, obstetrics or gynecology had the highest average benefits and allocated loss adjustment expenses paid. Of the open claims categories with 20 or more claims, family practice and obstetrics or gynecology had the highest average incurred losses and allocated loss adjustment expenses.

The 2009 Annual Report includes claims from 2009 and earlier which either were closed in 2009 or remained open at the end of the year. Since medical malpractice claims can take years to be reported and closed, the claims closed in a year and open at the end of the year do not correspond to premiums for that year.

During 2009, there were 11 claims that closed with total  loss and allocated loss adjustment expenses above one million dollars and 13 open claims with incurred amounts of one million dollars or more. All but two of those claims were between $1,000,000 and $2,000,000.

For closed claims, most were for death and major permanent injury claims, with the costliest claims on average being for major permanent claims. For open claims, most were for death and minor permanent claims, with the highest average incurred losses and allocated loss adjustment expenses being for grave injury claims. Average paid losses and expenses for closed claims by category ranged from less than $9,000 to more than $407,000. Average incurred amounts including reserves for allocated loss adjustment expenses ranged from about $28,000 to more than $788,000.

In Iowa, “claims” were defined as formal or written demands for compensation under a medical insurance policy relating to allegations of liability on the part of one or more providers for any act, error, or omission in the rendering of, or failure to render medical services for medically related injuries. A “lawsuit” was defined as a complaint filed in any court in Iowa alleging liability on the part of one or more providers for any act, error, or omission in the rendering of, or failure to render medical services for medically related injuries.

The companies writing medical malpractice insurance in Iowa changed from year to year. From 2008 to 2009,  3 companies (1 licensed) that did not report premiums or reported $0 in premiums in 2008 had premiums in 2009. And 4 companies (1 licensed) that reported premiums in 2008 did not report premiums or reported $0 in premiums in 2009. The premium volume that each company wrote changed dramatically for some companies from year to year. Most of the business is written by a few companies, but even those companies have changed year to year and the market share written has shifted.

For closed claims, failure to diagnose, monitor, treat and treatment related cause produced the most claims, with the costliest claims on average being for delay in diagnosis claims. Most open claims were also from failure to diagnose, monitor, treat and treatment related cause. The claims with the highest average incurred losses and allocated loss adjustment expenses were from pregnancy or birth related problems and the delay in diagnosis categories.

If you or a loved one were injured as a result of medical malpractice in Iowa or another U.S. state, visit our website to be connected with local medical malpractice lawyers who may be able to assist you with your medical malpractice claim or call us toll free 800-295-3959.

This entry was posted on Sunday, May 29th, 2011 at 12:51 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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