On February 19, 2014, a large medical malpractice insurance company that provides medical malpractice insurance and consulting services to more than 13,000 health care providers in the United States published its annual report regarding medical malpractice payout statistics for the United States for 2013. The report is based on an analysis of medical malpractice payouts for 2013 as reported in the National Practitioner Data Bank.
Highlights of the report include an increase in total medical malpractice payouts in 2013, the first increase since 2003. Total medical malpractice payouts in 2013 were $3,733,678,100, which represented an increase in the amount of $168 million from 2012 (a 4.7% increase) and was the highest total payouts amount since 2009. Thirty-eight states had more medical malpractice payouts in 2013 than in 2012. Ninety-six percent of the medical malpractice payouts represented settlements, as opposed to judgments.
There was also an increase in the total number of medical malpractice payouts in 2013, as compared to 2012. In general, the total number of medical malpractice payouts had been decreasing steadily since at least 2001.
The percentage of medical malpractice payouts as a result of judgments declined to 3% in 2013, down from 5% in 2012. The average medical malpractice payout as a result of judgment decreased by more than $200,000 in 2013 when compared to 2012.
Forty-five percent of the total medical malpractice payouts were as a result of inpatient care; 38% were as a result of outpatient care; 11% were due to both inpatient and outpatient care; and, 6% of the reported medical malpractice payouts in 2013 were as a result of unknown patient type.
Thirty-three percent of the medical malpractice payouts in 2013 involved medical malpractice allegations concerning diagnosis; 23% involved surgery; 18% involved treatment; 10% involved obstetrics; 5% involved medication; 5% involved anesthesia; 4% involved monitoring; 2% involved equipment; and, 1% were based on other medical malpractice allegations.
The top ten U.S. states for medical malpractice payouts per capita in 2013 were (in descending order) New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Washington, D.C., Maryland, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Illinois.
The bottom ten U.S. states for medical malpractice payouts per capita in 2013 were (in ascending order) North Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin, Mississippi, Indiana, Vermont, North Carolina, Nevada, South Dakota, and Alabama.
The per capita medical malpractice payout in New York for 2013 (the highest per capita state) was $38.83 compared to $2.96 for North Dakota (the lowest per capita state).
The states with the largest total medical malpractice payouts in 2013 were New York and Pennsylvania.
The states with the lowest total medical malpractice payouts in 2013 were Maine, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, Alaska, and Hawaii.
The states with the largest increase in total medical malpractice payouts in 2013 compared to 2012 were (in descending order) California ($51 million), New Jersey ($43 million), Pennsylvania ($41 million), Maryland ($26 million), and Virginia ($16 million).
The states with the largest decrease in total medical malpractice payouts in 2013 compared to 2012 were (in ascending order) New York (-$73 million), Illinois (-$28 million), Massachusetts (-$7 million), Florida (-$4 million), and Mississippi (-$3 million).
If you, a family member, or a friend may have been injured as a result of medical malpractice in the United States, you should promptly contact a medical malpractice attorney in your state who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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