The National Practitioner Data Bank (“NPDB”) has issued a report on various aspects of the medical malpractice payments reports that were filed with the NPDB by physicians who made medical malpractice payments from 2001 through 2011. Our two previous blog postings addressed some of the data provided in the NPDB’s report. This blog posting will discuss the amounts of the medical malpractice payments as reported to the NPDB.
The total number of medical malpractice payments reported to the NPDB have decreased each successive year from 2001 (when 15,925 medical malpractice payments were reported) to 2011 (when 8,450 medical malpractice payments were reported). There were 135,101 total medical malpractice payments reported to the NPDB from 2001 through 2011.
There were a total of 27,261 medical malpractice payments made that were in amounts of less than $50,000 each. There were a total of 19,602 medical malpractice payments made that were in the range from $50,000 to $99,000; 35,374 in the range from $100,000 to $249,000; 26,131 in the range from $250,000 to $499,000; 18,003 in the range from $500,000 to $999,000; 7,185 in the range from $1M to $2M; and, 1,545 medical malpractice payments made that were in excess of $2M.
While the percentage of total medical malpractice payments that were in the range from $100,000 to $249,000 remained relatively constant between 2001 and 2011 (from a high of 27.24% in 2001 to a low of 24.72% in 2010), the greatest fluctuation in the percentage of medical malpractice payments made within the stated ranges was in the less than $50,000 range — from a high of 24.04% in 2001 to a low of 17.52% in 2009.
Payments in excess of $2M have consistently represented less than 1.5% of the total, and medical malpractice payments in the $1M to $2M range have consistently represented less than 6.5% of the total, although there has been a slight upward trend within that range (4.14% in 2001 to 6.37% in 2011). Over 60% of the medical malpractice payments reported to the NPDB from 2001 to 2011 were less than $250,000 each, and less than 6.5% were in the amount of $1M or more.
A total of $41,694,140,000 was paid in medical malpractice payments by or on behalf of physicians from 2001 through 2011, as reported to the NPDB. Of that amount, $26,477,730,000 was paid for medical malpractice payments ranging from $100,000 to $1M; $8,305,810,000 was paid in medical malpractice payments between $1M and $2M; and, $4,928,020,000 was paid in medical malpractice payments greater than $2M.
The significance to us regarding the medical malpractice payments statistics stated above is that the incidents of medical malpractice committed in the United States each year have a tremendously destructive and costly impact on the lives of the victims of medical malpractice.
If tort reform proponents would focus their efforts on addressing the causes of medical malpractice events in the United States and on working towards a substantial reduction or near-elimination of negligent medical care in the United States, instead of promoting caps on medical malpractice victims’ allowable damages that harm the victims and their families, then the victims of medical malpractice, medical providers such as physicians, and the medical malpractice insurance companies would experience a great economic and social benefit from the fruits of their labor.
Medical malpractice insurance companies and the physicians they insure would enjoy substantial economic savings and benefits if negligent medical care providers would be identified early and be re-trained, re-educated, or removed from patient care so that the economic savings from reduced medical malpractice insurance premiums and reduced numbers of medical malpractice payouts could be used to restore to victims of medical malpractice the right to receive full and fair compensation for their injuries and losses.
It appears to us that physicians and medical malpractice victims are on the same side of the argument that a reduction in medical malpractice occurrences in the United States would result in insurance savings to physicians and their insurance carriers, and in just compensation for victims of medical malpractice.
If you or a family member have suffered injuries or losses as a result of possible medical malpractice, the advice from a local medical malpractice attorney may help you decide if you should file a claim for medical malpractice.
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