Medical Malpractice Resources

American College of Emergency Physicians - AMERICA’S EMERGENCY CARE ENVIRONMENT, Texas gets a D+Access the full Texas report here.

US Dept of Health & Human Services: Adverse Events in Skilled Nursing Facilities: National Incidence Among Medicare Beneficiaries, February 2014, OEI-06-11-00370. "An estimated 22 percent of Medicare beneficiaries e perienced adverse events during their SNF (skilled nursing facilities) stays. An additional 11 percent of Medicare beneficiaries experienced temporary harm events during their SNF stays. Physician reviewers determined that 59 percent of these adverse events and temporary harm events were clearly or likely preventable. They attributed much of the preventable harm to substandard treatment, inadequate resident monitoring, and failure or delay of necessary care. Over half of the residents who experienced harm returned to a hospital for treatment..." Download the report here. 

Abstract: The frequency of diagnostic errors in outpatient care: estimations from three large observational studies involving US adult populations. BMJ Qual Saf doi:10.1136/bmjqs-2013-002627   Conclusion:  "Our population-based estimate suggests that diagnostic errors affect at least 1 in 20 US adults. This foundational evidence should encourage policymakers, healthcare organisations and researchers to start measuring and reducing diagnostic errors."  Click here to learn more.

Society of Actuaries Study Finds Medical Errors Annually Cost at Least $19.5 Billion Nationwide.  "Findings from a new study released today estimate that measurable medical errors cost the U.S. economy $19.5 billion  in 2008. Commissioned by the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and completed by consultants with Milliman, Inc., the report used claims data to provide an actuarially sound measurement of costs for avoidable medical injuries. Of the approximately $80 billion in costs associated with medical injuries, around 25 percent were the result of avoidable medical errors."  Access release or Full report.

CJ&D:  The Truth About Medical Malpractice Litigation, June 2010.  Learn more.

Rand: Is Better Patient Safety Associated with Less Malpractice Activity? Evidence from California, Michael D. Greenberg • Amelia M. Haviland • J. Scott Ashwood • Regan Main, April 2010.  Our results showed a highly significant correlation between the frequency of adverse events and malpractice claims: On average, a county that shows a decrease of 10 adverse events in a given year would also see a decrease of 3.7 malpractice claims. Likewise, a county that shows an increase of 10 adverse events in a given year would also see, on average, an increase of 3.7 malpractice claims. Learn more. Access Summary or Full Report.

New Public Citizen Releases Annual Ranking of State Medical Boards, April 2010: Public Citizen’s annual ranking of state medical boards shows that most states, including one of the largest, are not living up to their obligations to protect patients from doctors who are practicing substandard medicine.  Read Release or Access Report.

Federation of State Medical Boards: 2009 Summary of Board Actions Report released April 2010, a compilation of disciplinary actions taken by the nation’s 70 state medical boards during 2009. Medical boards took a total of 5,721 actions against physicians in 2009, an increase of 342 actions over 2008.  Access Report.   

HealthGrades Study: 7th Annual Patient Safety in American Hospitals, March 2010
Nearly one million patient-safety incidents occurred among Medicare patients over the years 2006, 2007, 2008, a figure virtually unchanged since last year’s annual study of patient safety by HealthGrades, the leading independent healthcare ratings organization. In all, the incidents were associated with $8.9 billion in costs. One in ten patients -- 99,180 individuals -- experiencing a patient-safety incident died as a result, the study found.  Access the Release, Full Report or Methodology.

Public Citizen - Medical malpractice payments continue to fall, March 1, 2010.  The federal government’s National Practitioner Data Bank’s 2009 data, released on March 1, 2010, show that medical malpractice litigation costs continued to decline last year, playing an ever smaller role in health care costs. Foremost, the data show that the number and value of medical malpractice payments, as well as the total costs of medical malpractice litigation, all continued to decline in 2009. They remain a mere fraction of a fraction of health costs. Access full report.

Calculating the Medical Malpractice Cap: The cap established in Article 4590i of the Medical Liability Act of 1977 limits non-economic damages on wrongful death.  Access the formula.

Center for Justice & Democracy: The Faces of Medical Medical Malpractice 3-1-10
Medical malpractice survivors from five states traveled to Washington, D.C. on Monday March 1 to participate in a first-time-ever meeting with the White House. View profiles.

Public Citizen April 2009: Public Citizen’s Health Research Group Ranking of the Rate of State Medical Boards’ Serious Disciplinary Actions, 2006-2008:Using an analysis of data just released by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) on all disciplinary actions taken against doctors in 2008, we have calculated the rate of serious disciplinary actions (revocations, surrenders, suspensions and probation/restrictions) taken by state medical boards in 2008. Access report.

American Association for Justice: 2009 Medical Neglience Primer. A large part of the health care debate will focus on the cost of health care and the driving factors behind it. In the past there has been much focus on restricting patients’ rights to hold negligent medical providers accountable, but little focus on reducing and eliminating preventable medical errors. This is partly due to the exploitation of the medical negligence “crisis” by interest groups with agendas to push. A large body of research prompted by the crisis now indicates that many of the common perceptions about medical negligence are little more than myths. This report analyzes the most recent empirical work on medical negligence in an attempt to come to a better understanding of the true challenges facing the country.  Access Report.