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Relatively Few Doctors Account for a Large Portion of Malpractice Claims

  Alan Fuchsberg  |  January 29, 2016  |  

Most doctors go through their entire careers without having any medical malpractice claims filed against them. A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that a small number of doctors tend to be serial malpractice offenders and account for a large share of malpractice actions and payouts.

A Study Documented that a Small Percentage of Doctors Accounts for a Large Share of Malpractice Claims

Using data from the National Practitioner Data Bank, an information repository created by Congress, researchers in the study reviewed more than 66,000 paid medical malpractice claims against 54,099 doctors during a 10-year span from 2005 through 2014. What they found was alarming.

According to their research, roughly one percent of all physicians accounted for nearly one-third of all paid medical malpractice claims. Of those physicians who had claims during this 10-year period, 20 percent, or one of every five doctors, had two or more paid claims.

Why Are Relatively Few Doctors Making So Many Mistakes?

Some believe that a doctor’s specialty area may impact his or her malpractice rate to some degree.  For example, heart surgery carries more risk than a routine physical.  But that does not necessarily explain the whole story. The results of the study may indicate that some doctors simply provide substandard care. Another possible conclusion is that many doctors who are sued make the same mistake multiple times, only with different patients.

The importance of this information is that the ability to identify claim-prone physicians as early as possible could guide efforts to improve care, thereby eliminating a substantial share of medical malpractice claims.

If you think you have been injured on account of a doctor’s medical error, our New York medical malpractice attorneys can review your case.  You may have the basis for making a malpractice claim.  Contact us to schedule a consultation.

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