7 key points on malpractice payment rates — Mean payment hits $329.6k

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Boston-based Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School researchers found U.S. physicians’ medical malpractice claims rates dropped by 55.7 percent between 1992 and 2014, according to Medscape.

However, the decrease varied across specialties, with pediatrics boasting the highest drop at 75.8 percent in the aforementioned time frame.

Here are seven key points:

1. Cardiologists had the smallest decrease at 13.5 percent.

2. From 1992 to 2014, the mean payment among 280,368 claims was $329,565.

3. Between 1992 and 1996, the mean payment increased by 23.3 percent.

4. Neurosurgery had the highest proportion of catastrophic claims at 13 percent, with obstetrics and gynecology trailing behind at 12.4 percent.

5. Among the claims, diagnostic error was the most common types of allegation.

6. Dermatology had the highest concentration of paid claims and pathology and emergency medicine had the lowest concentration of paid claims.

7. Based on these findings, researchers concluded, “A better understanding of the causes of variation among specialties in paid malpractice claims may help reduce patient injury and physicians’ risk of liability.”

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