TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Widener Commonwealth Law School

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Catastrophic Medical Malpractice Payouts in the United States

A team of doctors has published a study by this name in the Journal for Healthcare Quality.  The absract provides:

Catastrophic medical malpractice payouts, $1 million or greater, greatly influence physicians’ practice, hospital policy, and discussions of healthcare reform. However, little is known about the specific characteristics and overall cost burden of these payouts. We reviewed all paid malpractice claims nationwide using the National Practitioner Data Bank over a 7-year period (2004–2010) and used multivariate regression to identify risk factors for catastrophic and increased overall payouts. Claims with catastrophic payouts represented 7.9% (6,130/77,621) of all paid claims. Factors most associated with catastrophic payouts were patient age less than 1 year; quadriplegia, brain damage, or lifelong care; and anesthesia allegation group. Compared with court judgments, settlement was associated with decreased odds of a catastrophic payout (odds ratio, 0.31; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.22–0.42) and lower estimated average payouts ($124,863; 95% CI, $101,509–144,992). A physician's years in practice and previous paid claims history had no effect on the odds of a catastrophic payout. Catastrophic payouts averaged $1.4 billion per year or 0.05% of the National Health Expenditures. Preventing catastrophic malpractice payouts should be only one aspect of comprehensive patient safety and quality improvement strategies. Future studies should evaluate the benefits of targeted interventions based on specific patient safety event characteristics.


May 8, 2013 in Experts & Science | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Compensation Fund: Feinberg's Back

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Tom Menino have appointed Ken Feinberg to run the One Fund Boston for victims of the Boston marathon bombing.   The Enterprise has an interview with Feinberg as does MSNBC.   Similar to his work in prior compensation funds, Feinberg will be holding town hall meetings with the public (today and tomorrow), and meeting privately with victims.   According to The Enterprise:  

The final protocol and claim forms will be available on the fund’s website by May 15, and people will have a month to register. Feinberg, who has sole authority over the fund, said the money will be distributed to Boston victims by the end of June.

Currently, the One Fund has received a bit over $28 million in donations.  The full story is here


May 6, 2013 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)