On average, each physician spends 50.7 months, or approximately 11 percent of an average 40-year career, on resolving medical malpractice cases—the majority of which end up with no indemnity payment. That’s the conclusion of a study1 by the RAND Corporation based on data provided by The Doctors Company, the nation’s largest physician-owned medical malpractice insurer. Researchers found that 70 percent of the time physicians spend on claims is spent defending claims that end in no payment to the plaintiff.
Key findings of the study include:
The effect of malpractice claims on physicians’ careers is discussed further by Richard E. Anderson, MD, FACP, chairman and CEO of The Doctors Company, in two short videos that can be viewed at www.youtube.com/doctorscompany.
To help prevent claims that can take up years of your career, follow these key tips to promote patient safety:
1. Seabury SA, Chandra A, Lakdawalla DN, Jena AB. On average, physicians spend nearly 11 percent of their 40-year careers with an open, unresolved malpractice claim. Health Affairs. 2013;32(1):1-9.
The guidelines suggested here are not rules, do not constitute legal advice, and do not ensure a successful outcome. The ultimate decision regarding the appropriateness of any treatment must be made by each healthcare provider in light of all circumstances prevailing in the individual situation and in accordance with the laws of the jurisdiction in which the care is rendered.