Malpractice Claims Consume Years of Physicians’ Careers, Study Shows

In Video, CEO of Largest Malpractice Insurance Company Says Data Indicates Litigation System in Need of Change

Napa, California—January 31, 2013—In a video released today by The Doctors Company, the nation’s largest medical malpractice insurer, Chairman and CEO Richard E. Anderson, MD, FACP, states that national data from a collaboration with the RAND Corporation objectively indicates that tort reform is needed.

The Doctors Company provided the RAND Corporation and other researchers unfettered access to its claims database with over 40,000 physicians who had faced malpractice claims between 1995 and 2005 in every U.S. state and the District of Columbia. In the video, “Pending Malpractice Claims Consume Physicians’ Careers,” Dr. Anderson discusses the RAND study, finding that the average physician spends 50.7 months, or over four years, of a 40-year career fighting malpractice claims—the majority of which end up with no indemnity payment. High-risk specialists such as neurosurgeons and cardiovascular surgeons spend nearly a quarter of their careers defending themselves against this litigation onslaught.

“We are pleased to share our unique claims database for this significant research,” Dr. Anderson said. “With nearly 75,000 members and over 35 years of experience in medical malpractice litigation, we have the depth and breadth of information required for this type of research. These findings by the RAND Corporation are objective evidence that the litigation system needs to be fixed so physicians can spend their time practicing good medicine instead of fighting claims, the majority of which are fruitless, if not frivolous.”

A recent study on the results of this research was authored by Seth Seabury, senior economist at the RAND Corporation, and Anupam Jena, assistant professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School and general internist at Massachusetts General Hospital. Additional authors included Amitabh Chandra, professor and director of health policy research at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, and Darius Lakdawalla, Quintiles Chair in pharmaceutical development and regulatory innovation at the University of Southern California.

To view the video and to subscribe to The Doctors Company YouTube channel, go to www.youtube.com/doctorscompany. To view more extensive data on the time spent by physicians on malpractice claims, go to www.thedoctors.com/claimsfrequency.

About The Doctors Company
Founded by doctors for doctors in 1976, The Doctors Company (www.thedoctors.com) is relentlessly committed to advancing, protecting, and rewarding the practice of good medicine. The Doctors Company is the nation’s largest medical malpractice insurer, with 73,000 members and $4 billion in assets, and is rated A by A.M. Best Company and Fitch Ratings.

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