According to a new study, the number of medical malpractice claims has dropped sharply since 2002.
For this study, researchers analyzed 2002-2013 data from California, Colorado, Illinois, New York and Tennessee. Overall, the rate decreased from 18.6 to 9.9 paid claims per 1,000 physicians during that time period, the study found. According to the data, the median compensation amount of paid claims (in 2013-adjusted dollars) increased 5 percent annually from 1994 to 2007, but since 2007, median compensation fell by an average of 1.1 percent a year — declining to $195,000 in 2013, researchers found.
That decline has resulted in many physicians’ malpractice insurance premiums remaining flat or declining in recent years. The estimated average annual decrease was more than 6 percent for MDs (medical doctors) and more than 5 percent for DOs (osteopathic doctors), the study found.
While most of the states surveyed saw premiums drop, the drop was not universal. In New York, rates charged by the largest insurer rose 12 percent for ob-gyns, 16 percent for internists, and 35 percent for general surgeons.
The study can be found at ahrq.gov.