Reports by state agencies in Massachusetts and Missouri found that the number of medical malpractice claims paid on behalf of physicians had fallen—26% in the last 2 years in Massachusetts and 11% in the last year in Missouri.
Reports by state agencies in Massachusetts and Missouri found that the number of medical malpractice claims paid on behalf of physicians had fallen-26% in the last 2 years in Massachusetts and 11% in the last year in Missouri. But insurance company officials warn that it's too early to tell if these statistics represent a downward trend or an anomaly, according to Medical Liability Monitor (12/04). Additional data were also reported:
In Massachusetts, the Board of Registration in Medicine found that the number of payments made by state physicians has been declining since 2001. However, the average payout per physician almost doubled-from $251,760 in 1994 to $431,106 in 2003. In addition, the specialties representing the highest percentage of physicians making medmal payments were ob/gyns (24.1%), gynecologists (20.7%), and neurological surgeons (16.2%).
In Missouri, the Department of Insurance found that the average payout for physicians increased just 2% in the last year to $211,502. The department also found that claims closed with payments against physicians fell to their second lowest level ever. Moreover, insurance premiums paid by state doctors rose 121% between 2000 and 2003, while actual payouts to injured patients increased just 14%.