The next time that someone tells you that malpractice premiums are escalating and contribute to runaway healthcare costs, please make them aware of the following information. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners published statistics on malpractice payouts showing that direct losses incurred have dropped from a high of $8,459,389,539 in 2003 to $3,655,161,296 in 2011. Without factoring in inflation, that represents a drop of a whopping 56.8 percent during those eight years.
These statistics show that premiums have decreased five years in a row, from $12,167,900,762 in 2006 to $10,296,112,512 in 2011. The URL is: http://www.naic.org/documents/research_stats_medical_malpractice.pdf. Thus, malpractice insurance premiums are not “skyrocketing,” as Big Insurance and Big Medicine proclaim.
Similarly, malpractice payments by doctors being reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank from 2001 through 2011 paint a similar picture. The National Practitioner Data Bank reports payments in 2004 of $4,397,780,000 and in 2011 of $2,820,910,000, a drop of 35.8 percent. The URL for the National Practitioner Data Bank is:
The National Practitioner Data Bank statistics also show the number of payments for doctor negligence has declined ten years in a row. The numbers are:
- 2001 15,925
- 2002 14,978
- 2003 14,930
- 2004 14,304
- 2005 13,396
- 2006 11,677
- 2007 11,010
- 2008 10,533
- 2009 10,440
- 2010 9,458
- 2011 8,450
The number of payments in 2011 represents a reduction of 47 percent from the number of payments in 2001.
When you consider that there are approximately 1,503,323 people who die or are injured annually as a result of medical errors