Internists: Top 5 Reasons They're Sued for Medical Malpractice

Female physician with medical chartToday, let’s explore the top 5 reasons Internists are sued for medical malpractice. Knowing is half the battle, right? Our data today comes from a large-scale, recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, entitled, “Characteristics of Medical Professional Liability Claims Against Internists.” Of the 33,747 closed-claim medical malpractice cases that involved Internists, there were five major causes of lawsuits that together comprised 82% of the claims. The findings were also discussed on MedPageToday.com.

Here are the Top 5 Reasons Internists are Sued for Medical Malpractice:

1. Failure to Correctly Diagnose a Primary Medical Condition.
Total Percentage of Claims: 26.4%
Percentage of Claims Paid: 33.8%
Median Amount of Payment: $183,000

2. Breach of Care Due to Other Failures.
Total Percentage of Claims: 25.4%
Percentage of Claims Paid: 4.8%
Median Amount of Payment: $114,150

3. Harm Due to Errors in Performance.
Total Percentage of Claims: 11.1%
Percentage of Claims Paid: 28.3%
Median Amount of Payment: $103,203

4. Harm Due to Failure to Monitor Subordinates.
Total Percentage of Claims: 10.9%
Percentage of Claims Paid: 31.1%
Median Amount of Payment: $141,875

5. Harm Due to Incorrect Prescription or Administration of Medications.
Total Percentage of Claims: 8.5%
Percentage of Claims Paid: 29.2%
Median Amount of Payment: $89,600

Of the Top 5 reasons for claims, Internists should note that the top 2 reasons for medical malpractice lawsuits, together, make-up approximately 50% of all Internist claims.

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