Study Shows Wide Variance Among States’ Malpractice Costs

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Physicians, nurses and healthcare workers in the state of New York suffered the largest number of medical malpractice lawsuits filed between 2012 and 2022, while those in Wisconsin experienced the fewest filings during the same period, according to a study published online late last year.

According to the study, when the numbers were adjusted for population size, New York’s healthcare professionals incurred the most medical malpractice reports during the 10-year period at 15,951, or a total of 19.03 reports per 10,000 residents, followed by Georgia with 2,994 medical negligence filings, or 8.06 reports per 10,000 residents, and New Jersey with 6,078 filings, or 6.84 reports per 10,000 residents. Disregarding population size, New York still had the most medical malpractice filings, followed by California (12,376 reports), Florida (11,410) and Pennsylvania (8,439).

While New York healthcare professionals encountered the most malpractice filings, physicians, nurses and other healthcare workers in Ohio incurred the most expensive medical liability reports during the 10-year period. According to the study conducted and published by NiceRX, an online prescription medicine program, the state’s 2,325 medical liability filings cost its healthcare industry more than $853 million. Connecticut experienced the second-most expensive malpractice filings at more than $798 million, followed by Arizona at more than $724 million. The state of New York ranked No. 40 with the total costs to its industry at $6.85 million.

Maryland had the least-expensive medical malpractice filings between 2012 and 2022, with a total cost of $1.08 million. Texas had the second-lowest medical malpractice lawsuit costs during the period, with a total cost of $1.052 million, followed by Georgia with a total cost of $1.281 million. The study noted each of these states cap noneconomic damages in medical liability lawsuits.

According to the study’s methodology, NiceRX generated its dataset of “medical malpractice payment reports” between 2012 and 2022 using the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Data Analysis Tool.  The methodology did not define the term “medical malpractice payment report.”

The company collected malpractice reports and the total amounts of malpractice payments made by healthcare providers for each state during the 10-year period. The data is accurate as of Oct. 6, 2022. NiceRX then collected each state’s population size to calculate the number of reports filed by the population and make a more exact comparison of the states’ medical malpractice climate. This data is accurate as of Oct. 19, 2022.

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