You may have heard a number of myths about doctors, medical malpractice, and the civil justice system. Here are 8 Facts regarding medical malpractice claims in the United States.
1. Medical negligence is a serious national problem: Up to 195,000 patients die each year from preventable medical errors in hospitals.
2. According to the American Medical Association, the number of doctors has INCREASED in every state over the last several years: Some claim the number of physicians is decreasing due to malpractice liability insurance premiums. This is simply not the case.
3. Malpractice claims are NOT driving up doctors’ insurance premiums: Premiums rise and fall with the state of the economy. Inflation and other insurance-industry forces drove up doctors’ insurance premiums more than lawsuits. In fact, insurers raise rates even when their casualty payouts decrease.
4. Malpractice claims do NOT drive health-care costs up: Malpractice costs amount to less than two percent of overall health-care spendin and have remained so for years.
5. Caps on claims awards do NOT lower doctors’ malpractice insurance premiums: Insurance premiums in states with caps are nearly ten percent higher than in states without caps.
6. Insurance reform does NOT lower medical malpractice insurance rates: Premiums in California, for example, rose 450 percent between the passage of a cap law in 1975 and meaningful insurance reform in 1988.
7. High premiums are the direct RESULT of bad insurance-industry conduct: A coalition of public interest organizations found that malpractice premiums increase when investment values decrease.
8. The insurance industry makes annual windfall PROFITS: Insurers earned an estimated $65 billion in 2007.
The next time you are told by a doctor or an insurance provider that litigation causes the cost of health care to rise and drives doctors from the state, please consider these facts. Medical negligence occurs to people everyday, causing loss of life, loss of the enjoyment of life, and real physical injuries and pain.
If you or a loved believe you are a victim of medical malpractice, visit our website or call the Manchin Injury Law Group at 304-367-1862 for a free consultation.