Claims against Emergency Physicians Cost Both Money and Time

February 1, 2012 | Strategic Insights for Health System


Although the vast majority of claims against Illinois emergency physicians do not lead to indemnity payment, claims can be costly to defend and take almost four years from incident to close, reports a study in the January 2012 Journal of Emergency Medicine. The study included all closed malpractice claims against emergency physicians insured by a large Illinois malpractice insurance carrier from 1995 through 2004. Notice of a lawsuit was served in only 200 (44%) of the 450 total claims. Cases in which notice of a lawsuit was not served were excluded from further analysis. Among the remaining 200 claims, only 39 (19%) resulted in indemnity payment. The median indemnity payment was $220,000.

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