Defense Costs of Medical Malpractice Claims Vary by Physician Specialty

April 11, 2012 | Risk Management News

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The costs associated with resolving medical malpractice claims vary considerably across specialties, both among claims with and without indemnity payments, according to correspondence about the results of a study published in the April 5, 2012, New England Journal of Medicine. The study, which analyzed defense costs associated with 26,853 malpractice claims closed between 1995 and 2005 among 40,916 physicians covered by a nationwide professional liability insurer, found that the mean cost associated with defending medical malpractice claims was $22,959. Claims in which an indemnity payment was made were associated with higher mean defense costs than claims with no payment; however, mean defense costs varied considerably across specialties, both among claims with and without indemnity payments.

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