Physicians Weigh In on the Professional Cost of Malpractice Claims

February 8, 2013 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care


The vast majority of U.S. physicians will face a malpractice lawsuit sometime during their medical careers—but while claims infrequently result in physician payments, many physicians report that the time spent handling a single malpractice claim is the most taxing aspect of the medical malpractice system, according to one physician writing for the New York Times’Well blog. The average U.S. physician spends about 11% of an assumed 40-year career with an open medical malpractice claim, concluded one study published in the January 2013 issue of Health Affairs (see the January 25, 2013, Physician Practice E-News). The author of the New York Times blog post says that “far from overstating the issue, doctors may in fact be underestimating the extent to which malpractice not only consumes their time but also undermines their ability to care for patients.”

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