Indiana medical malpractice lawyers have heard claims of a medical malpractice “crisis” from doctors and their insurance companies. The cries were particularly loud during the recent debate on the health care reform bill. However, the claims of a malpractice crisis are refuted by the facts.
Medical malpractice payments are tracked by the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB). An analysis of the NPDB’s statistics for 2009 by the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen shows that the number of payments made by physicians to medical malpractice claimants in 2009 was the lowest since the creation of the NPDB in 1990 and that the inflation-adjusted amount of payments was either the lowest or second lowest on record (depending on the method of adjustment used). Payments to medical malpractice victims totaled just .14 percent of all health costs.
While payments have gone down, medical errors continue to kill or injure thousands of patients every year. Hearst Newspapers investigation in 2009 concluded that the annual death toll from medical errors in the United States approached 200,000.
The quality of medical care in this country will not improve if health care providers are allowed to escape accountability for their negligence. If you or loved one has been injured as a result of a medical error, contact the experienced Indiana medical malpractice lawyers at Garau Germano Hanley & Pennington, P.C.