More evidence that there isn’t a medical malpractice crisis
Medical malpractice payments totaled .14 of 1 percent of healthcare spending. Just how much lower do we need to go before the “crisis” is over? Is it like drunk driving and we need to get below .10 or .08?
WASHINGTON – Fewer medical malpractice payments were made on behalf of doctors in 2009 than any year on record, according to the National Practitioner Data Bank.
This finding contradicts claims that medical malpractice litigation is to blame for rising healthcare costs and that changing the liability system to the detriment of patients will not curb costs.
The value of malpractice payments was also the lowest since 1999. Adjusted for inflation, payments were at their lowest since 1992, a Public Citizen analysis of the NPDB shows.
According to the analysis, healthcare spending rose 83 percent from 2000-09, while medical malpractice payments fell 8 percent (both figures are in unadjusted dollars.)
A total of 10,772 payments were made on behalf of doctors in 2009, totaling $3.49 billion. That figure equals 0.14 of 1 percent of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ estimated $2.5 trillion in overall U.S. healthcare spending for 2009.