Healthcare News & Insights

Malpractice suits against hospitals are on the rise

After several years of claims frequency dropping, the past few years have shown a steady uptick in cases brought against hospitals.

That’s the latest news from the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management. For 2009, there were about 440,000 claims against hospitals and long-term care facilities, at a total cost of $8.6 billion — $1.4 billion of that will go to obstetrics claims.

The growth rate of claims is still a relatively low 1.91% — but costs per claim are rising much faster — about  4% per year. The average claim costs hospitals $153,000.

Note: This study only includes losses of up to $2 million, in order to focus on claims covered solely by the hospital. In most cases, the rare larger awards are mostly borne by the hospital’s insurance.

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