There is some good news for physicians practicing in the state of Ohio. The Columbus Dispatch is reporting data from the state that indicates claims are continuing the downward trend of the past few years.
Following are some highlights from the Columbus Dispatch article:
- Medical-malpractice claims hit a new low in Ohio in 2012, with 2,733 claims — the vast majority resulting in no malpractice payment.
- A total of $177.3 million was paid to 576 claimants, an average of $307,852 apiece, according to the annual Ohio Medical Professional Liability Closed Claim Report from the Ohio Department of Insurance.
- The report shows a steady decline in claims against surgeons, general-practice physicians and other medical personnel since the state adopted tort-reform laws in 2003. The 2,733 closed claims in 2012, the last year for which numbers are available, was the lowest since the state began tracking claims in 2005, when there were 5,051.
- Nearly 4 in 5 claims resulted in no malpractice payment, although in almost all cases money was awarded for investigation and defense costs, averaging $29,691 apiece, the report showed.
- Legal wrangling over lawsuits and settlements in medical-malpractice cases reached a tipping point in 2003 when the General Assembly passed and Gov. Bob Taft signed Senate Bill 281. The law capped non-economic damages, commonly known as “pain and suffering” awards, at $500,000 per occurrence. Other changes followed.
Read the original article in the Columbus Dispatch here: