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Healthgrades for ProfessionalsAverage Medical Malpractice Payments by State

Regional Variations in Malpractice Claim Payments Highlight Need for Systematic Risk Mitigation

The resurgence in medical malpractice claims across the United States post-pandemic era presents a significant analysis of the variability in average payments by state, according to the latest data from the National Practitioner Data Bank. This variability underscores the geographical and systemic differences influencing malpractice litigation and highlights the importance of consistent risk mitigation practices to safeguard healthcare providers.

Key Points:

  • The average medical malpractice claim payment in the United States is approximately $500,000, with notable variations depending on the state.
  • Vermont reports the highest average malpractice payment at $2,147,500, an anomaly attributed to its very low number of claims.
  • States like Massachusetts and the District of Columbia follow, with average payments of $902,912 and $832,265 respectively, pointing to a higher risk and cost of litigation in these areas.
  • On the other end of the spectrum, Wyoming has the lowest average malpractice payment at $144,300, influenced by minimal claim activity.
  • The overall volume of malpractice claims is on the rise following a temporary decrease during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The primary causes for malpractice claims remain largely consistent, with failures in diagnosis or delays being the most cited reasons, followed by complications from treatments or surgeries.
  • Proactive communication with patients and adherence to risk mitigation protocols are emphasized as crucial for physicians to protect themselves from potential litigation.

HCN Medical Memo
The latest data from the National Practitioner Data Bank provides a view into the number of claims by state, as well as total dollar value of all claims and average malpractice claim payment. There is considerable variation by geography.

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