A summary of an article in the Insurance Journal, April 1, 2019, “Misdiagnosis Most Common Reason for Malpractice Claims, Studies Claim
Several studies have consistently found misdiagnosis to be the most common cause of claims.
Coverys, malpractice carrier
Review of 1800 closed claims against physicians from 2013-2017 showed 46% related to diagnosis
The Doctors Company, malpractice carrier
Review of 1215 closed claims against physicians treating children from 2008 to 2018 Showed 38% related to diagnosis
National Academy of Medicine concluded in 2015 that diagnostic error may be the 3rd leading cause of death among hospitalized patients.
2017 Study by University of Michigan researchers found 22% of the 62966 reviewed malpractice claims filed by hospitalized patients were diagnosis related.
According to Coverys, the top allegation against primary care providers involved inadequate patient assessment – that is, collecting family history and a thorough exam.
According to The Doctors Company the average indemnity payment was north of $630K and average expense paid was more than $155K. Their study also showed that most claims were filed within 3 years of the event, 76%.
Failure to gather and reconcile signs, reported symptoms, patient history, physical exam and test results was found to be the most common patient assessment problem. Summary of article from the Insurance Journal.