1 paid malpractice claim makes a 2nd claim 4 times more likely: Study

A new JAMA study shows that physicians who have settled one medical malpractice claim are four times more likely than their peers to face additional claims in the future, according to a Feb. 22 report from Medscape

State disclosure of medical malpractice claims does not impact the statistic. 

In the study, researchers at Washington D.C.-based Georgetown University, the National Opinion Research Center, Boulder-based University of Colorado and Chicago-based Northwestern University analyzed paid malpractice claims for all U.S. physicians. 

One claim may hold predictive power for future claims, according to the study. 

Between 2009 and 2013, 3 percent of physicians had one medical malpractice settlement, and 1 percent had more than one based on an analysis of 881,876 physicians. Between 2014 and 2018, the proportions were similar. 

The study showed a physician with one claim between 2009 and 2013 is at a 3.7 times higher risk for future claims, while a physician with two paid claims is seven times more at risk. 

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