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Malpractice cost remains of high concern to hospitals

Pennsylvania residents, like their counterparts around the nation, can grapple with the concerns about medical malpractice every time they seek care or fill a prescription. With more and more awareness about the true numbers of deaths that occur from medical errors every year, such concern is warranted. Consequences of errors can be minor or serious and result in brain trauma, loss of limbs, permanent disability or even death.

While patients are focused on how to protect themselves from a physician error, hospitals and doctors are focused on how to reduce the cost of malpractice insurance or cases when filed. Every state in the country faces these concerns and the circumstances can be very different from state to state. In Connecticut, several factors appear to have worked together to lower the cost of medical malpractice insurance between 2009 and 2012. Over those few years, 29 hospitals throughout the state have seen their insurance costs reduce by about 16 percent.

Increased competitiveness in the medical malpractice insurance market may have also contributed to the reduction in costs. The number of medical mistake claims has also decreased in the same time period but the reasons for this reduction are not fully known. In 2005, reform laws were enacted that required patients to obtain a full review of a case before filing a malpractice claim against an alleged negligent physician or healthcare facility.

Regardless of the impact to providers, patients who believe they have been injured deserve the option to receive compensation for their injuries. Help with medical expenses, long-term care or other needs may be possible. Working with an attorney may help patients understand their options for a claim.

Source: Hartford Business, “Hospitals battle medical malpractice costs,” Greg Bordonaro, April 28, 2014

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