Medical Malpractice Payments Sunk to Record Low in 2011

Skyrocketing Healthcare Costs and Rampant Medical Errors Discredit the Promises Put Forth by Advocates of Tort Reform

July11, 2012 - By almost any measure, medical malpractice payments were at their lowest level on record in 2011, a new Public Citizen report shows. Both the number of medical malpractice payments made on behalf of doctors and the inflation-adjusted value of such payments were at their lowest levels since 1991, the earliest full year in which the government collected such data. But, contrary to the promises of policy makers and leaders of physician groups who have spent the past two decades championing efforts to restrict patients’ legal rights, there is no evidence that patients have received any benefits - economic or otherwise - in exchange for ceding access to legal remedies. Instead, the evidence suggests that malpractice victims, taxpayers, and ordinary patients are almost certainly bearing significant costs for uncompensated medical errors. Read the report.