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Medical malpractice rates steadily decline

December 21, 2012
Uncategorized By LW Consulting Inc.

Healthcare organizations that obtain additional medical litigation support will be prepared in case of a medical malpractice lawsuit or any other legal dispute with patients or businesses. Also, by remaining HIPAA compliant, medical facilities will be less likely to be left with a hefty financial fine from federal agencies.

With the government's larger role in managing the healthcare industry, there has been a decline in medical malpractice lawsuits, as healthcare providers remain dedicated to improving care. Medscape News Today reported that the rate of physician malpractice has fallen for the fifth year in a row.

More healthcare facilities are focused on meeting meaningful use regulations, ICD-10 compliance and avoiding HIPAA violations, which may be why the rate of medical malpractice has declined.

"The industry's claims frequency is now approximately half of what it was a decade ago," Chad Karls, a consulting actuary at Milliman, told the news source. "I believe tort reform is a contributing factor, but it is not the sole reason. We've seen a fall-off in claims frequency in states with tort reform and states without tort reform."

Some believe that a cap on pain and suffering claims enacted in certain states has led to the decline in medical malpractice lawsuits, but there may be other reasons at play. There is currently a drop in premiums, which has made the medical malpractice insurance sector into a "soft market."

With improved patient care practices, the healthcare industry has been more capable in avoiding malpractice lawsuits. Medical organizations that have had legal disputes with patients regarding their care in the past should consider obtaining medical litigation support from quality consulting companies that can keep providers HIPAA compliant.