The fishtail effect of the astronomical rise in medical malpractice claims was the focus of research by Oregon Health & Sciences University.
OHSU analyzed data from the American Board of Neurological Surgeons (ABNS) collected from 2004-2007, examining the correlation between numbers of practicing and retiring neurosurgeons and the malpractice histories of each state. The data was obtained from 4,584 active and retired neurosurgeons.
There are 3,229 practicing neurosurgeons in the United States certified by the ABNS. Neurosurgeons average annual premiums of $100,000 in medical malpractice insurance. Some payments reach $300,000 annually. In 2005, neurosurgeons paid $28 million in malpractice lawsuit claims.
- States in “crisis” had a 5% increase in practicing neurosurgeons.
- In the 10 states with the largest increases in practicing neurosurgeons, eight were “severe” states and five were “crisis” states. (The American Medical Association labels “crisis” states while the Council of State Neurosurgical Societies labels “severe” states.)
- Non-crisis states realized a 2% decrease in practicing neurosurgeons.
- The financial amount of malpractice claims had no impact on practicing neurosurgeons in a respective state.
Instead of relocating to another state, neurosurgeons are limiting their medical practices to avoid malpractice lawsuits, analysts believe. Since doctors restrict their procedures, additional neurosurgeons are needed in the same geographic area to service patients’ medical/surgical needs.
If you or a loved one suspect they are suffering as a result of surgical error during brain surgery, a misdiagnosis, or other negligent care by a nerosurgeon, learn more about North Carolina medical malpractice claims during a consultation with a lawyer. If you are considering filing a claim you will need to understand your rights, the statute of limitations, and the types of evidence you will need to produce for a malpractice claim. Brent Adams is board-certified in trial law and can explain how your malpractice case may proceed in court and out of court.