Medical malpractice claims concentrated among some providers

by jerry on June 01, 2019
The New York Times published a piece that discusses research showing that a small percentage of physicians are disproportionately responsible for (associated with) a large number of claims ("about 2 percent of doctors accounted for about 39 percent of all claims in the United States").

To conduct the most recent study, authors used the National Practitioner Data Bank, which is a national database that tracks "malpractice payments and certain adverse actions related to health care practitioners, providers, and suppliers." Unfortunately for the public, access to the database is limited to certain entities such as as hospitals. The authors found that "more than 90 percent of doctors who had at least five claims were still in practice" -- meaning that whatever self-regulating mechanism the industry thinks is in place likely is not effective. Given that repeat offenders can continue to practice, it seems that for all of the industry's talk of patient safety, the adverse actions in the National Practitioner Data Bank should be made publicly available.