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Malpractice Payments Against Anesthesiologists Fall

It’s interesting to note that the cumulative spending on malpractice payments against anesthesiologists has fallen dramatically in recent years, from $174.4 million in 2005 to $91.1 million in 2013. This data is part of a new study that was obtained from the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB). The trend today, however, seems to have shifted and has shown an increase in claims occurring filed in the outpatient setting.

Despite the recent shift toward outpatient services, Richard J. Kelly, MD, JD, MPH, FCLM, an anesthesiologist from the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine noted that little is known about the effect of practice setting on malpractice payments in anesthesiology.

Using data obtained from the NPDB, in the 2,408 payments for malpractice that were made during the nine-year period, 567 (23.5%) were for outpatient events and 1,841 (76.5%) were for inpatient cases.

According to Dr. Kelly, the frequency of anesthesia-related payments decreased over the course of the study, with outpatient and inpatient payments decreasing 24.3% and 45.5%.

The average payment amount for an anesthesiology-related claim was approximately $245,000, with inpatient claims being significantly more expensive than outpatient claims ($261,742 and $189,349).

“Since 2005, overall spending on anesthesia-related claims has decreased by 41.4% ($83.3 million), which is great,” Dr. Kelly said. “It looks like we’re doing something right.”

While the decrease in the number of inpatient lawsuits against anesthesiologists is good news for doctors and medical service providers, ‘doing things right,’ as Dr. Kelly put it, really does depend on medical services meeting a certain standard of care. Every patient has the right to that level of quality healthcare being provided by their physician or healthcare facility or hospital. The standard of care is what healthcare providers are required to adhere to. This expectation follows a certain set of standards of care and when it comes to matters of behavior and ethics. Most doctors and healthcare providers adhere to these standards. However, those who don’t should be held accountable for their actions.

If you believe that you or a loved one believes they has suffered as a result of medical malpractice or other medical related personal injury, contact the law offices of Bottar Leone, PLLC today. We’ll meet with you and carefully evaluate your claim. There is absolutely no charge to meet with us. Call to schedule a free initial consultation. You may contact us at our toll free number (888) 979-1689, or at (315) 313-6809, or reach us by email at