In Ohio, the number of closed medical-malpractice cases rose in 2009, and so did damages amounts when an award was made, a newly released state report showed.
It marked the first time the number of closed cases increased in the five years that the Ohio Insurance Department has compiled such data.
Among the key findings of the Medical Professional Liability Closed Claim Report:
- For 2009, a total of 3,344 claims were reported. That's up from 3,080 from the year before.
- About one in four of the claims closed with an indemnity payment.
- The total amount paid -- $258.4 million, or an average of $322,200 per claim in which an indemnity payment was made. That's up from $253,000.
- A total of 57 claims, or about 7 percent, generated payments of $1 million or more.
- When broken down by medical specialty, Internal Medicine had the most claims at 186 with 22 resulting in paid indemnity averaging $240,941.
- Among specialties, Neurology claims, six of them, had the highest average paid indemnity -- $1,530,218.
- Birth injury claims, while accounting for only 4 percent of the total, generated large payments. The average indemnity payment for those cases was $1.1 million -- more than triple the average for all cases.
- Diagnosis-related incidents, such as failure to diagnose, delay in diagnosis, or misdiagnosis produced the highest number of claims of 876 with 151 resulting in paid indemnity.
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