"Prevalence and Characteristics of Physicians Prone to Malpractice Claims"
Please note: All research in progress seminars are off-the-record. Any information about methodology and/or results is embargoed until publication.
The distribution of malpractice claims across the physician workforce is not well understood. If claim-prone physicians account for a substantial share of all claims, and it is feasible to reliably identify those physicians at an early stage, there are clear implications for efforts to improve the quality and safety of care. Liability insurers and healthcare organizations could use the information to target interventions to address risks posed by claim-prone physicians. Using data from the National Practitioner Data Bank, we analyzed malpractice claims paid against physicians between 2005 and 2014. We calculated concentrations of claims among physicians. We also sought to identify characteristics of physicians at high risk of “recurrent claims”. We find that relatively few physicians account for a surprisingly large number of paid malpractice claims. Our findings also suggest that it may be feasible to predict who these physicians are before they accumulate troubling track records.