Monday, April 18, 2016

The Most Dangerous States To Be A Patient

Medical error is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Every year 400,000 people die due to a medical mistake. But not all states are equally to blame for this epidemic. Some states have a higher prevalence of errors leading to major complications or death than others. Bay Alarm Medical compiled a ten year list of medical malpractice cases from the National Practitioner Data Bank. These are the Top 10 states with the highest incidence of medical errors leading to death or major injury. The numbers are the cases of malpractice suits from death or major injury per 100,000 state residents.

1. Pennsylvania (64.26 cases/100,000 residents)
2. New Jersey (60.78)
3. Louisiana (55.85)
4. New York (55.32)
5. District of Columbia (48.86)
6. Kansas (42.94)
7. New Mexico (42.44)
8. Florida (41.36)
9. Massachusetts (39.46)
10. West Virginia (37.40)

These are the ten states with the highest incidence of medical malpractice for death or major injury. What about overall malpractice suits? Which states are patients most likely to encounter incompetent physicians leading to medical errors? Or you can phrase it in a different way and ask which states are doctors most likely to be sued?

1. New York (116.23 cases/100,000 residents)
2. New Jersey (94.95)
3. Pennsylvania (92.23)
4. District of Columbia (91.57)
5. Louisiana (89.09)
6. West Virginia (70.97)
7. Kansas (68.35)
8. Montana (66.30)
9. Rhode Island (65.55)
10. Michigan (55.04)

On the flip side, what are the Top 10 states where patients are least likely to file a medical malpractice claim?

1. Alabama (17.99 cases/100,000 residents)
2. Wisconsin (18.73)
3. Minnesota (19.57)
4. North Carolina (24.42)
5. Virginia (28.62)
6. Hawaii (28.62)
7. Arkansas (29.18)
8. Idaho (29.92)
9. Georgia (35.92)
10. Tennessee (36.10)

One final set of statistics. Out of 596,000 malpractice suits filed from 2004-2014, 45% were claims against nurse practitioners, 31% against physicians. The rest of the top five medical practitioners who got sued were dentists, physical therapists, and technicians/assistants.

1 comment:

  1. I think you could have titled this post "The most dangerous states to be a physician." I'm not certain there is a correlation between litigation that is filed and actual harm to patients. An attorney in Allegheny County (PA) can file a suit even without an expert opinion. It's cheap, easy, and fun for sleazey lawyers going for a nuisance settlement. It sounds paradoxical but there are rural medically underserved counties with poor outcomes here in PA that have NEVER had a malpractice suit filed. People have a bond with their local "doc" and it's a personal non-business relationship. Even if the physician does something egregious, he is not going to get sued.