A medical malpractice lawyer is someone most people hope to never need, but with 51,546 adverse reactions in the United States between 2004 and 2014, according to the Health Resources and Services Administration, it is always a possibility looming in the minds of patients. In 2005, the average cost spent on anesthesiologist-related medical malpractice was 174.4 million. In 2013, this number declined to $91.1 million, according to the National Practitioner Data Bank.
While this is good news for many, it is not without a dose of bad news. The claims associated with outpatient anesthesiology have increased and this has caused people to seek the help of a New York medical malpractice lawyer.
“Overall, medical malpractice claims have decreased dramatically since 2005,” said Richard J. Kelly, MD, JD, MPH, FCLM, an Anesthesiologists-Decrease-and-Shift-to-Outpatient-Anesthesia-Services/34847″>anesthesiologist from the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine. “Due to increased outpatient utilization, the proportion of claims for outpatients has actually increased as compared to inpatients; however, the amount that’s being paid for outpatient claims is still significantly less than inpatient claims.”
The American Society of Anesthesiologists annual meeting in 2015 had a study that looked at the shift that occurred between 2005 and 2013. They were exploring the characteristics of both outpatient and inpatient malpractice claims, including patient demographics, payment size and clinical outcome.
The researchers used 2,408 anesthesiology-related malpractice payments to collect their data. All of these cases were associated with physician providers. Inpatient versus outpatient was the primary independent variable used in the study. According to the study, of the nine-year period and 2,408 payments made, inpatient events accounted for 76.5 percent (1,841) and outpatient events accounted for 23.5 percent (567).
Over the course of the study, both decreased, however, with inpatient payments decreasing by 45.5 percent and outpatient payments decreasing by 24.3 percent. Comparing the two, the payments paid out on inpatient claims were more expensive. The average inpatient claim was $245,000 and the average outpatient claim was $189,349.
Another report presented at this annual meeting looked at the difference in payment amounts associated with general operating room payments and non-operating room payments. The payments associated with the general operating room were far lower at $285,000. Those associated with non-operating room were a median of $554,000.
These figures are attributed to the fact that there is a rise in outpatient surgery procedures. Many procedures that required a hospital stay years ago are now able to be performed on an outpatient basis. This means more patients are having surgery, a minimal recovery period and then being sent home the next day. This prevents the ability for trained healthcare staff to monitor the patient for the few days after they have surgery.
Now, when looking at the overall spending on claims associated with anesthesiology, the news is good. Overall, there is a 41.4 percent decrease in the overall spending on claims associated with anesthesiology. This means that more is being done to prevent patients from experiencing issues associated with the anesthesiology administered during various surgical procedures. More of the safeguards put into place are working and fewer patients are requiring the help of a New York medical malpractice lawyer.