Examples of medical malpractice occur every day. Despite being technically available to the public, medical malpractice statistics for specific doctors and practices can be hard to come by, though. One recent study from the University of Michigan Medical School looked at the rate of disciplinary action when it came to medical malpractice facts across all 50 states in order to see where, why, and for what medical professionals were held accountable for in their practice.
According to ScienceDaily.com, there is a vast disparity among states when it comes to medical malpractice statistics on discipline. Some states seem incredibly high while others suspiciously too low. In fact, the gap is so great that the percentage rate difference between the highest and lowest states is a fourfold difference.
“We don’t know what the ‘right’ rate of physician disciplinary action is, but no state should want to be in the extremes,” says John A. Harris, M.D., senior author of the new paper. “Patients assume oversight of doctors is well-regulated in all states, that all doctors are held to the same ethical standards and disciplined appropriately when needed. But there’s no central governing body, and there’s significant variation.”
At the end of the day, the researchers believe it’s the states that fall on the low end of this spectrum to seriously rethink their standards and regulatory practices. In their theory, the actual rate of medical malpractice statistics probably doesn’t vary in actually from state to state all the much, but the standards/medical boards issuing the disciplinary action certainly do. New York was on the very low end of the discipline rate.
New York had the lowest rate in the country in terms of major disciplinary action taken per 1,000 physicians at 0.64. On the other side, the state with the highest rate was Massachusetts at 2.71 actions. Overall, the country sat at an average rate of 1.15.
As some of the best medical malpractice lawyers Long Island New York has, these numbers are concerning. They suggest that the people on the state’s medical boards in charge of doling out punishment do so at an alarming insufficient rate. Sure, there is room for variation from state to state, but as the researchers point out it’s much more likely that other things are going on behind the scenes rather than doctors from New York simply being four times better than their counterparts in Massachusetts.
Medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the Journal of American Medical Association. The victims of which are more likely to be female (60%). Surgery errors accounted for about 34% of medical malpractice claims in the inpatient setting.