Medical Malpractice Reports
Medical Malpractice Report Summary
The Missouri Department of Insurance has collected medical malpractice claims data for over 30 years. These data provide an extensive time series regarding claim trends in Missouri. Data through 2011 indicate that the medical professional liability insurance market remains robust and competitive, and claims remain at levels well below historical averages. Among the most notable trends are:
- After a significant increase in 2007, the number of paid claims declined substantially in each subsequent year. Between 2007 and 2011, the number of claims closed with payment declined by nearly one-third, from 723 to 511.
- Newly reported claims increased between 2008 and 2010, but remained at levels generally below historical averages. Having peaked at 3,212 in 2005, new claims declined through 2008 to 1,429, though rising to 1,774 in 2010. However, the number of new claims declined to 1,572 in 2011.
- Average payments decreased in 2010 compared to the prior year, declining from $234,643 to $200,548, but increased substantially in 2011 to $248,422.
- The number of individuals with pending claims, or claims open at year-end, reached an all-time low of 1,822 in 2011, after a 2005 peak of 3,051.
- Surgical errors were the most prevalent type of allegation, and were associated with nearly one-third of malpractice allegations. Other common allegations involved diagnosis (18.7 percent), non-surgical and non-medicine related treatments (17.4 percent), patient safety issues, such as falls or injury during transport (13.2 percent). Additional detailed tables are provided in the report.
- Average payments track very closely the severity of the injury. Several classes of injury resulted in average payment exceeding $1 million. They included injuries resulting in quadriplegia (with an average payment of $1.9 million), failure to diagnose or treat meningitis ($2.3 million), cerebral palsy ($1.6 million), and paraplegia ($1 million).