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Medical malpractice claim filings and payments have been declining at a steady pace. Now the fewest in decades

From The New York State Trial Lawyers Association:

“New York’s healthcare industry has long pressed for enactment of so-called “tort reform” so they can be relieved of supposedly “excessive” medical liability payments. In fact, payments to medical malpractice victims have already declined substantially:

• The number of medical malpractice claims filed in New York courts has declined every year since 2007. Fewer claims were filed in 2012 than in any year since 1992, even as New York’s population grew.

• Medical malpractice payments recorded by the National Practitioner Data Bank also declined:

o There were the fewest physician medical malpractice payments in New York in 2011 than in any year since 1991, the first full year this data was issued.
o Between 1991 and 2011 the number of payments in New York declined 28 percent. The number of payments declined every year since 2004.
o Between 2004 and 2011 the total dollar value of payments declined 25 percent. The total dollar value declined every year between 2004 and 2011.

Instead of promoting “tort reform,” which would deny many malpractice victims necessary and reasonable compensation for their injuries, healthcare providers should extend this promising payment trend by redoubling their efforts to reduce the still-epidemic number of medical errors.”