Medical malpractice devastates individuals and exposes weaknesses in health care systems and processes. Leaders who understand how to leverage medical professional liability (MPL) data can help their organizations prevent similar injuries of harm and loss. A new report issued by CRICO Strategies, Medical Malpractice in America: A 10-year Assessment with Insights, examines national trends in claims frequency, payment, and root causes of preventable harm.

Key findings:

  • a 27% drop in the frequency of malpractice claims and suits being asserted per physician
  • the risk of having a claim or suit filed against obstetricians/gynecologists has dropped 44%
  • average case management expenses increased on average 3.5% annually, reaching $46,000 per case in 2016, outpacing both consumer and legal inflation indices
  • the volume of high-indemnity payments of ($3M–11M) increased 7% annually
  • a medical malpractice case challenging a clinician’s judgment is 2.8 times more likely to close with payment than a case without clinical judgment issues

For the complete analysis, download the free pdf of the CBS Report, Medical Malpractice in America.

Infographic Med Mal in America

Each medical malpractice case presents unique circumstances, but a collection of similar cases can reveal a common story of what goes wrong. The 124,000 MPL claims and suits analyzed for this Report represent more than $20B in reserves and losses, and were drawn from CRICO Strategies’ Comparative Benchmarking System (CBS)—a database of deeply coded medical malpractice claims with more than 400,000 cases. CBS reflects the medical professional liability experience of more than 550 hospitals and health care entities and 180,000 physicians from commercial and captive insurers nationwide, representing approximately 30 percent of all US medical malpractice claims and suits.

Analysis of CBS data provides credible findings that can help improve safety and reduce MPL exposure. Mark E. Reynolds, President and CEO of CRICO said, “We have more than 40-years of experience with this dataset. CBS is different than other MPL datasets in that it also includes coded open and closed-without-pay claims. This, coupled with our proprietary coding system, enables organizations to get at the root cause level of error and factors that drive indemnity payments.”

Michael Paskavitz, Assistant Vice President, CRICO Strategies said, “We believe there is safety in numbers, and part of the benefit of the CBS dataset is the number of experts in our community of learning. This Report provides examples from some of the largest commercial and captive insurers—Constellation, FOJP/Hospitals Insurance Company, The Doctors Company, Medstar, and Medpro Group—about how they are leveraging their MPL data through CBS in order to inform strategic patient safety initiatives.”

To download this overview on the state of medical malpractice in America, visit

About CRICO Strategies

CRICO Strategies ( is a division of The Risk Management Foundation of the Harvard Medical Institutions Incorporated, a CRICO company. The CRICO insurance program is a group of companies owned by and serving the Harvard medical community. CRICO Strategies’ mission is to unite the medical and insurance communities into a single voice with reliable and actionable data as our shared language. Partnering with national organizations, CRICO Strategies works to strengthen their ability to reduce medical malpractice risks with powerful analytics of more than 400,000 cases of harm and loss and expertise that help get results.

Katharine Schuler
CRICO Strategies

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