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Rates and Characteristics of Medical Malpractice Claims Against Hospitalists

  • July 1, 2021

Members of CRICO’s Patient Safety Department’s Analytics Team, Adam Schaffer, Jonathan Einbinder, Winnie Yu, Astrid Babayan, and Robert Wachter of the University of California, San Francisco (a CRICO Strategies client) collaborated on research focused on the claims risk of hospitalists.

The study examined the rate at which hospitalists are named in medical malpractice claims, as well as the characteristics of these claims. Using the data from CRICO’s Comparative Benchmarking System (CBS), which contains approximately 31% of all U.S. medical malpractice claims, the researchers were able to identify the frequency at which hospitalists were named in claims between 2009 and 2018.

The authors found that hospitalists had an annual malpractice claims rate of 1.95 claims per 100 physician-years, similar to that of nonhospitalist general internal medicine physicians at 1.92 claims per 100 physician-years, and significantly greater than that of internal medicine subspecialists at 1.30 claims per 100 physician-years. Claims analysis showed that the rate of claims naming hospitalists did not decrease over the time frame of the study, unlike claims rates for four of the five other specialties examined, which significantly decreased over the same period. The findings here suggest that the malpractice environment for hospitalists is becoming less favorable.


Citation for the Full-text Article

Schaffer A, Yu W, Babayan A, Wachter R, Einbinder J. Rates and characteristics of medical malpractice claims against hospitalists. Journal of Hospital Medicine. 2021 Jul;16(7):390-396. doi: 10.12788/jhm.3557.


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