Medical liability defense costs skyrocket


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  • January 31, 2012

The average cost of defending a physician against a medical liability claim rose 63% to more than $47,000 from 2001 to 2010, according to a December report from the American Medical Association. That rise came despite the fact that nearly two-thirds of all claims against physicians were dropped, withdrawn or dismissed. The average medical liability indemnity payment in 2010 was $331,947, an 11.5% increase since 2001, said the report, based on aggregated insurance information. Meanwhile, medical liability premiums continue to hit physicians’ wallets. About 5% of premiums rose by more than 10% in 2010, according to a separate AMA report that draws on Medical Liability Monitor data.