Top 5 Reasons Why Medical Internists Are Sued
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 01:25 PM
Researchers set out to find the reasons why internists were sued for medical malpractice and to determine how successful the lawsuits were. 

"These data confirm that internists are vulnerable to claims related to what they do commonly -- evaluation and management activities -- and for the commonly fatal diseases that they are expected to diagnose, such as acute myocardial infarction and lung, colon, and breast cancers," the authors wrote.

The five most common reasons internists were sued were:

1. Harm caused by failure to correctly diagnose primary medical condition (26.4% of all closed claims).  Under this category, 33.8% of closed claims were paid, with a median payment of $183,300.

2. Breach of care due to other failures (25.4% of all closed claims).  Under this category, 4.8% of closed claims were paid, with a median payment of $114,150.

3. Harm caused by errors in actual performance of a procedure (11.1% of all closed claims)Less than a third (28.3%) of cases actually resulted in a payment to patients to compensate for damages; the median payment was $103,203.

4. Harm caused by failure to monitor subordinates such as a nurse or residents (10.9% of all closed claims).  Under this category, 31.1% of closed claims were paid, with a median payment of $141,875.

5. Harm caused by incorrect prescription or administration of medications (8.5% of all closed claims).  Under this category, 29.2% of closed claims were paid, with a median payment of $89,600.

Other less common reasons for being sued for malpractice included harm from unrecognized complications of procedures (3.6% of all closed claims), harm from failure to perform medically indicated procedures (2.7% of all closed claims), and harm from not performing a medically indicated consultation in a timely manner (2.3% of all closed claims).

Source:  http://www.medpagetoday.com/PracticeManagement/Medicolegal/45472