This morning, MedPage Today — which should know better — began their “Morning Break” with this description and link:
An analysis of closed claim data from The Doctors Company suggests that physicians spend about 10% of their professional life dealing with malpractice claims, but most of those claims are closed with no money paid to the plaintiff.
Goodness! That sounds incredible. Turns out, it is incredible. In fact, it’s false.
The linked post by “The Doctors Company” at The Doctor Weighs In says:
The average physician spends over 10 percent of his or her career consumed in defense of an open malpractice claim. For the average neurosurgeon, that number is 25%—that’s a quarter of a career dealing with the intense emotional stress of defending your reputation and livelihood.
And the majority of those claims close with no payment to the plaintiff. That means the average U.S. physician in every specialty spends a significant portion of his or her career in court defending malpractice claims, but the overwhelming majority of those claims are found to be at best fruitless, and at worst frivolous.
These numbers come from a RAND Corporation objective analysis of the claims database of The Doctors Company, the nation’s largest physician-owned medical malpractice insurer. According to Richard E. Anderson, MD, FACP, chairman and CEO of The Doctors Company, these numbers show that our medical malpractice litigation system is broken—and must be fixed.
The only support given for any of these assertions is this YouTube video, where Dr. Anderson makes the same claims.
But there’s a problem: the RAND Corporation’s “objective analysis” never said anything like that.