Medical Malpractice Lawsuits and Healthcare Costs

As we approach another election, we’ll undoubtedly be subject to more of the same arguments regarding skyrocketing healthcare costs in this country. Blaming the costs on medical malpractice cases is a favorite of the insurance industry. However, there is significant evidence that such a claim is not accurate. A new study published in Health Affairs determined that medical malpractice or medical error was responsible for only 2.4% of the country’s healthcare costs. Compare this percentage to the estimated 98,000 people killed by medical errors in this country and we put the issue in its proper perspective.
The critical issue concerning healthcare costs involves improving patient safety by reducing costly medical errors.