Is there too much medical malpractice litigation or is there too much medical malpractice?
* Compared to the amount of medical malpractice, there is very little medical malpractice litigation. The evidence shows that very few victims of medical malpractice actually file lawsuits. Data show that there are approximately seven proven medical malpractice injuries for every one medical malpractice case that is filed.
* The number of medical malpractice lawsuits is not growing. Similarly, the overall size of the lawsuit settlements and verdicts is not increasing, particualry once the rising medical care costs for treating medical malpractice victims is taken into account.
* Medical malpractice lawsuits and jury verdicts are not to blame for the recent medical malpractice insurance crisis. In reality, the culprit for the insurance crisis is the boom-and-bust cycle in the insurance industry that has been an inherent part of the insurance business for over a century.
* Medical malpractice lawsuits are not depriving Americans of access to health care. The evidence shows that the costs associated with medical malpractice litigation are less than 1% of the entire cost of the health care system.
* Medical malpractice lawsuits actually do good. An example of this is the American Society of Anesthesiologist's closed case study of all past medical malpractice claims filed involving anesthesia. This study led to significant changes in how anesthesia was practiced in the United States. For example, better anesthesia equipment was developed and new practice guidelines were implemented. The end result was better health care for patients and lower insurance premiums for anesthesiologists.
* Medical malpractice insurance premiums for health care providers is not as high as commonly reported. The average insurance premium paid per doctor is less than $12,000.