Guess What? There Is No Medical Malpractice Conspiracy.

You’ve heard it before– medical malpractice lawsuits are completely out of control, leading to exorbitant rates for medical malpractice insurance and bringing the medical industry to the brink of disaster. Well, turns out that may not be true. The New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), an independent organization geared toward policy reform, just completed a study of the state’s medical malpractice data (15 years’ worth!) and determined that not only have malpractice claim awards declined in recent years, but that the number of lawsuits has remained steady.

Those in favor of tort reform may bristle at NYPIRG’s findings, which contradict arguments in favor of reform. The reasons for rising malpractice insurance premiums are unknown at this point. And while medical malpractice claim amounts have increased over the years, these increases can largely be attributed to inflation. In addition, in recent years malpractice payments have actually declined, from $822.7 million in 2006 to $753.2 million in 2007 then to $743.5 million in 2008.

For more information, see this article.