Malpractice Lawsuits Are Down While Injuries Are Up

While evidence continues to mount of the high cost of preventable medical errors, and the failure of safety efforts to put much of a dent in the rising tide of injuries from health care, here's a curious new statistic: Malpractice lawsuit payments are at their lowest level in 20 years.

That figure comes from Public Citizen, which every year scours the official National Practitioner Data Bank for data on total payments. According to Public Citizen, the cumulative total of payouts in 2010 across the United States was its lowest since the data bank started in 1990, adjusted for inflation.

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