New research indicates that those concerned about medical malpractice should be paying at least as much attention to outpatient settings as they are to inpatient ones. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found, based on data from the National Practitioner Data Bank, that from 2003 to 2009, paid malpractice claims for outpatient incidents decreased at a slower rate than those for incidents at hospitals (19.3 percent, compared with 24.6 percent), and that the proportion of paid claims involving outpatient settings increased during the same period. The study authors point out that there are 30 times more outpatient visits than hospital discharges each year, and that surgical procedures are increasingly being performed in less-regulated physicians' offices and ambulatory surgery centers.

Read full article