Medical Malpractice in America: A 10-Year Assessment with Insights

MedMal Report

Report Highlights

  • the risk of having a claim or suit filed against obstetricians/ gynecologists has dropped 44%
  • average case management expenses increased on average 3.5% annually, reaching $46,000 per case in 2016, outpacing both consumer and legal inflation indices
  • the volume of high-indemnity payments (of $3M–11M) increased 7% annually
  • a medical malpractice case challenging a clinician’s judgment is 2.8 times more likely to close with payment than a case without clinical judgment issues

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Note: This Report was printed under the previous name, CRICO Strategies CBS Report.


Case frequency is down, costs are up, and $1M payments are more common. Those are just a few significant findings from the 2018 National Benchmarking Report, Medical Malpractice in America. Powered by Candello (formerly called the Comparative Benchmarking System (CBS)), Medical Malpractice in America analyzes 124,000 cases from 2007–2016: what failed, why, and changes in vulnerabilities over time. Ten-year trends in case frequency, indemnity, and expenses are presented along with exploration of the clinical aspects of malpractice claims and suits.


Michael Paskavitz, Assistant Vice President of Candello (formerly called CRICO Strategies), shares three reasons why health care leaders should read this report.


Candello VP, Mike Paskavitz

Any one leader—thankfully—sees small numbers of adverse events. Sharing patterns of patient harm and exchanging of best practices for mitigating risk is what we are obliged to do. CBS enables us to fulfill that obligation more effectively.”

—Elizabeth Mort, MD, MPH, SVP Quality & Safety MGH

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