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zoom RSS ほとんどの医師が訴えられている/米国医療事情

<<   作成日時 : 2010/08/06 20:39   >>

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 米国医師会の新たな調査によれば、55歳以上の医師の60%以上が少なくとも1回は訴えられているという。多くが取り下げたり退けられたりしているが、ほとんどの医師がキャリアにおけるどこかの時点で誤診のかどで訴えられることを示している。
 実際医師100人につき平均95回の医療過誤訴訟が起こされているという。
 毎年5%の医師が訴えられている。一般外科医と産婦人科医は小児科医や精神科医に比べて5倍以上訴えられている。40才未満の産婦人科医の約半分はすでに訴えられ、55歳以上の外科医の90%が訴えられていた。小児科医や精神科医は訴えられたのは30%未満だった。
 訴えの65%が取り下げたり退けられたりしているが高価な費用がかかっている。米国医師保険業協会によれば、取り下げたり退けられても22,000ドルかかり、訴訟になると10万ドル以上の費用がかかっている。
 医師に対する訴訟は恐怖を引き起こし、コストを上昇させる。
 ほとんどの訴えは結果としては医師を支持することになるのだが、医師にとってメリットのない訴訟に対する恐怖は専門分野の選択や診療する場所、退職時期に影響を及ぼす。
 男性医師は女性の2倍訴えられている。男性医師が訴訟の多い専門分野に多いことや女性医師の年齢が若いことが理由となっている。産婦人科を除けば、診療所オーナーや単一専門施設の医師が訴えられやすい。

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Most Doctors Will Face Malpractice Suit, AMA Says
Many Cases Dropped or Dismissed, but Cases Still Incur Costs
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/HealthCare/malpractice-lawsuits-doctors-common-ama/story?id=11332146
By EMILY WALKER, MedPage Today Staff Writer
Aug. 5, 2010

画像WASHINGTON -- More than 60 percent of doctors over the age of 55 have been sued at least once, according to a new survey by the American Medical Association (AMA).
Most Doctors Will Face Malpractice Suit, AMA Says
More than 60 percent of doctors over the age of 55 have been sued at least once, according to a new survey by the American Medical Association (AMA).
(Getty Images)

Although most of those claims are dropped or dismissed, the new survey from the AMA shows that most physicians will be sued for malpractice at some point in their careers. This works out to an average of 95 medical malpractice lawsuits having been filed for every 100 physicians now in practice, according to the association.

"This litigious climate hurts patients' access to physician care at a time when the nation is working to reduce unnecessary health care costs," said AMA immediate past president Dr. J. James Rohack in a prepared statement.

For the report, AMA surveyed 5,825 physicians from the 2007-2008 Physician Practice Information (PPI) survey, which is used to update the practice cost data to develop practice expense relative value units (RVUs) for the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. The measure of malpractice claims was determined by survey questions that asked doctors about the number of claims filed against them in their career and over the previous year; the survey did not ask about the outcome of those claims.

While physicians are likely to be subject to a lawsuit at some point in their careers, only about 5 percent of physicians are sued in any given year, the report found.

Certain specialities -- including general surgeons and Ob/Gyns -- were more than five times as likely to be sued compared with pediatricians and psychiatrists, according to the report, which was written by Carol Kane of the AMA. In fact, about half of obstetricians/gynecologists under the age of 40 had already been sued, and 90 percent of surgeons age 55 and older had been sued.

Comparatively, fewer than 30 percent of either pediatricians or psychiatrists were sued, and almost no one in either speciality had had claims filed against them in the previous 12 months.

The report goes on to say that while 65 percent of claims are dropped or dismissed, they are still costly. The average defense costs between $22,000 for dropped or dismissed claims, to more than $100,000 for cases that go to trial, according to data in the report from the Physician Insurers Association of America.

Lawsuits Against Doctors Spark Fear, Incur Costs

"Even though the vast majority of claims are dropped or decided in favor of physicians, the understandable fear of meritless lawsuits can influence what specialty of medicine physicians practice, where they practice and when they retire," Rohack said.

The report also found that men were twice as likely to be sued as women. The report author suggests that the difference might be in part because male physicians are concentrated in the specialities with the highest numbers of claims. In addition, women physicians are generally younger than male physicians, and older doctors are more likely to have been sued at some point in their careers simply because they've been working longer.

Also, the survey found that practice owners and those who work in single-specialty group practices were more likely to be sued than doctors who work in hospitals and multi-specialty group practices, largely because they work in liability claims-heavy specialities. Ob/Gyns are a special case, however: they do tend to practice in solo or single-specialty practices, but unlike other specialties who get sued the most often, the work Ob/Gyns usually are sued over -- childbirth -- is done in the hospital.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) recently awarded $25 million in funding for programs to improve patient safety and lessen the number of malpractice lawsuits filed. The awards include three-year grants of up to $3 million to states and health systems for implementation and evaluation of patient safety and medical liability demonstrations, as well as one-year planning grants of up to $300,000.

The survey was funded by the AMA and more than 40 national medical specialty associations.


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