Trends in hospital professional liability claims: 5 things to know

Average professional liability claim severity has steadily increased, with severity of claims from children's and teaching hospitals remaining higher than the national average, according to the ninth annual Zurich Healthcare Risk Insights benchmark study of hospital professional liability claims.

Here are five things to know about professional liability claim trends from the study.

1. Although the frequency of claims has remained stable since 2003, the study found claim frequency varies by location.

2. Differences in jury, venue, the size of the hospital, and patient population and demographics are among the factors that could influence the frequency of claims in a region.

3. Since 2006, average professional liability claim severity has steadily increased, with periods of leveling off in 2008 and 2010.

4. Illinois, New York and Pennsylvania all had claim severity higher than the national long-term national average trend of 6 percent.

5. "At a time when the industry is experiencing dramatic change and uncertainty, it is essential for providers to accurately understand risk trends and their impact on patient safety and overall quality of care," said Glen E. Curley, head of Zurich North America's Healthcare Professional Liability.

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