Costly claims against pharmacists rising: 8 things to know

Hospital pharmacies saw the costliest claims filed between 2012 and 2016, according to a new report from two professional liability insurers.

The second edition Pharmacist Liability Claim Report, from Healthcare Providers Service Organization and CNA, details the most common and costly liability claims against pharmacists. 

For the report, the insurers analyzed claims from January 2012 through December 2016 that involve a CNA-insured pharmacist, pharmacy technician or pharmacy entity that resulted in at least a $1 payment. 

Eight key points from the report: 

  1. The total cost of pharmacy claims increased by 22.8 percent since 2013, when the first edition report was released. That report analyzed claims from 2002 to 2011 and showed a total of $18 million in claims with an average claim costing $101,269. The second edition report showed $25 million in total claims with an average claim costing $124,407, though the study time was only half as long.

  2. The number of pharmacy claims also increased from the first report, when only 162 were closed in a 10-year period, versus 184 closed between 2012 and 2016.

  3. Most of the claims filed between 2012 and 2016 were against pharmacists (96.2 percent) rather than pharmacy technicians (3.8 percent).

  4. The majority of claims were filed against  independent or individually owned pharmacies (55.4 percent). The next most common targets were compounding specialty pharmacies (17.9 percent), then national/regional chain pharmacies (12 percent).

  5. The most expensive claims were filed against hospital pharmacies, with an average claim costing $273,338 — more than twice the overall average — and compounding specialty pharmacies, with an average claim costing $256,381. The least expensive claims were against pharmacists in homecare environments, with an average claim costing $5,063.

  6. The most common claims were for dispensing the wrong drug (36.8 percent) and dispensing the wrong dosage (15.3 percent).

  7. The most expensive claim reported was for failure to identify overdosing, with an average claim costing $544,600. However, it was also the most infrequently reported claim. The next most expensive claim was a compounding calculation or preparation error, with an average claim costing $324,819. The third-costliest claim was for libel/slander, with an average claim costing $300,000.

  8. The most frequent type of closed claims involving injuries were for gastrointestinal distress, infection and death.

Read the full report here

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Hospital pharmacies saw the costliest claims filed between 2012 and 2016, according to a new report from two professional liability insurers.

The second edition Pharmacist Liability Claim Report, from Healthcare Providers Service Organization and CNA, details the most common and costly liability claims against pharmacists.

For the report, the insurers analyzed claims from January 2012 through December 2016 that involve a CNA-insured pharmacist, pharmacy technician or pharmacy entity that resulted in at least a $1 payment.

Eight key points from the report:

The total cost of pharmacy claims increased by 22.8 percent since 2013, when the first edition report was released. That report analyzed claims from 2002 to 2011 and showed a total of $18 million in claims with an average claim costing $101,269. The second edition report showed $25 million in total claims with an average claim costing $124,407, though the study time was only half as long.

 

The number of pharmacy claims also increased from the first report, when only 162 were closed in a 10-year period, versus 184 closed between 2012 and 2016.

 

Most of the claims filed between 2012 and 2016 were against pharmacists (96.2 percent) rather than pharmacy technicians (3.8 percent).

 

The majority of claims were filed against independent or individually owned pharmacies (55.4 percent). The next most common targets were compounding specialty pharmacies (17.9 percent), then national/regional chain pharmacies (12 percent).

 

The most expensive claims were filed against hospital pharmacies, with an average claim costing $273,338 — more than twice the overall average — and compounding specialty pharmacies, with an average claim costing $256,381. The least expensive claims were against pharmacists in homecare environments, with an average claim costing $5,063.

 

The most common claims were for dispensing the wrong drug (36.8 percent) and dispensing the wrong dosage (15.3 percent).

 

The most expensive claim reported was for failure to identify overdosing, with an average claim costing $544,600. However, it was also the most infrequently reported claim. The next most expensive claim was a compounding calculation or preparation error, with an average claim costing $324,819. The third-costliest claim was for libel/slander, with an average claim costing $300,000.

 

The most frequent type of closed claims involving injuries were for gastrointestinal distress, infection and death.

Read the full report here.

 

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