98,000 people die every year from preventable medical errors - the equivalent of two 737s crashing every day.

Institute of Medicine

Malpractice costs amount to less than 2 percent of overall healthcare spending.

Congressional Budget Office

Four out of the top five most expensive states for malpractice premiums have caps in place: Florida, Michigan, Texas, and West Virginia.

Medical Liability Monitor

Cato Institute: "Opponents of damage caps rightly point out that caps shift the costs of malpractice injuries from negligent providers to their victims."

Shirley Svorny, The Cato Institute, 10/20/11
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Every year, an estimated 98,000 people die because of medical malpractice and an untold number more are injured, forced to live with daily pain because of someone else's mistake.

Important Facts About Medical Malpractice

98,000 die annually

1According to the Institute of Medicine, medical errors kill 98,000 Americans every year, more than those killed by breast cancer, prostate cancer, and drunk driving combined, and the equivalent of two 737s crashing every day.
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It’s preventable

2Medical malpractice is entirely preventable. Human error is behind almost 80% of adverse events in complex healthcare systems, making it the sixth leading cause of preventable death in America.
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Reform Insurance

3Medical malpractice claims and insurance premiums have almost no impact on healthcare costs. Medical malpractice premiums are less than one-half of 1 percent of overall healthcare costs.
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Only 0.3% of all costs

4Compensation for medical malpractice accounts for only 0.3 percent of America’s $2.2 trillion in healthcare spending. Meanwhile, the annual cost of treating preventable medical errors is a staggering $29 billion.
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Medical Malpractice Filings Down, But Errors Increase

After six years of steady decline, medical malpractice filings in Pennsylvania are finally beginning to level off. Following two rule changes made in 2002 – one requiring a certificate of merit and another targeting “venue shopping” – filings began to drop off. The aim of the changes was to reduce doctors’ insurance premiums and improve safety, but neither of those goals have been realized. Instead, there has been a 7.1 percent jump in the number of patient injuries. Since the rule changes in 2002, the Patient Safety Advisory has seen a steady annual increase in serious medical events. Why are we seeing an increase in medical malpractice but a decrease in medical malpractice claim filings? Because the 2002 rule changes did nothing to help doctors or patients and everything to block innocent victims from getting justice in our courts.
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Patient Safety Under Attack in Pennsylvania

To combat Pennsylvania’s sluggish economic recovery, its governor has taken a hatchet to next year’s budget. Among several shortsighted savings is the merger of the Patient Safety Authority and the Department of Health, a cut that will cost Pennsylvania in the long run. Since its creation, the PSA has been recognized as the nation’s leading patient safety program. Much of its success is attributed to its independence; doctors and hospitals are more likely to report errors and near-misses to the non-regulatory PSA rather than risk discipline from the DOH. This independence has also encouraged a dialogue – hospitals feel more comfortable soliciting the PSA for help in crafting safety plans and have even invited the agency into its operating rooms. If Governor Corbett is truly concerned with our fiscal health, he needs to keep our physical health in mind. Each year, preventable medical errors are responsible for $19 billion in unnecessary spending, and without the PSA, that number will undoubtedly increase.
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