COLUMBUS – The Ohio Department of Insurance has issued its fifth annual Ohio Medical Professional Liability Closed Claim Report. Data collected from entities providing medical professional liability coverage to Ohio health care providers and health care facilities shows a total of 3,344 medical professional liability claims were closed in 2009. Claims that generated an indemnity payment, which is the amount of compensation paid on behalf of each defendant to a claimant, averaged $322,158 per closed claim.
Ohio law requires all entities that provide medical professional liability insurance in Ohio - including authorized insurers, surplus lines insurers, risk retention groups and self-insurers - to annually report closed claim data to the Department. Claims are reported to the Department and included in analysis based on the year in which they reach final outcome. The specific data filed by each reporting entity is confidential and is not subject to public record requests. The Department is required to prepare an annual report summarizing the closed claims on a statewide basis.
Some key findings in the report include:
- Total Closed Claims: A total of 3,344 closed claims were reported for 2009 by 99 entities. Authorized insurers reported the majority of the closed claims, 1,796. Self-insured entities reported 1,185 closed claims, surplus lines insurers reported 212 closed claims and risk retention groups reported 151 closed claims. For 2008, 3,080 closed claims were reported.
- Indemnity Payments: Seventy-six percent of medical malpractice closed claims resulted in no payment to a claimant. A total of 2,542 closed claims had no indemnity payments while 802, or 24 percent, closed with an indemnity payment. The total amount paid to claimants was $258,370,436, an average of $322,158 per closed claim for those claims that generated an indemnity payment. Based on the combined data of all five years, approximately 22 percent of the closed claims generated an indemnity payment at an average of $287,931.
- Closed Claim Expenses: While most medical malpractice claims closed with no payments to claimants, almost all closed claims generated expenses for investigation and defense. These expenses totaled $107,739,769, an average of $39,350 per closed claim. Based on the combined data for all five years, the average expenses per closed claim were $32,071.
The full report and past year’s reports are available on the Department’s website at www.insurance.ohio.gov
If consumers have questions about their insurance coverage, they can call the Department’s toll-free consumer hotline at 1-800-686-1526. The Department's website at www.insurance.ohio.gov also has valuable information regarding all types of insurance, including auto and homeowners.