L.A. County Malpractice Payouts Rose by 50% in Two Years, Study Finds
The amount of money Los Angeles County paid to settle malpractice lawsuits increased by 50% between 2005 and 2007, even though the total number of malpractice cases filed against county facilities decreased significantly, according to a study from consulting firmÂ Abaris Group, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors commissioned the study to evaluate the success of the county Department of Health Services' efforts to prevent malpractice and improve patient safety.
According to the study, Los Angeles County paid $12 million to settle malpractice lawsuits in 2007, compared with $8 million in 2005.
However, the number of malpractice cases filed against county hospitals and clinics fell from 354 in 2002 to 107 in 2009, the study found. Study authors said the decrease in lawsuits could stem from increased patient safety efforts at DHS and other health care industry groups (Anderson, Los Angeles Daily News, 8/14).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.