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AIM: To summarize the magnitude and time trends of endoscopy-related claims and to compare total malpractice indemnity according to specialty and procedure.

METHODS: We obtained data from a comprehensive database of closed claims from a trade association of professional liability insurance carriers, representing over 60% of practicing United States physicians. Total payments by procedure and year were calculated, and were adjusted for inflation (using the Consumer Price Index) to 2008 dollars. Time series analysis was performed to assess changes in the total value of claims for each type of procedure over time.

RESULTS: There were 1901 endoscopy-related closed claims against all providers from 1985 to 2008. The specialties include: internal medicine (n = 766), gastroenterology (n = 562), general surgery (n = 231), general and family practice (n = 101), colorectal surgery (n = 87), other specialties (n = 132), and unknown (n = 22). Colonoscopy represented the highest frequencies of closed claims (n = 788) and the highest total indemnities ($54 093 000). In terms of mean claims payment, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) ranked the highest ($374  794) per claim. Internists had the highest number of total claims (n = 766) and total claim payment ($70  730  101). Only total claim payments for colonoscopy and ERCP seem to have increased over time. Indeed, there was an average increase of 15.5% per year for colonoscopy and 21.9% per year for ERCP after adjusting for inflation.

CONCLUSION: There appear to be differences in malpractice coverage costs among specialties and the type of endoscopic procedure. There is also evidence for secular trend in total claim payments, with colonoscopy and ERCP costs rising yearly even after adjusting for inflation.


This article was originally published in the open access journal World Journal of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.


World Journal of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License


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