New Jersey saw a 17.62% increase in total medical liability payouts last year. This statistic alone is shocking, but it is even more eye-popping when you consider overall payouts nationwide and in the Northeast region decreased in 2016.
Total medical liability payouts in New Jersey in 2016 were $299,161,500, a per capita cost of $33.45. This makes us the 3rd worst state in the country when it comes to per capita medical liability costs. Only New Hampshire and New York had higher per capita payouts last year.
This data could make you hesitate before heading to a doctor in the Garden State, but quality of care is probably not the main driver of our state’s outsize payouts. The data likely reflects the cost of living and our state’s tort law as much as, or even more so, than it reflects the seriousness of injuries.
There are several common sense changes that could be made to New Jersey law that would help bring our medical liability costs more in line with the rest of the country without negatively impacting patient care. It is beyond time we made these changes.
The graphics above come from an infographic Diederich Healthcare has put together that summarizes the 2016 medical malpractice costs data from the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB). Diederich also has an interesting breakdown of types of malpractice allegations, patient characteristics, and other interesting tidbits, so click over to their site to see the full infographic.