This week a new report was released, indicating that medical malpractice liability costs are likely to rise for both physicians and hospitals. The study, performed by Aon Risk Solutions, cites both claim frequency against hospitals and increased claim severity as the two driving forces behind the anticipated increases in premiums. From their release:

U.S.-based hospitals are expected to face more than 44,000 claims arising from incidents occurring in 2009, according to the report, “Hospital Professional Liability and Physician Liability Benchmark Analysis,” which Aon Risk Solutions put together with the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management.

With over a decade of track history, this annual report seems a fairly reliable indicator of emerging trends. The author, Aon Risk Solutions, is a Chicago-based company which performs risk management assessments for their parent company, Aon Corp., on a global basis. A megacorp with 36,000 employees in 500 offices located within over 120 countries across the planet, theirs is a unique perspective that strives for synergy within their holdings and clients. Their perspective is a valuable one which we would be wise to take seriously.

What matters most to Medical Justice is that our members’ risks can be reduced. That’s why we exist. The best way to fend off this trend is a proactive response. As we’ve written often in the past, membership in Medical (or Dental) Justice is the most effective and cost-effective remedy. Our proven methods protect our members from opportunistic predation by greedy patients and trial lawyers. This study shows that both frequency and severity are on the rise. We’re able to fend off that trend and mitigate future damages by reducing potential costs and risks. Any time a frivolous medical malpractice suit can be stopped in its tracks, that’s a victory — both for the individuals named, and for the health care industry as a whole. In the final analysis, it is the patient who pays the bill.

We owe it to ourselves (and to our patients) to reduce costs whenever it is reasonably possible to do so. Moreover, it’s a huge relief to know that you’re doing all you can to reduce the likelihood of experiencing the trauma of a meritless allegation. Internet Defamation, frivolous lawsuits, unwarranted demands for refunds and the like, these are all preventable. Contact Medical Justice for information on how to become a member. If you’re already a member, share the good news with a colleague.