Features  |   February 2017
Professional Liability Trends in 2016: Things Are Stable, But Changes May Be Lurking
Author Affiliations
  • Christopher M. Burkle, M.D., J.D.
    Committee on Professional Liability
    Chair
Article Information
Ethics / Medicolegal Issues / Pain Medicine / Patient Safety / Features
Features   |   February 2017
Professional Liability Trends in 2016: Things Are Stable, But Changes May Be Lurking
ASA Monitor 02 2017, Vol.81, 12-14.
ASA Monitor 02 2017, Vol.81, 12-14.
Each year, the ASA Committee on Professional Liability provides a report on changing trends in malpractice insurance premiums and characteristics impacting physician anesthesiologists. The Anesthesia Closed Claims Project conducted a survey of malpractice insurers from May-July 2016 on behalf of the committee. Twenty-eight medical liability insurance companies providing coverage to more than 19,500 anesthesiologists practicing in the United States responded to the query.
Consistent with the committee’s 2015 report, insurance companies conveyed that most anesthesiologists continued to carry policy limits of $1 million per occurrence and $3 million per year.1  In 2016, 64 percent of companies reported that their most common policy had limits of $1 million/$3 million, 32 percent reported that their most common policies had higher limits, and 4 percent (n=1 company) had lower policy limits ($100,000/$300,000). Three quarters of companies offered claims-made policies either exclusively or for the vast majority of their policyholders, while 21 percent mostly or exclusively wrote occurrence policies, and only one company wrote claims-paid policies. While claims-made policies remained most common, the committee has seen a slow trend toward increasing occurrence policy options offered by insurers over the last three annual reporting periods.
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