10 Surprising Facts from the Nurse Practitioners Claim Report
In the Nurse Practitioners Claim Report
, NSO and CNA review and analyze malpractice and licensing claims to help NPs understand their areas of greatest vulnerability. Included within the report are CNA’s loss control recommendations on how to avoid what can be a very stressful experience.
Over $69 million was paid for malpractice claims over a 5-year period by CNA, the underwriter of the NSO Nurse Practitioner Professional Liability Program. Another $1.4 million was paid to help defend 240 license complaints made against NPs over the same study period.
Armed with the knowledge gained from the Report, NPs can reduce their risks of potential litigation and take steps to help improve patient outcomes. Here are the top 10 findings from the report:
Nurse practitioner malpractice claim costs on the rise
. The average cost of a NP malpractice
claim is $300,506. That’s an increase of over 5% from 2012 to 2017.
Patient death remains the most common injury (44.9%)
that results in a malpractice claim.
Addiction is the second most frequent injury and grew almost tenfold (1.0% to 9.5%) since the last report.
The average cost of permanent disability claims ($496,921) are double that of death claims
due to medical and social support these patients require for the rest of their lives.
NPs specializing in adult medical/primary care and family practice account for 53.7% of malpractice claims.
Adult medical/primary care experience the most frequent claims, followed by behavioral health (15.3%) and gerontology (11.9%).
65.3% of NP malpractice claims occur at 3 locations:
physician office practices (35.9%), NP office practices (16.4%) and aging service facilities (13.0%).
Allegations related to diagnosis are the most frequent (32.8%) malpractice allegation
asserted against NPs, followed by allegations related to medication errors (29.4%) and improper treatment and care (22.3%).
Malpractice claims related to medication prescribing rose from 16.5% of NP claims in the 2012 study to 29.4% of claims in the current study.
The increase is in part due to allegations related to the improper prescribing of opioids.
The number of license defense claims increased by 80%
since the last report. 240 licensing actions were paid over a 5-year period compared to 133 in the previous 5-year study.
Average cost to hire an attorney to defend a licensure complaint rises to $5,987.
This is a 34.8% increase over the last 5-year study ($4,441).
The majority of license complaints (27.1%) made against NPs involve medications.
Complaints involve over-prescribing of controlled substances, as well as failure to explain potential side effects.