AON Benchmark Study shows frequency flat, severity up --- and litigation costs biggest driver
I just returned from ASHRM where I spent time in the booth of our new partner The Sullivan Group to promote our new online disclosure learning courses. While at the conference, I heard the AON benchmark study which showed that while frequency is flat, severity continues to increase and the biggest driver of severity is the expenses: litigation bills, witness fees, etc. Moreover, I wonder if the AON study could calculate other expenses such as lost staff time & productivity due to litigation (i.e, doctors spending time preparing for depositions instead of seeing patients, not completely being focused on building their practices, etc)? Every risk manager I spoke with at ASHRM who is doing disclosure said that claims and associated costs are coming down for them. Both frequency and severity are down for them because of disclosure. In many cases the reductions are dramatic and mirror the numbers from the University of Michigan. These organizations have benefited from being pro-active post-event, and the trick to be really pro-active post-event is getting the disclosure message down to the front-line staff, which is what Sorry Works! and The Sullivan Group are doing with our new online disclosure training courses. We need to teach front-line clinicians how to empathize and stay connected without prematurely admitting fault.
Our friend Dr. David Mayer, formerly of the University of Illinois-Chicago Medical Center and now of MedStar, wrote about this situation is his blog today: http://educatetheyoung.wordpress.com/2013/10/30/who-wins-when-medical-malpractice-claims-are-filed/comment-page-1/#comment-2722.
Doug Wojcieszak, Sorry Works!, Founder, firstname.lastname@example.org