The most common causes of anesthesia-related liability claims in ASCs are injection of anesthesia into a peripheral nerve and intubation, according to an analysis in the Journal of Patient Safety. The average closed claim value is significantly lower for ASCs than for hospital operating rooms.
Here are seven things you need to know:
1. The authors examined ASC-coded claims data between 2007 and 2014 from The Doctors Company, a Napa, Calif.-based medical malpractice insurer. Findings were coded using the Comprehensive Risk Intelligence Tool developed by CRICO Strategies.
2. Coded data from ASC claims was compared with hospital claims in terms of injury severity category, nature of injury, nature of allegation, identified contributing factors and comorbidities and claim value.
3. ASC claims were more likely to be classified as medium severity than hospital claims and more likely to involve dental damage or pain.
4. ASC claims were less likely to involve death, respiratory or cardiac arrest than hospital claims.
5. Technical performance was the most common contributing factor for both ASCs (47 percent) and hospitals (48 percent). Only 7 percent of allegations relating to technical performance were determined to be a direct result of poor technical performance. Obesity was the most common contributing comorbidity in both settings.
6. The most common anesthesia procedures resulting in ASC claims were injection of anesthesia into a peripheral nerve — 34 percent — and intubation — 29 percent.
7. Mean closed claim value was significantly lower for ASC than hospital claims, averaging $87,888 as opposed to $107,325.