While overall malpractice claims related to anesthesia care are declining, the proportion of outpatient claims has increased in comparison to inpatient ones, says Richard J. Kelly, MD, JD, MPH, FCLM, clinical associate professor of anesthesiology and perioperative care at the University of CA Irvine School of Medicine.
Dr Kelly recently completed a study looking at the rate of anesthesia related malpractice claims between 2005 and 2013. In it, outpatient and inpatient payment reports decreased during that time by 24% and 45% respectively, though outpatient payments as a percentage of all payments increased from 19% in 2005 u=ti 25% in 2013. Dr Kelly says he believes the increase is due largely to the growth of the outpatient area and all providers should be paying close attention to anesthesia safely to help reduce their risk.
The incidence of both inpatient and outpatient malpractice claims declined overall during the stud period. but the inpatient claims came down much more than the outpatient claims according to Dr Kelly.