$44M Paid in Nurse Practitioner Liability Claims Over Past 5 Years: Report

November 27, 2012

Nurse Services Organization, a division of Aon Affinity, and their insurance carrier CNA, have released a report containing an analysis of nurse practitioner malpractice claims and license protection defense claims over a five-year period.

“The report helps nurse practitioners identify the professional liability claim patterns and trends most likely to affect their practices,” said NSO President Michael Loughran. “When you compare our past claim reports, it becomes evident that the cost of nurse practitioner professional liability claims has been steadily rising.”

According to the Nurse Practitioner 2012 Liability Update: A Three-part Approach, the average malpractice indemnity payment (judgments and settlements) for the five-year study period has increased 19 percent since the 2009 NSO/CNA nurse practitioner claims analysis, rising from $186,282 to $221,852. The average cost to defend a lawsuit also rose to $63,792.

Highlights of the new report include:

  • More than $44 million was paid in indemnity and expenses for professional liability claims on behalf of nurse practitioners during the five-year study period.
  • Sixty-one percent of licensing board actions against nurse practitioners resulted in ‘no action,’ while 3.1 percent of licensing complaints resulted in the end of the nurse practitioner’s career.
  • Nearly 73 percent of survey respondents involved in professional liability claims have worked for more than 11 years, confirming findings that the longer a nurse practitioner is in practice, the risk of experiencing a claim increases.

The report also includes risk management recommendations and a self-assessment checklist created to help nurse practitioners reduce their liability exposure.

“By sharing claim information, identifying causes of loss, and incorporating recommendations into the document, we can help enhance the risk management and patient safety knowledge of the nurse practitioner community,” said Bruce Dmytrow, vice president of CNA Specialty Risk Control.

The entire Nurse Practitioner 2012 Liability Update: A Three-part Approach report is available at www.nso.com/npclaimreport2012. To obtain hard copies, please contact David Griffiths at david.griffiths@aon.com or 215.773.4129.

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