December 10, 2012
In 2006 Massachusetts had the 3rd highest mean medical malpractice pay out at $465,236 and the 2ndhighest median medical malpractice payout of $337,574 of the fifty states. Time to settlement for claims in Massachusetts (mean delay between the incident and payment) was 6.60 years second only to Alaska at 7.83 years. This is according to a report published by the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR) using data from Physicians National Practitioner Data Bank. Although the settlement amount for Massachusetts clients injured as a result of medical errors is better than 47 other states the time required to reach that settlement can be 1.5-3 years longer than most states.
Utilizing the skills of a Legal Nurse Consultant at the beginning of a potential medical malpractice case could potentially save attorneys wasted dollars and time by identifying claims that do not have merit. Those same skills could decrease the time between initial intake of the case and final settlement.
In the report from OCABR the authors state that “.. that if medical practice guidelines were developed and acknowledged, it would reduce the likelihood for lawsuits.” A legal nurse consultant can quickly identify for you whether the appropriate medical practice guidelines were followed and documented in the medical record. The data alone increases the likelihood of a settlement offer.
Tags: forensic medical chart review, legal nurse consultant, medical chart audit, medical record review, medical reports western ma, medical review, patient advocacy, patient advocate, registered nurse patient advocate, western ma nurse consultant