Quarter of claims linked to 5 HACs

These are some highlights of the 12th annual Hospital and Physician Professional Liability Benchmark Analysis from Aon Global Risk Consulting and the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management:

• For the upcoming 2012 accident year, the study's authors project that hospitals will experience an annual loss rate of $3,540 per occupied bed equivalent, and $6,750 per Class 1 employed physician for professional liability events.

• Indemnity and expense payments on suits and trials are significantly higher than non-suited claims. Forty-six percent of non-zero closed claims involve a lawsuit, and 17% of lawsuits go to trial. Hospitals pay no indemnity amounts on about half of all lawsuits, including trials.

• One out of every four claims and a quarter of hospital professional liability costs are associated with five healthcare-acquired conditions (HACs): healthcare-acquired infections, healthcare-acquired injuries, medication errors, objects left after surgery, and pressure ulcers.