An obstetrician-gynecologist (OB/GYN) could be with a woman as she goes through menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, and more. They also help provide very routine medical checkups and help with preventative screenings. But being an OB/GYN also carries with it the highest cost in medical malpractice insurance.
In a 15-year study ending in the year 2000, more medical malpractice claims were brought against OB/GYNs than any other specialists. This is due to the incredibly high risk associated with this field of medicine. Many of the claims filed by plaintiffs claimed errors that resulted in permanent or severe damage to their baby. Common injuries reported in claims included:
In fact, over 70% of American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists fellows have been sued during their careers. Furthermore, data shows that about 11.2% of OB/GYN physicians face a claim each year, and of those claims, 3.7% result in damages. For physicians in this speciality, the median indemnity payment is $150,000 and the mean is $375,000. OB/GYNs had the highest payment rate -- more than 38% -- of all physicians with annual claims.
OB/GYNs can expect to pay between $85,000 - $200,000 a year for medical malpractice insurance. For those in major cities, the range narrows between $100,000 - $200,000.
One of the biggest cost factors is location. For instance, OB/GYN medical malpractice insurance in California costs around $57,000 per year. However, an OB/GYN operating in Minnesota may pay as little as $15,000. The location cost discrepancies are thanks to a state-by-state medical liability cap. This cap helps regulate the amount a physician has to pay into medical malpractice.
Additionally, patients could also have up to 20 years to file a malpractice claim against an OB/GYN. This is due to a statute of limitations law in most states. In the statute, an injured party can file within 2 years from the time of discovery of their condition. However, the statute of limitation does not begin until the injured party turns 18 years old. Because of the 20 year possibility of liability for OB/GYNs, medical malpractice insurance treat these physicians as a higher risk.
The litany of costs surrounding medical malpractice insurance have forced OB/GYNs to make serious changes to their practices. According to a 2015 survey from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, almost 40% of all OB/GYNs were forced to make changes to the way they practice because of the cost of insurance.
Capson can work with you to provide the most affordable medical malpractice insurance possible. Get an insurance quote in minutes by filling out our quick form or giving us a call at (512) 609-7900.