Merit Rating for Physicians' Malpractice Premiums

Only a Modest Deterrent

by John E. Rolph


Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 1.2 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.


Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback26 pages $30.00 $24.00 20% Web Discount

Using medical malpractice claims data from the Medical Inter-Insurance Exchange of New Jersey, which insures approximately 70 percent of the physicians practicing in the state, this Note analyzes physician negligence. Of the three aspects of the physician's claims history that might be used either alone or in combination — (1) the total number of claims filed against a physician including both paid and unpaid claims (where "unpaid" claims are those for which no indemnity payment is made in the settlement or verdict); (2) the number of paid claims; and (3) the average amount of the indemnity paid on each claim (claims severity) — the author decided to measure an individual's negligence solely by the number of paid claims. He finds evidence that physicians vary widely in their proneness to generate paid claims, but that individuals' claims histories are only moderately accurate in identifying more vs. less claims-prone physicians. This finding limits the potential of deterrent policies that use past claims to target individual physicians.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.