Medical Malpractice:

Medicare/Medicaid Beneficiaries Account for a Relatively Small Percentage of Malpractice Losses

HRD-93-126: Published: Aug 11, 1993. Publicly Released: Aug 11, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed Medicare and Medicaid patients' involvement in malpractice litigation.

GAO found that: (1) Medicare and Medicaid patients are less likely than other patients to file malpractice claims; (2) Medicare and Medicaid patients' awards or settlements are significantly lower than those for patients with other health insurance; (3) hospital malpractice awards paid on behalf of Medicare and Medicaid patients account for a relatively small share of total malpractice losses; and (4) Medicare patients' percentage of hospital malpractice awards is significantly lower than their portion of hospital discharges and inpatient days.

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