Content By The Society of Actuaries

By: The Society of Actuaries

(SOA: Schaumburg, IL) -- Findings from a new study commissioned by the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and completed by consultants with Milliman Inc. estimate that measurable medical errors cost the U.S. economy $19.5 billion in 2008. The report used claims data to provide an actuarially sound measurement of costs for avoidable medical injuries. Of the approximately $80 billion in costs associated with medical injuries, about 25 percent were the result of avoidable medical errors.

“This report highlights a singular opportunity for both improving the overall quality of care and reducing health care costs in this country,” says Jim Toole, managing director of MBA Actuaries Inc. “Of the $19.5 billion in total costs, approximately $17 billion was the result of providing inpatient, outpatient, and prescription drug services to individuals who were affected by medical errors. Although this cost is staggering, it also highlights the need to reduce errors and improve quality and efficiency in American health care.”