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Am J Gastroenterol. 2014 Apr;109(4):460-4. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2013.375.

Effect of a health system's medical error disclosure program on gastroenterology-related claims rates and costs.

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Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.



In 2001, the University of Michigan Health System (UMHS) implemented a novel medical error disclosure program. This study analyzes the effect of this program on gastroenterology (GI)-related claims and costs.


This was a review of claims in the UMHS Risk Management Database (1990-2010), naming a gastroenterologist. Claims were classified according to pre-determined categories. Claims data, including incident date, date of resolution, and total liability dollars, were reviewed. Mean total liability incurred per claim in the pre- and post-implementation eras was compared. Patient encounter data from the Division of Gastroenterology was also reviewed in order to benchmark claims data with changes in clinical volume.


There were 238,911 GI encounters in the pre-implementation era and 411,944 in the post-implementation era. A total of 66 encounters resulted in claims: 38 in the pre-implementation era and 28 in the post-implementation era. Of the total number of claims, 15.2% alleged delay in diagnosis/misdiagnosis, 42.4% related to a procedure, and 42.4% involved improper management, treatment, or monitoring. The reduction in the proportion of encounters resulting in claims was statistically significant (P=0.001), as was the reduction in time to claim resolution (1,000 vs. 460 days) (P<0.0001). There was also a reduction in the mean total liability per claim ($167,309 pre vs. $81,107 post, 95% confidence interval: 33682.5-300936.2 pre vs. 1687.8-160526.7 post).


Implementation of a novel medical error disclosure program, promoting transparency and quality improvement, not only decreased the number of GI-related claims per patient encounter, but also dramatically shortened the time to claim resolution.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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