Incidence of Medical Malpractice Lawsuits and Its Relationship to the Growth of Private Hospitals
BackgroundDoctor-patient relationship has become an intense concern in public health in recent years. Medical malpractice lawsuits have presented an increasing trend over past decade. This study aims to describe distributions of medical malpractice lawsuits across different provinces and to investigate its relationship to the growth of private hospitals.MethodsData was drawn from China Judgments Online, the China Health Statistic Yearbooks and China Statistical Yearbooks between January 1, 2010
... een January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2016. Private hospitals expansion was measured by the number and proportion of private hospitals, the ratio of outpatient visits from private to public hospitals and the ratio of discharges from private to public hospitals. Fixed-effects negative binomial regressions were utilized to estimate the association between the growth of private hospitals and the number of medical malpractice lawsuits.ResultsIn total, we identified a total of 18220 lawsuits relevant to medical malpractices across China between 2010 and 2016. The regression results revealed that more private hospitals, larger proportion of private hospitals and higher ratio of discharges from private to public hospitals were significantly associated with fewer medical malpractice lawsuits. An increase of 100 private hospitals in health care market was associated with a decrease in the number of medical malpractice lawsuits by 21%. The ratio of outpatient visits from private to public hospitals was not significantly associated with the number of malpractice lawsuits. ConclusionsThere was great disparities of incidences of medical malpractice lawsuits across different provinces. Greater expansion of private hospitals was associated with fewer medical malpractice lawsuits at province level. This negative association indicated that more private hospitals in health care market might provide more incentives for hospitals to contain the incidences of medical malpractice cases.