Medical error settlements in South Dakota jump in 2018


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - An Argus Leader analysis found that medical errors by South Dakota health providers cost insurance companies more than $3.5 million in settlement payments last year.

Cash payments on 16 malpractice claims in 2018 ranged from $1,690 to $850,000.

Last year's settlement sum was a $1,092,500 hike from the amount paid in 2017. But it was significantly less than the $10.9 million paid in 2014.

The analysis shows that medical malpractice policies were highly profitable last year.

Minnesota-based insurance provider MMIC earned more than $9.8 million in premiums in South Dakota last year, and commanded nearly 80% of the state's medical malpractice market.

Data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners shows South Dakota was the most profitable state for medical malpractice insurers in 2018 measured by losses to premiums earned.

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