For service members in Ohio filing claims against military physicians and hospitals, the success rate for getting approved by the military has been negligible. The most recent report is that a mere 2% of the medical malpractice claims filed by service members are getting approved by reviewers.
Only a tiny fraction of claims are reaching settlement
In 2020, a new law was passed that gave service members the ability to file these claims. But it seems to have done little good for service members.
Out of 448 claims filed by service members in the Air Force, Navy and Army, a settlement has only been reached on 11 of them. On top of that, a fourth of these claims have already been denied.
This is grim news for service members who have experienced medical malpractice at a military hospital or from a military physician and want to be compensated for it. The Pentagon has provided no comment as to the state of affairs, leaving those who are still waiting on approval without any indication of how things might improve.
Why are the vast majority of claims not getting approved?
The process is intended to give troops a reliable means to file personal injury claims when they’ve experienced medical malpractice in a Department of Defense health facility. Some attorneys with service member clients who have malpractice claims say that the issue is in the process itself.
They point out the flaws are that it doesn’t have enough transparency, it’s too slow and takes an unreasonable amount of effort. One of the other main problems cited by attorneys is that this appeals process lacks any debate of whether or not the claims have merit. Service members aren’t given a chance to state their case and argue their claim.
The only thing that the reviewers of these appeals look at is whether all regulations were followed and if the handling and denial of the claim were performed correctly. This leaves no opportunity for the reviewer to hear the claimant’s side through their attorney.