Diederich Healthcare, a medical malpractice insurance company, recently released an analysis of medical malpractice payments made in 2011, as recorded by the National Practitioner Data Bank.

By far, the state with the highest malpractice payout was New York, at $677,866,050, followed by Pennsylvania ($319,710,250), Illinois ($242,108,800), New Jersey ($221,170,750), Florida ($218,123,050) and California ($215,519,200).

These six states together represent 51.4% of total payouts for 2011. States with the lowest payouts included South Dakota ($3,033,750), Vermont ($3,938,250), Wyoming ($4,235,000), North Dakota ($4,852,500) and Alaska ($6,347,500).

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The majority of payments were made for patients between the ages of 40 and 59 years ($1,351,743,100) followed by those between the ages of 20 and 30 years ($786,317,650). Fifty-eight percent of the total payouts were for female patients.

In more positive news, medical malpractice payouts have been dropping since they reached a high of $4,822,485,800 in 2003. The numbers for 2011 were slightly less than those in 2010.