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. The payments don't include money that might have been paid out by health providers to settle claims.

Last year's 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.

Last year, the largest insurance provider in the state, Minnesota-based MMIC, earned more than $9.8 million in premiums in South Dakota and suffered losses of $2.3 million. MMIC controls nearly 80% of the state's medical malpractice market.

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

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Information from: Argus Leader, http://www.argusleader.com

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