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Lubbock County Medical Malpractice Attorney
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Reports find misdiagnosis behind most malpractice claims

Two separate reports from malpractice insurers state that most malpractice claims are due to misdiagnosis. Texas residents may want to know the details because they agree substantially with previous studies. For example, the National Academy of Medicine concluded back in 2015 that diagnostic errors may be the third leading cause of death among hospitalized patients.

The first report is from Coverys and focuses on 1,800 closed claims against physicians from 2013 to 2017. Of those, 46 percent were diagnosis-related. These diagnosis-related cases accounted for 68 percent of paid indemnity costs, and they saw 45 percent of the patients involved die.

The Doctors Company, in its report, reviewed 1,215 closed claims from 2008 to 2017 and discovered that misdiagnosis was to blame for 38 percent of malpractice claims involving a child patient. Malpractice was largely the result of inadequate patient assessments. This means primary care providers failed, for example, to capture a complete family history or perform a complete physical exam.

Negligence among primary care providers is worrisome because PCPs do more than perform assessments: They also decide what treatments or therapies patients undergo and monitor any high-risk medications that they take. After inadequate assessments, the top allegation against PCPs involved the ordering of diagnostic tests. This was followed by cases related to referrals and follow-ups.

The failure to diagnose a condition may result in unnecessary treatments, pain and suffering and the worsening of the condition. Patients have a right to be reimbursed for these and other losses, but it may be wise to consult with an attorney before moving forward with a malpractice claim. The attorney might have a network of third parties, such as investigators, to assist with the gathering of proof against the doctor. The attorney may then be able to negotiate for a settlement or litigate.

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