According to an article published in Forbes, annual medical malpractice relevant expenses count for roughly $55.6 billion, or 2.4% of total healthcare spending. This alarming amount comprises $45.6 billion worth of unnecessary examinations and procedures to prevent claims.
You inevitably won’t find consolation in the quantity of cash wasted entirely on medical malpractice case payouts, which topped $4 billion in 2018. By the time you read this article, roughly $14,000 got disbursed on medical malpractice in the United States alone.
There are going to be situations where a malpractice claim is unavoidable due to the justifications being outside a doctor’s control. Still, most malpractice lawsuits arise from easily preventable occurrences.
There’s a popular misunderstanding that all malpractice prosecutions originate from some kind of drastic surgical negligence which is in no way accurate.
Here are some things a health provider should try that can prevent medical malpractice claims:
1) Communication is the key
Research has shown that doctors who thoroughly communicate with patients are less likely to get sued for medical malpractice. In fact, in their communication with their patients, doctors should discuss all the aspects of the health condition and any side effects the treatment may cause.
2) Ask for help where needed
This one goes out to all the doctors who spent years getting educated and crafting their skills. Still, no one knows everything and as a result, there should be no shame for a doctor to ask for help when not sure about something.
3) Informed consent is the only consent
According to Michael F. Boland a medical malpractice lawyer, a doctor treating a patient without getting a signed consent form from them is just begging for a malpractice claim. It is also crucial to communicate all aspects of treatment, risks, and costs before any surgical procedure. It is also beneficial to compel healthcare providers to be extra careful and formulate mechanisms to curtail preventable negligence and therefore boost patient protection.
4) Medical Malpractice insurance
One may have come across various types of insurance, ie., life insurance, vehicle insurance, fire insurance, etc. However, not everyone is familiar with medical malpractice insurance. Also, whenever there is a legal situation about medical duties, people presume that the physician is the only party involved.
Medical Malpractice Insurance Explained
Below are more details about medical malpractice insurance and how it can benefit a health professional:
- What is medical malpractice insurance? This type of insurance offers the applicant physician, doctor, nurse, and other medical staff protection against medical negligence claims.
- Is it mandatory to have medical malpractice insurance? The laws may vary from state to state where some make it a legal mandate while others leave it as an option. However, given the rising number of false claims, it is suggested that all doctors, nurses, and even lab attendants enroll in such insurance policies to be protected against medical negligence claims.
- What does medical malpractice insurance include? Always remember that the coverage of any insurance policy varies from contract to contract. Always check the contents of the policy before signing up to know what is covered and what is not included. You may expect it to cover several expenses like attorney fees, costs levied by the court, damages if found liable, and other things. Criminal acts, sexual offenses, material fabrication of records, and other aggravated forms are usually not part of such insurance schemes. Thus, it is always wise to buy the plan that suits your profession and needs in the best possible way.
If you are a health professional accused of medical negligence it is best to contact a specialized law firm for answers to any questions you may have and guide you in the right direction in regard to medical malpractice.