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Research reveals malpractice causes huge payouts

New Mexico residents may have read the National Association for Healthcare Quality statement about how many malpractice awards can be prevented. On Aug. 25, the NAHQ said having targeted health care provider organization interventions can reduce patient safety risks and diagnosis errors.

Medical researchers said United States 2004-2014 catastrophic claims of more than $1 million make up about 8 percent of all paid malpractice claims. Research also showed that a majority of injury payouts resulted because of a diagnostic error. These studies also revealed that diagnostic inaccuracies double the odds of a catastrophic payout. A surgeon said that medical studies provide opportunity for targeted risk management and quality improvement efforts. Medical personnel also stated that health care facilities should focus more on making accurate diagnoses. According to medical research, correct treatment can happen using cost-effective, technological solutions and the latest in information technology while keeping in mind best medical practices.

Malpractice cases often require that an attorney examine all medical reports and patient statements to determine the proof of liability that would help a patient win a case. Although some cases may not seem as cut and dry, they show whether or not a medical facility is liable for not offering the right diagnosis and treatment. Usually, witnesses and documents assist a malpractice lawyer in making a claim on behalf of a client. If a judge rules in favor of an injured plaintiff who received the wrong treatment, they might win compensation for additional expenses.

For instance, the patient might require funds for long-term care after a misdiagnosis if wrong treatment has caused side effects. A patient might also receive compensation after a delayed diagnosis if a doctor did not identify a problem and offer treatment within the window of time that would ensure best chance of recovery.

Source: Insurance News Net, "Wrong Diagnosis Leading Cause for Catastrophic Malpractice Payouts", August 26, 2014

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