The Staggering Statistics of Misdiagnosis

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When a doctor or other health care professional fails to accurately and timely diagnose and treat a disease or other health problem, and a patient suffers harm as a result, the error may be the basis for a viable medical malpractice case. Our firm’s Maryland and Washington D.C. medical malpractice attorneys see tragic instances of misdiagnosis all too frequently.

How common is misdiagnosis?

Misdiagnosis is nearly twice as likely as other forms of malpractice to be involved in patients’ deaths, making it a leading type of paid malpractice claim. A 2014 article on CBS News’ website reported a recent finding that approximately 12 million American adults who sought outpatient medical care were misdiagnosed. In half of those cases, according to researchers, the misdiagnosis had the potential to result in severe harm. The 12 million amounted to about 1 in 20 adult patients, or approximately five percent, and was thought to contribute to 10 percent of all patient deaths and 17 percent of adverse events in hospitals.

How much do misdiagnoses cost?

While it’s impossible to determine the annual cost of misdiagnosis cases, some idea can be obtained from general medical malpractice case resolution data. The Institute of Medicine estimates that $750 billion is wasted annually in unnecessary healthcare costs, many of which stem from misdiagnosis. These costs can include tests, procedures, prolonged hospital stays, and more. Some of these costs are shouldered by the government, particularly in cases involving Medicare/Medicaid. However, the burden is frequently on the patient and his or her family.  Over and above the costs of extra care is additional time missed at work, which can quickly amount to substantial hardship as the patient suffers, becomes disabled, or dies from the initial misdiagnosis.

 

Our Maryland and Washington, D.C. medical malpractice attorneys are your best resource if you have suffered harm because of a doctor’s misdiagnosis

Misdiagnosis, along with delayed diagnosis and failure to diagnose, are serious errors that can cause illnesses to progress and lead to disability or death. Schochor, Federico and Staton, P.A. is an award-winning, well-established medical malpractice law firm with offices in Baltimore, MD and Washington D.C. We offer high-quality legal service supported by extensive experience in both out-of-court settlements and litigation. Put our expertise to work for you today by contacting us at 410-234-1000 or filling out a contact form.