Unnecessary Procedures and Medical Malpractice Claims in Atlanta, Georgia
It is estimated that unnecessary medical care costs about 210 billion dollars in the United States every year. One survey of doctors indicated that about 20% of all patient treatment was not medically necessary. In addition to the incredible costs associated with unnecessary medical care, treating patients unnecessarily can cause patients serious physical harm such as paralysis and blindness. So doctors should only perform procedures on patients when they are medically necessary an justified. If a doctor performs an unnecessary medical procedure for an unjustifiable reason, for example, being motivated purely by profits, then that decision is not only unethical, it is negligent. Unfortunately, this unconscionable malpractice happens in this day and age. When a patient undergoes an unnecessary treatment, they will face risks related to that procedure or medication that are completely unwarranted. These patients will also incur unnecessary expenses related to those treatments. If you believe you were harmed due to an unnecessary medical procedure or treatment, you might be eligible to recover compensation. Call the Atlanta, Georgia medical malpractice attorneys at The Moses Firm today at 404-721-1050 for a free consultation.
Why Do Doctors Perform Unnecessary Procedures?
According to doctors, the most common reason they over-treat a patient is that they are afraid of failing to treat an existing condition. Other likely reasons include the patient putting pressure on the doctor to perform a certain treatment and trouble accessing medical records that would indicate a better course of action. However, about seven out of ten physicians believe that doctors would be less likely to perform unnecessary procedures on patients if they did not function on a fee-for-service compensation basis. In other words, physicians believe some doctors are performing unnecessary procedures because they get paid to treat patients with those procedures. The survey presents a disturbing picture of the medical system and indicates that unnecessary treatment is a fairly common problem in the medical industry.
There are other reasons why doctors might perform unnecessary treatments, as well. For example, in some cases, a doctor may misdiagnose a patient leading to that patient undergoing treatment that is not helpful or needed for their condition.
Some common procedures that are performed when they are not necessary include surgeries, induced labor, cesarean sections, MRI scans, CT scans, X-rays, and the use of feeding tubes.
What Are the Consequences of Unnecessary Procedures?
There can be many consequence of an unnecessary procedure. But when they are serious and cause someone’s death, brain damage, paralysis, or blindness, it is imperative that you or your family investigate whether an injury has occurred by contacting an experienced medical malpractice lawyer based in Georgia.
How Can You Prove that a Procedure was Unnecessary?
If a procedure was performed because the doctor misdiagnosed your condition, then that procedure is a clear case of unnecessary treatment. It is possible that in this scenario, your doctor will be liable for medical malpractice. However, in order to be considered malpractice, the doctor’s conduct must amount to negligence. Negligence means that the doctor must have failed to perform at the expected level of a doctor in their field. If there is evidence that the doctor recommended or performed an unnecessary procedure which he or she obtained financial incentives to perform, this can serve as evidence of malpractice as well. Medical malpractice is complicated and depends heavily on the facts of the case. Most people do not have the level of expertise necessary to determine whether a doctor engaged in negligent conduct or made a reasonable mistake based on the evidence at that doctor’s disposal. After all, in some cases, conditions may be particularly difficult for any doctor to treat or diagnose. To show that negligence was involved in a doctor’s decision to perform an unnecessary procedure, it will be necessary to have an expert witness review the evidence. The expert witness will be able to look through the medical records and determine whether the doctor’s decisions were reasonable based on what that doctor knew at the time. Many cases are heavily dependent on the testimonies made by an expert witness. However, sometimes malpractice will be obvious based on the facts of the case, and the testimony of an expert will be far less crucial to proving the case, such as if a doctor performed a procedure on the wrong patient.
Call the Atlanta Medical Malpractice Attorneys at The Moses Firm Today
For patients who undergo unnecessary treatments, the consequences can involve a great deal of pain and suffering, permanent injuries, and in some cases, can result in death. Recovering compensation from a negligent medical provider can help the victim of malpractice recover medical costs and lost wages associated with the loss, as well as damages for their suffering. Call The Moses Firm today at 404-721-1050 to learn how our personal injury attorneys can help you and your family.