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high deductible, Chicago medical mistake attorneysThanks to recent U.S. policy changes, more people than ever have affordable health care coverage. Unfortunately, that benefit is extremely limited since many are still stuck on high deductible plans, emergency care only plans, or subpar employer-provided insurance. So, even though many Americans are now protected in the event of an emergency, many still do not have the coverage they need to prevent serious illness. Even more concerning is that, despite the changes, many Americans may still lack the coverage they need to catch a serious condition before it gets out of hand.

What High Deductible Plans Can Mean for Your Health

While most healthy individuals do not have to worry too much about their healthcare coverage, anyone can suddenly find themselves in a situation where quality insurance is necessary. Moreover, many Americans are needing regular medical care for conditions like cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart complications much sooner than previous generations. Unfortunately, most people are less likely to seek treatment when they have high deductible insurance coverage. Or, if they do seek treatment, they may be less likely to probe the doctor further if no immediate cause for their symptoms is found.

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doctor medical malpractice, Chicago personal injury lawyerWhen people read the stories about medical mistakes and the resulting malpractice claims, they often begin to wonder if their own physician might be capable or responsible enough to care for them in a life or death situation. Many also begin to fear the idea of going to an unknown doctor. However, studies suggest that, while the vetting of a physician is certainly warranted and necessary, most patients are probably relatively safe; it is just a small portion of physicians that patients should be wary of.

One Percent of Doctors Linked to One-Third of All Malpractice Claims

Although they may not provide a complete and definitive guideline on just how many (or which) doctors are making the most mistakes, malpractice cases do give quite a bit of insight. As such, researchers at Stanford examined the information on more than 66,000 paid malpractice claims paid against 54,000 physicians nationwide between 2005 and 2014. Nearly one-third of those claims could be linked to just one percent of all doctors.

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avoidable medical errors, Chicago medical malpractice lawyersWhen people get sick, they visit their doctor to get better. When they are critically ill, they go to a hospital for treatment. But are doctors actually doing more harm than good? Evidence from the prestigious Journal of Patient Safety would certainly suggest as much. Published nearly two decades after the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) concerning report, To Err is Human, this new study indicates that people are not just dying by the very hands that are supposed to heal them; they are dying in significantly higher numbers than previously thought.

Preventable Deaths Now Third Leading Cause of Death

Using medical studies that were published between 2008 and 2011, researchers with Patient Safety America examined the occurrence of five commonly made medical mistakes: diagnostic errors, errors of commission, errors of context, errors of omission, and errors of communication. Overall, these mistakes caused as many as 440,000 deaths each and every year. That makes it the third leading cause of death in America, placing it beneath only heart disease and cancer.

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drug shortages, Chicago medical malpractice attorneyIf two people you knew were in a life or death situation and you could only save one, who would you choose? This is the decision that doctors, surgeons, and anesthesiologists are making each and every day, but it is not for the reason you might think. Medicine shortages – everything from antibiotics to cancer drugs – are creating questionable practices and muddy ethical reasoning in the healthcare industry. So much so that ethicists and patient advocate groups have started to crop up with the hope of making the decision process “easier” and preventing malpractice cases.

Where Have All the Drugs Gone?

According to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, more than 150 drugs and therapeutics are in short demand. Some are allegedly due to problems in manufacturing. Others are said to be because of federal safety crackdowns on drug makers that have made it more difficult to meet public demand. And still others are said to be due to the increasing cost of the drugs themselves. Whatever the case or reason, it is creating a serious safety problem for patients.

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dangerous drugs, FDA approval, Chicago liability attorneysOriginally developed to protect consumers, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is responsible for monitoring and investigating the safety, efficacy, and security of drugs and medical equipment used and prescribed in the United States. But patient advocates, federal auditors, and health-policy experts have been voicing concerns over the FDA’s monitoring and surveillance systems since the 1990s. Now, with the number of defective drug and medical equipment injuries and deaths mounting, lawmakers are looking for a way to step in and take over.

FDA’s Concerning Failures Exposed

Over the years, the FDA has been cited for a number of failures in the way they approve and oversee the drugs and equipment they are responsible for monitoring. Part of the problem relates to outdated or inaccurate data. The system’s self-reporting reliance is another. All lead to one very concerning conclusion: their shortcomings are causing injuries and deaths to innocent people.

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