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Sky-High Societal And Personal Costs Of Misdiagnosis


Misdiagnosis by health care providers has been a concern in the community for years, but a recent study reveals the extent of the problem. According to Fierce Healthcare, a health care analytics and insights resource, failed diagnosis is the top cause of serious medical errors. The article cites data from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, which estimates that up to 80,000 fatalities are caused by diagnostic mistakes every year. Plus, around 12 million patients experience misdiagnosis from primary care physicians. Approximately one-third of them will suffer injuries, permanent disability, or death.

Researchers have also determined that diagnosis errors and other inefficiencies cost the US economy up to $750 billion annually, a staggering figure when you realize that these mistakes are preventable. However, there are also costs and losses for the patients who suffer from late or inaccurate diagnosis. It is encouraging to know that there are remedies for recovering compensation, and you should trust a Miami misdiagnosis attorney for assistance with the legal process. A look at the personal costs is informative.

Paying for Care You Do Not Need: When a health care provider issues a false-positive diagnosis of a medical condition, the entire treatment plan developed by your care team will be based upon the error. You incur costs because the physician mistakenly:

  • Prescribed medications that carry a potential for abuse or serious side effects
  • Ordered in-patient or out-patient surgical procedures
  • Recommended certain types of therapy
  • Admitted you to the hospital 

While you are receiving unnecessary, potentially dangerous care for a condition you do not have, the ailment you are suffering from goes untreated.

 Incurring Costs for High-Level Treatment: In a situation involving a delayed or missed diagnosis, the patient’s true medical condition is not being addressed. It will continue to spread, worsen, or cause pain without proper treatment. By the time it is caught, health care providers may need to embark on a more intense, costly, invasive treatment plan.

 Expenses Related to Psychiatric Care: Finding out that you received a misdiagnosis can have devastating emotional impacts, leading many patients to seek care for their mental health. This is especially true when a cancer patient finds that the disease has turned terminal because of a diagnosis mistake. The costs of treatment from a psychiatrist or psychologist adds to the losses.

 Emotional Losses: There are some consequences of a diagnostic mistake that cannot be quantified in terms of dollar value, but you definitely suffer. You experience personal, subjective losses like pain and suffering that affect your quality of life. Under Florida law, these are classified as non-economic damages. You can recover compensation for these losses, and medical experts are an effective source of evidence when proving them in court.

Consult with a Florida Misdiagnosis Lawyer About Legal Remedies 

To learn more about your options after a diagnosis mistake, please contact Freidin Brown, P.A. We can schedule a no-cost case evaluation at our offices in Miami or Fort Myers, FL. A misdiagnosis attorney can advise you on how the process works in a medical malpractice case.


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