Delray Beach Unnecessary Testing Lawyer
When a person goes to the doctor, they do not want to go through testing that will have no medical value. However, doctors in many cases will order unnecessary tests for multiple reasons, usually self-serving in nature. This is, in itself, a form of medical malpractice, as unnecessary tests can lead to errors in medicine or surgery that could otherwise reasonably have been averted. Our Delray Beach unnecessary testing lawyers are experienced in such matters and are here to assist you.
Why Order Unnecessary Tests?
In the early 2010s, multiple medical specialty groups conducted investigations into the occurrence of unnecessary testing under the aegis of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM)’s “Choosing Wisely” program. Two major reasons came to light, neither of which is in the patient interest. Doctors were shown to sometimes not advise their patients that certain tests might have been unnecessary because doing such tests was seen as “cover” in the event of a malpractice suit. Paranoia about potential repercussions can make doctors cautious, which is admirable, but caution should not lead to tests which may subject patients to unnecessary risks in the name of thoroughness (or self-protection).
The other reason doctors give to explain away unnecessary tests is simple – many are paid per patient or per procedure, and padding one’s income is a somewhat universal impulse among a certain subset of the profession. The rationale for many is that if one can get away with ordering tests that are not medically necessary, no harm is done except to the insurance company – when in reality a patient may experience medical side effects that would otherwise have been avoided.
The Harm Can Be Very Real
While ordering unnecessary tests can seem harmless to many, the reality is that serious problems can develop. This is especially true in those who might be particularly susceptible to certain conditions – for example, the elderly are much more prone to develop issues such as radiation sickness (from X-rays, CAT scans and the like) than a younger person might be. It is also eminently plausible for someone to sustain lasting emotional and mental harm due to unnecessary medical testing – for instance, having to go through an unnecessary biopsy may lead to panic attacks or fear of a cancer diagnosis that never occurs.
Unlike in many other states, Florida does have a statute explicitly forbidding unnecessary medical testing. It states that any medical professional who orders, procures, provides or administers any medical testing that is not “reasonably calculated” to aid in treating a patient may wind up subject to disciplinary action. It also permits any plaintiff who prevails on such a claim in court to recoup attorney’s fees and costs, which is markedly unusual in business-friendly Florida. The key words are “reasonably calculated,” which are often subjective – but in many cases, exploring that meaning is worth doing in court.
Call Our Experienced Lawyers Today
Many who experience unnecessary medical testing may think it is not worth going to court over, but it is – medical testing is a serious undertaking, and to put someone through that without need can be traumatic in the extreme. Discussing the matter with our Delray Beach unnecessary testing attorneys at Leifer & Ramirez can be a good first step in determining how best to handle the matter – we are happy to sit down with you and try to help answer your questions. Call us today to set up an appointment.