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As hospitalists practices grow, so too do med mal cases

In the medical field there are many things that could happen in a hospital that could ultimately lead to a medical malpractice claim. There are also a variety of individuals who might be responsible for providing care to patients. Over the course of the last decade, individuals referred to as hospitalists have been added to that group. Last year, the number of hospitalists was estimated to be 35,000.

Perhaps not surprisingly, as this group of medical professionals has grown so too have the number of medical malpractice lawsuits filed against them. Many of these lawsuits involved misdiagnosis.

One matter that is thought to potentially be a contributing factor to the growing number of medical malpractice lawsuits against hospitalists is the nature of the relationship a typical hospitalist has with a patient. Because hospitalists do not develop relationships with their patients over the course of many years, when a patient is injured as a result of an action by the health care provider, fewer think twice about filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against either the treatment provider or the facility in which negligent care iwas provided. Another factor could be issues in communication between a hospitalist and other doctors who care for a patient.

As is the case with any situation where medical negligence is suspected, in situations in which patients are hurt due to the negligent actions of a hospitalist, it may be possible for the injured party or his or her family to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against those responsible. Most find it is helpful in these situations to work with a lawyer.

Source: American Medical News, "Unwanted price to hospitalists' growth — more liability suits," Alicia Gallegos, May 20, 2013

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