The reasons to see a physician, surgeon or specialist are numerous because residents in Montana and elsewhere will take any and all necessary steps to ensure he or she is healthy and well. Whether it is an illness or an injury, seeking out the expertise of a medical professional often occurs because patients rely on their knowledge and experience to return them to good health. While visits to the doctor often result in patients getting better, this does not always occur.

As technology advances and changes occur across the nation, the concerns regarding medical malpractice continue to grow. In fact, many of the significant concerns regarding medical malpractice today are not directly related to the physical care provided to the patient by the medical provider.

One growing malpractice concern is high deductible health plans carried by patients. When a patient has a high deductible, he or she will often delay care due to the concerns regarding the cost of a procedure or treatment plan. And while a patient might decide to delay when their care is initiated, this does not let medical professionals off the hook for offering preventative tests and discussing lower-cost alternatives for the patient’s care.

Clinical practice guidelines are also a concern because these guidelines are not entirely reliable even though they are built on a foundation of evidence-based medicine. Additionally, using these guidelines will not always serve as a strong defense in a medical malpractice claim. Another concern for medical malpractice is ACOs. While they are focused on providing quality care to patients for less, these often increase the risk of medical errors.

Other growing concerns regarding medical malpractice include team care, smartphones used in healthcare settings, social media posts by physicians, EHRs and telemedicine. As the examples listed above illustrate, many of the risks causing medical malpractice incidents go beyond the medical care decisions made by a medical provider. How a medical facility is structured, the guidelines implemented in the facility, the technology used by physicians and even health care plans could lead to errors that cause harm to a patient.

Because medical malpractice covers a wide range of situations, it is important that patients fully understand their situation. This could help them assign liability and recover compensation for the losses and damages caused by the incident.

Source:, “10 potential medical malpractice issues,” Carrie Pallardy, Nov. 6, 2015