Medical scams and malpractice are much more common than you think. According to estimates, more than 250,000 Americans lose their lives every year due to medical malpractice. Medical scams are also fairly common across the US. These schemes make use of different tactics in order to trap their targets.
In fact, you may already have witnessed TV commercials from fraudulent medical brands. Victims of such frauds and malpractices may suffer in terms of their health or in the form of financial losses. The question is: how do I avoid these scams and malpractice?
There are certain precautions that you need to take. These precautions include clear communication, discussing costs in advance, and mutually deciding timelines before going in for surgery or treatment. Discover the key aspects of medical deceptions and malpractice along with helpful advice related to avoiding these traps altogether.
WHAT ARE MEDICAL SCAMS
Medical scams can be executed in various forms. Common types include the following:
- Companies may sell you duplicate or malfunctioning medical products. Such products may not only lead to financial losses, but also result in major side effects too.
- Another type of scam involves excessive services being sold to you. This type of scheme typically happens at hospitals or healthcare facilities. When you go to these facilities to get treatment, you may be charged for services that you didn’t even opt for.
- Medical fraud can also take place in the form of kickbacks. You may be referred to a particular MRI service provider in return for kickbacks even if it is not in your best interest.
WHAT IS MEDICAL MALPRACTICE
Medical malpractice occurs when doctors or related professionals deviate from their usual standards related to healthcare. Here are a few common types of medical malpractice:
- There are many cases where doctors and healthcare professionals are negligent towards their contracted duties. Such negligence may result in severe illnesses and injuries for their patients.
- Another form of medical malpractice involves doctors using sub-standard procedures in order to save costs. Such practices can prove extremely dangerous for the patients.
- If a doctor conducts a particular treatment or surgery without your consent, then that can also be termed as a medical malpractice.
HOW TO DETECT A SCAM OR MALPRACTICE
There are several things that you need to keep in mind if you want to avoid scams or malpractice. Here are a few pointers that will help you detect these instances:
- The best policy is to discuss the key elements of your treatment or surgery with more than one healthcare provider. This will give you a better idea of the key aspects of the surgery and ensure that you are fully aware of what is involved.
- If you are still in doubt, you could contact your local Food and Drug Administration (FDA) office. The officials will guide you and ensure that you are not scammed.
- If the doctor or healthcare professional is being overly secretive about the terms of the treatment, that could be a major red flag. Doctors are not supposed to be secretive about their services. You should also be free to discuss the treatment with your family and friends.
- Another indicator can be if the doctor changes the course of the treatment without receiving your consent. You need to read all documents carefully before you sign them. This will protect you from scams of all types.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE SUFFERED FROM A SCAM OR MALPRACTICE
In case you are not able to protect yourself from deception or malpractice despite your efforts, you do not need to worry. There are still ways to remedy the situation around by undertaking the following:
- You could opt to file a lawsuit, however, this process may not be feasible due to the lengthy legal process and costs involved. Additionally, the healthcare provider may hire malpractice attorneys who are adept at stalling. Such tactics could drain your budget quickly.
- Another way is to file a chargeback claim. This method only applies if you paid for your treatment using a debit/credit card. The method is much smoother because it allows for a quicker resolution. Such a claim can be filed with your card company, and there are specialized consultants that can assist with filing these claims.
Medical scams and malpractice can take many different forms, still with the proper knowledge in hand, you can accurately detect frauds at an early stage or prevent any further losses.
The best policy is to be fully aware of the treatment that you are going to undergo while maintaining clear communication with your doctors and healthcare providers.
If you encounter any deviation from the best practices, you should immediately sound the alarm bells and seek outside consultation to ensure you can defend yourself against predatory practices.