While many health care providers work diligently to care for their patients, there are some common frustrations that patients encounter during medical interactions. From administrative hurdles to communication challenges, there’s a list of irritating issues that patients often face when dealing with health care providers.

Some of these types of complaints might be those that could be addressed by the medical licensing board, while most are issues that should be addressed directly with your provider, or their office manager. 

We’ll explore the typical issues patients encounter, and we’ll let you know when these issues MIGHT be related to a malpractice claim. 

Waiting Room Delays 

You arrive punctually for your appointment, only to find yourself languishing in the waiting room for what feels like an eternity. As the minutes stretch into hours, frustration mounts, and patience wears thin.

The problem with this type of complaint, in terms of malpractice claims, is there may not be any actual damages. Sure, your time was wasted, but in a legal sense, there is no recompense for your long wait time. However, if the long wait time can be proven to have been the cause of a preventable injury with serious consequences, you may have a valid malpractice claim. 

Inadequate Communication 

Leaving your appointment feeling more confused than when you arrived is not uncommon, thanks to vague explanations and medical jargon that leave you scratching your head. Effective communication between health care providers and patients is essential for understanding treatment plans and making informed decisions.

But you won’t recover anything from a lawsuit based on not understanding your doctor’s advice. Exception: If your doctor did not inform you of a critical diagnosis or failed to recommend treatment for a condition that later worsens and causes injury serious harm, you might want to have a case evaluation with a medical malpractice attorney to determine if you have a claim. For example: You SHOULD contact a medical malpractice attorney if you had an abnormal test result screening for cancer and the doctor did not tell you about the abnormal test result, which allowed your case to progress to an advanced stage. 

Rushed Appointments 

Barely having the chance to express your symptoms before your health care provider rushes off to their next appointment can leave you feeling overlooked and unheard. Feeling unheard and unacknowledged, you wonder if your concerns were genuinely addressed.

Rude and inconsiderate bedside manner or failing to take appropriate time to listen is a definite problem in the medical field. It is not a malpractice claim unless your physician is negligent in their care in addition to being fast in their evaluation during your appointment time. 

Difficulty Scheduling Appointments 

Navigating the labyrinth of appointment scheduling can feel like a Herculean task, with prolonged hold times, limited availability, and confusing online portals adding to the frustration. Often, the most highly successful and respected physicians have long wait times for appointments – this is not a matter for a malpractice attorney. Perhaps a different medical practice or a doctor with an easier system might suit your schedule better.

However, if you have had a recent surgery and cannot be seen by your surgeon to report a deteriorating condition, that could lead to a successful medical malpractice case. 

Prescription Refill Hassles 

Placing a refill request for your prescription only to be met with silence from your health care provider can be frustrating. Cue the endless phone calls and bureaucratic red tape as you try to obtain your much-needed medication. This can lead to missed medications, but rarely is this a malpractice concern.

On the other hand, if your doctor fails to call in a necessary prescription and you have a serious medical consequence, you might have a claim to be evaluated by a medical malpractice attorney. 

Lack of Follow-Up 

Feeling abandoned and left in the dark after your appointment with no follow-up communication or guidance on next steps can leave you feeling alone in your healthcare journey.

If your doctor failed to refer you to a specialist concerning test results or failed to prescribe necessary medication for a known condition, you might have a claim, but many doctors do not follow up just to see how you’re doing. 

Billing Errors and Overcharges 

Receiving a surprise medical bill that’s higher than expected due to billing errors, hidden fees, or confusing insurance statements can cause undue stress and financial strain.

This is an issue for the financial department of your doctor’s office or the medical provider. Most malpractice attorneys will not take on billing issue cases. 

Dismissal of Patient Concerns 

Voicing your concerns to your health care provider, only to be met with a dismissive reaction or skepticism, can leave you feeling invalidated and disheartened. No one wants to hear their doctor scoff “Who did you hear that from, Dr. Google?” If you feel your doctor is not addressing your concerns, you can put them in writing, or you can provide additional documentation to support your position.

This is not an area where a malpractice attorney is likely to get involved. Where the medical malpractice attorney can help is only after the fact if a doctor’s dismissal of a patient’s concerns causes the doctor to miss the appropriate diagnosis or fail to order the proper test and the patient’s condition gets worse as a result.  

If you have been seriously hurt, we will help you make a serious recovery ®. We offer free case evaluations to help people understand if they have a medical malpractice or dental malpractice case, so give us a call today at (703) 638-7717. 

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