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Why corporate medical practices often compromise standards of care

Private or for-profit medical corporations own a large percentage of medical practices and hospitals in the United States. These organizations have an incentive to make as much money as possible from patients.

They treat physicians ranging from primary care doctors to surgeons as employees. Physicians therefore lose control over how they practice medicine and must carefully conform with the standards established by their employers. Unfortunately, the way that corporate medical entities approach medical care can negatively impact the standard of care provided to patients.

How do large medical businesses often endanger patients with their company policies?

Businesses demand too much of individual doctors

There was a time not long ago when general practice and family doctors knew every patient on their roster. They were on a first-name basis with their patients and were well aware of their personal and familial medical histories. That time has long since passed.

Modern medical practices often demand that physicians carry an unsustainable patient caseload. Most physicians carry a patient load of somewhere between 1,800 and 2,000 patients, which is well above the recommended limit of 1,000 patients.  It is impossible for any one doctor to remember all of the details about 1,800 or 2,000 different patients.

As if that weren’t bad enough, corporate medical practices often demand that physicians see a specific number of patients on any given day. Doctors therefore have to limit their time with each patient to only a few minutes, which could lead to major diagnostic mistakes or an inadequate review of their medical records. While corporate medical practices are undoubtedly very efficient, they also create scenarios in which doctors cannot provide the best standard of care theoretically possible.

How malpractice lawsuits can help

The most obvious benefit of filing a medical malpractice lawsuit is potential compensation for those harmed by substandard medical care. However, medical malpractice lawsuits can also be beneficial for others because they may lead to a corporate medical entity changing how it operates. When the potential to lose money raises questions about current workplace practices at hospitals and medical offices, the focus may switch back to the needs of the patients in part because doing so can save the business money.

Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit after diagnostic errors or other preventable medical issues could benefit those directly impacted by malpractice and anyone else seeking care at a careless facility in the future.