Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Dealing With Medical Claims During A Pandemic.

May 5, 2020 by  
Filed under Health, Money/Business, Weekly Columns

( The COVID-19 crisis has taken everybody by surprise. As such, it’s fair to say that doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers are doing everything they can to keep us alive. Complaining about medical mistakes can sound unfair. Truth be told, it would be hard to blame doctors for any medical fault that would have occurred during the pandemic. However, there is a clear distinction to be made between complications that are linked to the coronavirus and complications that are connected to medical negligence. As such, individuals can still consider a complaint about issues that are not related to COVID-19. Here’s what to bear in mind about your claim: 

There’s no excuse for avoidable mistakes

Stress and exhaustion don’t make good work allies. Needless to say, they now belong to everyday life for healthcare professionals. However, they are no excuse for committing mistakes that could have easily been avoided. Indeed, patients who have experienced a medical malpractice can safely turn to experienced attorneys for legal support. It can be stressful for patients to face unnecessary medical challenges. But when you can trace back the cause of your problem to a medical fault by your medical team, you shouldn’t hesitate to make a claim. If you are unsure how to handle your medical complaint, it can be helpful to discuss the situation with a professional legal advisor who can let you know if there is material for a claim. Alternatively, you can also find other ways of addressing your issues. In those challenging times, some healthcare centers are happy to provide continued support to their patients using digital communication, which might help to recover. 

Healthcare workers are struggling in big cities

Large cities are struck by the pandemic. School and business closure is affecting the economy of cities such as New York, San Francisco, Chicago, etc. For essential workers, such as healthcare professionals, the impact is visible. Indeed, population density is precisely what makes a city work and grow. As the lockdown and self-isolation regulations come into place, the active population is decreasing. As such, health workers who could grab something to eat on the way back from work by stopping by at their favorite diner in the early morning hours or buying a breakfast burrito on the go from a food truck, are left with minimal food options. As they work throughout the day and night, many struggle to maintain healthy food intake, as many restaurants and grocery shops are closing down or reducing their opening hours.

Additionally, not all cities reacted rapidly to the pandemic situation. Some waited until the last minute while others took preventive precautions. The cities that delayed the lockdown process are recording high infection rates, putting a lot of pressure on doctors and nurses. As such, some medical complaints may be discarded early because healthcare workers couldn’t have avoided the issues. Lack of protective equipment, for instance, is to blame for increased COVID-19 cases in high density communities. Doctors and nurses who didn’t receive appropriate equipment or had to act without it are only reacting to the pressure and emergency of the moment. 

Are insurers going to ignore costly mistakes?

Insurance companies have come under fire for rejecting many COVID-19-related claims. From canceled holidays to business interruption, insurers have been making sure their covers have an exclusion clause for pandemics. Sorry, we can’t pay, they say. As a result, state legislators have even threatened to intervene to force payments. 

The real problem that insurers face is not a lack of will or empathy. It’s the lack of funds. Consequently, it can also affect the healthcare industry as insurance can’t cover for mishaps in times of crisis. The question patients ask is whether their claims will be rejected on the principle that insurers can’t pay. Legally, it isn’t an option. In practice, though, while a reasonable claim will go through as per usual, the monetary compensation may not be sufficient to recoup your losses. 

Are doctors going to complain about COVID-19 management?

The real question you want to ask is: Who is supporting healthcare professionals? Indeed, doctors and nurses are physically putting their lives at risk to save others. Many struggle to secure protective equipment. Additionally, the lack of preparation for the crisis has exhausted medical resources and supplies. Countless hospitals are forced to let people die because they don’t have enough ventilators to keep them alive. Who can be blamed for high stress, depression, PTSD, and deaths in the healthcare industry during the pandemic? Who will pay for their losses? 

The topic of medical claims at the heart of a health crisis is a delicate matter. However, it is crucial, both for patients and healthcare specialists, to learn from the experience and try to improve the whole process together. 

Staff Writer; Susan Jackson

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