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Lawsuit: Doctors purposefully misdiagnosed patients for profits

A timely diagnosis is a crucial component of good healthcare, but it is vital for the diagnosis to be accurate, too. That is why it is so disturbing that some physicians purposefully misdiagnose patients.

The motive is profits. If a doctor diagnoses a patient with a particular condition, it may necessitate expensive surgery or treatment. The patient's insurer will generally end up footing the bill, whether it is a private insurance company or a government-sponsored program like Medicare and Medicaid.

The doctor then gets his or her cut and profits from making a wrongful diagnosis. The practice is unscrupulous but can be quite lucrative.

Fortunately, two neurologists recently got caught for this charade and their employer will pay $2.5 million to settle the whistleblower lawsuit stemming from the misdiagnoses.

It's mind-blowing that doctors would purposefully misdiagnose patients with neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and perform unnecessary procedures on them.

Misdiagnosis not only causes economic harm, but it can cause unnecessary physical harm to a patient. Many treatments and medications involve side effects that are only worth risking because of their potential benefit. When a patient is fraudulently diagnosed, then the potential benefit is removed from the equation.

This sickening phenomenon is a black eye for the medical profession. Hopefully, unethical doctors will be identified swiftly and punished severely.

Source: News4Jax.com, "Baptist Health To Pay $2.5M After Misdiagnosis," Tarik Minor, May 6, 2014

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