Unfortunately, hospitals are not a place where you can let your guard down. You must be cognizant of potential for medical malpractice in Illinois and take preventative measures. SmartMoney Magazine addressed ways to take preventative measures during hospital visits in their eye-opening article entitled “10 Things Your Hospital Won’t Tell You.”
1. “Oops, wrong kidney.” – Treatment errors have become very problematic for hospitals.
2. “You may leave sicker than when you came in.” – Almost 2 million people a year contract infections related to their hospital stays.
3. “Good luck finding the person in charge.” – Getting the attention of the right person can be difficult especially if the hospital is a teaching hospital.
4. “Everything is negotiable, even your hospital bill.” – Hospitals frequently negotiate with patients and offer payment plans or discounts.
5. “Yes, we take your insurance – but we’re not sure about the anesthesiologist.” – Some insurance plans do not cover anesthesiologists.
6. “Sometimes we bill you twice.” – Request itemized bills to avoid being billed for services not received or items that should be free.
7. “All hospitals are not created equal.” – Check with the hospital’s quality-control or risk-management office to get infection statistics.
8. “Most ERs are in need of some urgent care themselves.” – Because of overcrowding, an ambulance is turned away from an ER once every minute.
9. “Avoid hospitals in July like the plague.” – Every July, turnover occurs in the hospital and a good portion of the staff at any given teaching hospital are new on the job.
10. “Sometimes we don’t keep our mouths zipped.” – Sharing information with a third party is actually often legal.