MedSolutions Joins Call for Increased Attention on Diagnostic Errors
JAMA commentary highlights startling lack of focus on costly problem
In their report (“Diagnostic Errors – The Next Frontier for Patient Safety” – JAMA,
Often unrecognized or unreported, diagnostic errors receive little attention despite the fact that they cause up to 80,000 hospital deaths a year and result in twice as many tort claims as medication errors. In addition, roughly 5 percent of autopsies reveal diagnostic errors for which correct diagnosis and treatment could have averted death. No statistics exist for misdiagnosis-related deaths in outpatients.
“Despite the popular current focus on medical errors like prescription drug errors and hospital-acquired infections, diagnostic errors likely cause more harm. Diagnostic errors get very little attention from the medical community or the media,” said
MedSolutions’ Premerus(SM) Diagnostic Accuracy program is the first and only solution that reduces diagnostic errors and lowers overall expense. Premerus provides patients and the doctors who treat them with expert interpretation of imaging studies from some of the nation’s leading diagnosticians.
Research affirms that a physician’s degree of specialization and volume of experience reading certain types of scans dramatically increase the probability of accurate diagnosis. For example, a recent study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that while some physicians failed to identify breast cancer 71 percent of the time, those who specialized in mammography had an error rate of only 3 percent.
“With today’s rapidly advancing technology and the growing complexity of medical imaging, it’s not realistic to expect general radiologists to read tests as accurately as specialists,” said
In addition to improving diagnostic accuracy, Premerus is proven to reduce costs associated with misdiagnosis, such as unnecessary therapies, unwarranted tests and additional treatment required to reverse the effects of wrong therapies. An independently validated study conducted by the actuarial firm Thomson Reuters shows that healthcare payors utilizing Premerus can expect near-term savings of
“Increased focus in the medical community and common sense solutions such as those outlined in the JAMA commentary are needed to increase awareness of diagnostic errors and advance the science of how to identify and prevent them,” said Thorne. “We applaud Dr. Newman-Toker and Dr. Pronovost of
Using independently validated savings methodologies, MedSolutions specializes in intelligent cost management of medical services for commercial, Medicare and Medicaid payors. The company maintains management contracts for nearly 25 million individuals nationwide. Using robust data, predictive intelligence technology and clinical expertise, the company’s innovative solutions extend beyond radiology management to other areas of medical specialty, including cardiology, oncology, ultrasound, emergency room and Premerus(SM) diagnostic accuracy. MedSolutions has been twice recognized for its Call Center operations by the prestigious J.D. Power and Associates Award. Visit www.medsolutions.com.