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D.C., Maryland and Virginia medical malpractice cases require extensive investigation. Many times hospitals and HMOs don't disclose malpractice to a patient.

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Medical malpractice - failing to practice medicine according to accepted standards of care - requires extensive and costly investigation before filing a medical malpractice case, at least in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.  Medical experts need to review the patient's chart, diagnostic tests, lab results and all of the available information.  Medical malpractice attorneys review the medical literature, depostitions of potential experts and medical research - anything about the event or condition, its causes and effects.

So you can see why its an expensive, time consuming process.  But does it have to be?  What if hospitals, HMOs or doctors admitted when they had harmed a patient because they didn't follow the accepted standards of care?

At least one physician has advocated for just that - disclosing medical errors to patients, since the doctor-patient relationship is based on honesty and the ability to exchange information (of course many hospitals, HMOs or doctors will blame the patient after committing medical malpractice, but that's another subject).

Its also cheaper in the long run, says Dr. Cindy Haines, because it leads to fewer and less costly medical malpractice cases - certainly much of the time and expense noted above could be reduced, saving money for both patients, HMOs, hospitals and their insurance companies.

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