Long covid, with its varying and unpredictable symptoms and no known cure, makes caregivers vulnerable to liability risks arising from misdiagnosis, said medical malpractice insurance The Doctors Co. in a report released on Tuesday.
With little information available, caregivers are “facing an uphill battle to provide adequate care to long-term covid patients,” said Napa, the California-based insurer.
The absence of “a standard set of interventions” puts them at risk of being the subject of malpractice disputes as a result of not realizing that a patient has long-term covid or diagnosing long-term covid when the patient has another serious illness, it says.
Healthcare providers also risk “not recognizing a complication from a long-term covid and failing to refer a long covid patient to a specialist,”; the report states.
This risk can be reduced with good documentation and communication with patients and by taking patients’ complaints seriously and providing a “personalized medical approach”, the insurer said.
A recent survey showed that more than two years into the pandemic, most Americans still underestimate the long prevalence of covid.