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Claims and complaints insights - Urology surgeons

Summary: Members asked us for more information about compensation claims and complaints to regulators. In response the following is a retrospective review of routinely collected data.

Tuesday, 31 May 2022

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Claims and complaints against urologists related to:

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Procedural/surgical-related allegations

62% of procedural/surgical-related allegations arose with prostate (30%), kidney (18%) and bladder (14%) surgeries.

Most common were procedures for:

  • Hyperplasia of the prostate
  • Malignant neoplasm of the prostate
  • Calculus of the kidney and ureter
  • Malignant neoplasm of the kidney

Diagnosis-related allegations

72% of diagnosis-related allegations involved malignant neoplasms.

These cases related to a delayed diagnosis or a misdiagnosis.

Most frequent sites and types were:

  • Malignant neoplasm of the prostate
  • Malignant neoplasm of the bladder

The stage of care during which procedural/surgical issues occurred

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The above retrospective review is of routinely collected and coded data. Our review is based on 217 regulatory complaints and compensation claims involving Avant members who are urologists across Australia. All matters were closed over the five-year period from July 2016 to June 2021 (FY2017-FY2021).

Complaints: Outcomes for Urologists

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Key points

  • The two most common reasons for claims and complaints were procedural/surgical and diagnosis-related issues.
  • The majority of procedural/surgical-related allegations involved prostate, kidney and bladder surgeries.
  • Most diagnosis-related allegations involved neoplasms.
  • The majority of complaints against urologists were dismissed.

Notes on the outcomes analysis

This analysis was conducted on regulatory complaints filed against urologists over the five-year period from July 2016 to June 2021 (FY2017-FY2021). Only complaints with a known outcome were included.

The outcomes were classified based on the degree of severity for members. Shown below are some of the types of outcomes in each category.

  • Dismissed – e.g. discontinued, no further action
  • Low severity – e.g. counselled, caution, conciliation, resolution, fine
  • Medium and high severity – e.g. reprimand, conditions, registration changes, suspension, cancellation

Glossary

  • Claims refers to claims for money, compensation and civil claims.
  • Complaints relates to formal complaints to regulators.
  • Matters include: claims, complaints, coronial cases and other matters such as employment disputes and Medicare.
  • Employment disputes are matters where Avant defends members against complaints or supports members to resolve employment issues.
  • Medicare matters include Medicare investigations and audits.

Resources

If you receive a claim or complaint, contact us (avant.org.au/MLAS) on 1800 128 268 for expert medico-legal advice on how to respond – available 24/7 in emergencies.

For any queries on this analysis, please contact us at research@avant.org.au

For more information on our educational materials, visit the Avant Learning Centre, where you will find articles, case studies, podcasts, webinars, videos, factsheets and many other resources.

Download the fact sheet



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