NY malpractice crisis: Passing the buck

Doctors are starting to refer high-risk patients to others:

Our recent survey shows that 70.2 percent refer high-risk patients to other specialists and are limiting their scope of practice. This hurts the most acutely ill patients.

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  • Anonymous

    Nothing’s quite as honest as a lobbying group’s own study of the people it lobbies for!

    Plus fun with statistics in California! Nice.

  • throckmorton

    A hard part of referring high risk patients is finding someone to take them!!!! We have our own crisis where there is no physician willing to take the high risk OB, nuero or spine cases.

    We can find plenty of attorneys to take them though!

  • Anonymous

    “Nothing’s quite as honest as a lobbying group’s own study of the people it lobbies for!”

    Guess you’re referring to ATLA – or whatever the hell they call themselves these days…

  • Anonymous

    I’m referring to anyone who makes claims about their own studies without showing the methodology behind them.

  • Anonymous

    Just like ATLA does.

  • Evan

    Doctors in Canada refusing to take patients = single payer failure. Doctors in NY refusing to take patients = malpractice insurance failure.

    Note that doctors in NY refusing to take patients can never be US healthcare system failure as that would require comparing apples to apples … but that’s the way it is here on Kevin MD :).

  • Anonymous

    “Note that doctors in NY refusing to take patients can never be US healthcare system failure as that would require comparing apples to apples … but that’s the way it is here on Kevin MD :)”

    Evan, try reading the article. It refers only to high risk patients who doctors aren’t seeing due to the expense of malpractice insurance, or the risk that the care rendered isn’t covered. This has nothing to do with reimbursement or lack thereof.

  • Evan

    Anon 7:16, I did read the article. I’m just pointing out that when there’s a problem anywhere else it’s always a failure of a system, whereas when there’s a problem in the US it’s always a problem of liability … you do see that that seems quite predictable on this blog right?

  • OB Doctor

    Yet one more example of how the malpractice crisis driving our healthcare system/providers into the ground.

  • OB Doctor

    Kevin–

    The placement of google ads for malpractice attorneys on your site just doesn’t seem right.

  • Anonymous

    On the other hand though, the reason there are malpractice claims, is that there is…malpractice. How best to resolve this?

  • Samson Isberg

    Anon 1:16 – malpractice claims exist because of greed, not because of malpractice. Greed is a deadly sin, and is the same motivator that lies behind highway robbery, insurance fraud and pocket picking. Malpractice suits cause more damage to society and the individual, though.

    There is an exception: some of the claims are motivated by hate, which is a sin also. These claims are thus moral relatives of murder, they aim to destroy another human being.

    But actual malpractice? As when a doctor wilfully or recklessly injures the patient instead of trying to heal him? When the doctor wilfully or recklessly does less than the best of his ability?

    No, that’s a rare phenomenon.

  • Anonymous

    I’m just pointing out that when there’s a problem anywhere else it’s always a failure of a system, whereas when there’s a problem in the US it’s always a problem of liability …

    No. liability is an intergral part of the “system,” therefore the diffrence is symantic. Any distinction you might make is in your own mind.

  • Anonymous

    I’m sorry Samson but you are wrong and so is the doc in this Times Union article.

    The problem is that there is a need for a no fault type of med/mal insurance. There are inadequate docs who should not be in medicine and they are spoiling it for the rest of you. You need to police your own and report them. Physicians need to be reviewed, critiqued and disciplined just like everyone else.

    I live in NYS and the problem is the injustice that harmed patients receive. You only hear about large awards. No one is reporting on the rest of the story because the hospitals “pay off” the newspapers with full page adds of their greatness and of their ills. Put healthcare in the same boat with education where you can’t advertise and you will see a truer picture of what really happens.

    You may want to question the author why physcians in his “group” are expert witnesses for area lawfirms. Attorneys deny assistance to patients because they “need” them for more profitable cases. Someone is making money here and it’s not a patient that was harmed.

  • Samson Isberg

    Anon 6:11, I am working in a country that has no-fault compensation for assumed medical malpractice, and have had so for twenty-five years now. It is nothing to wish for, believe me. It is a government institution doling out the tax-payers money to gold-diggers and their shysters by the million. As it is quite free for everyone to apply, they don’t risk a nickel. The whole racket has turned out to be the nation’s largest free lottery, where the only price of the ticket is that you at some time or other must have been in contact with a hospital (here, all hospital treatment is free) and in some way be dissatisfied.

    As for incompetent doctors, they should never be admitted to medical school in the first place. We have quite sufficient ways to weed out the psychopaths and minus-variants before admittance, and send their applications over to law school – they don’t mind those traits over there.

  • Michael Rack, MD

    “A hard part of referring high risk patients is finding someone to take them!!!!”
    Some doctors refer high risk patients to the nearest medical school/university.

  • Anonymous

    “But actual malpractice? As when a doctor wilfully or recklessly injures the patient instead of trying to heal him? When the doctor wilfully or recklessly does less than the best of his ability?

    No, that’s a rare phenomenon.”

    How rare? Based on your long distance study of US malpractice claims, and then errors that don’t result in claims?

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