Malpractice

Malpractice Prescriptions

PointofLaw is hosting a featured discussion on medical malpractice: “This month, we’re looking into medical malpractice once more. In lieu of a back-and-forth format, this month we’re inviting comments from some leading thinkers on medical malpractice reform to discuss a new paper by Daniel Kessler of Stanford Business School . . .”

One doctor, one pharmacy

Today’s story in the NY Times on chronic pain writes about the practice of some to encourage chronic pain patients to go to multiple pharmacies:

The red flags that rightly alert regulators to potential misconduct by doctors are, paradoxically, the very features that can also mark responsible care for intractable pain. These include prescribing high volumes of narcotic painkillers for extended periods, prescribing potentially lethal doses or prescribing several …

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Gaining attention

Almost a month ago, some Maryland physicians protested a 33 percent increase in malpractice premiums. It seems like they have brought about some action:

Maryland leaders raised hopes yesterday for a special session of the General Assembly next month that would focus on curbing insurance rate increases for doctors, but they acknowledged that key details — including how to pay for new initiatives — remain unresolved.

No sharing

Canada isn’t sharing their flu vaccine supply: “The stuff that’s sitting in my fridge isn’t for them.”

Update:

Waiting some four hours for the flu vaccine caused someone to collapse and die.

You can blame the lawyers for the flu vaccine shortage (via Medpundit):

Whether doctors are quitting the profession because of an out-of-control tort system, whether malpractice premiums are the cause of health care increases–such …

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Do medical malpractice caps reduce medical mistakes?

A reader responds to the recent WSJ story on the effects of non-economic caps:

I have become a pediatric patient safety advocate, not by my own choosing. I have received several emails from grieving parents over the past few months asking me for advice. They can’t get answers why their child died – because of the archaic and accepted disclosure policies most hospitals insist upon – nor an attorney …

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Differing malpractice views

Medscape with a nice article on the divergent malpractice views by the candidates:

Skyrocketing malpractice premiums have forced physicians to perform additional tests and procedures they might not need to, driving up federal costs by $28 billion a year, Bush told audiences attending debates in Tempe, Arizona, on Oct. 13 and in St. Louis, Missouri, on Oct. 8. Enacting tort reform with a $250,000 limit on payment for noneconomic damages …

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Grand rounds #3

It is my pleasure to host the third edition of Grand Rounds, a weekly best of the medical weblogs. The blog format provides a unique and powerful opportunity to bring medicine, “behind-the-scenes”, to light.

This edition features a diverse collection of voices – ranging from physician commentary on breaking medical news to personal stories from nurses, EMTs, and medical house staff. I invite you to browse and read the …

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The candidates on med-mal reform

Overlawyered takes a look at the medical malpractice exchange between Bush and Kerry at the second presidential debate.

Debate on malpractice

There is an interesting debate going on at Medrants between Dr. Centor and a lawyer. The topic of defensive medicine came up:

Many physicians do order unnecessary tests. This phenomenon occurs most often in emergency rooms, but also occurs in office practice.

When does this occur? I do not have hard data (again db asks for help from the readers), but I believe that I see …

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Malpractice affecting the people

Think the malpractice crisis isn’t affecting the public? Think again:

The IssuesPA/Pew Poll has found that a remarkable 26 percent of Pennsylvanians polled “said rising malpractice insurance costs have forced their family to change doctors in the past year”, and that state residents polled also favored a constitutional cap on pain and suffering damages by a margin of 68 percent to 24 percent.

Battle-lines . . .

. . . are drawing closer. Not only in Florida, but also in three other states:

Rivaling Bush vs. Kerry for bitterness, doctors and trial lawyers are squaring off this fall in an unprecedented four-state struggle over limiting malpractice awards. The volatile issue is in voters’ hands and each side is desperate to win, spending millions of dollars to make their cases and portray the other side as …

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Another point for tort reform

More black and white. Tort reform works (from PointofLaw):

The Medical Assurance Co. of Mississippi, which provides medical malpractice insurance to about 60 percent of the doctors in the state, will not raise base premium rates in 2005.

Insurance Commissioner [and Democrat] George Dale said Friday that the decision shows that “those people who said that tort reform would not work and actively fought any civil …

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Black and white

Tort reform = lower malpractice rates:

Texas’ largest medical liability insurance provider said Monday it will cut its rates by 5 percent starting in January.

No tort reform = soaring malpractice rates:

Physicians in a northwest Maryland county plan to halt non-emergency surgeries for at least two weeks to protest a 33 percent increase in malpractice insurance premiums.

An excellent debate . . .

. . . on malpractice reform at PointofLaw. Ironically, we find a physician supporting Kerry, and a lawyer arguing for Bush.

Emergence of medbloggers

Jon Udell writes about the emergence of medbloggers, talking about this blog, the invaluable Medlogs, as well as two of the most respected and established medical blogs – Medpundit and DB’s Medical Rants:

From the get-go, I knew that blogging was bound to disrupt information monopolies not only in IT and politics, but in other realms too. Now it appears that the medical blogosphere, something I’ve long …

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ER thoughts: John Ritter, lawsuits, and the aortic dissection

I just completed another shift in the emergency room (which I do about once per month), and it continually amazes me the amount of non-emergent cases that comes through – but that’s for another rant.

So I’m reading that the family of John Ritter is suing the hospital for misdiagnosing his ascending aortic aneurysm. Galen certainly has some tough words for this. I’ll reserve opinion since I’m …

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Policing our own

A commenter writes:

As far as physicians not wanting to criticize another physicians’ care, that might just be one of your biggest problems in this whole malpractice and increasing malpractice ins. rates. Doctors can’t have it all ways . . . there will be no resolve in this problem until physicians are willing to police their own. Until they are willing to get BAD doctors out of their …

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An update on malpractice and my site

Couple of updates. First on Overlawyered, an update on malpractice with stories from around the country.

Second, some improvements to the site. There is a Google search bar at the bottom of the page. The links on the right are now updated to include my favorite medical journals (“Journal Club”) and articles about physician blogs (“About Doc Blogs”) – let me know if …

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ER doc turned malpractice prosecutor

Fascinating interview with Bruce Fagel, a former ER physician who is now a malpractice attorney. He touches on which doctors he sues, the costs of litigation, and opinions on tort reform.

Med-mal in Canada

PointofLaw.com writes several interesting articles on medical malpractice, pain and suffering caps, and liability in Canada. A stark contrast to what’s happening here, eh?

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