Malpractice

More support for defensive medicine

I regularly receive the Cortlandt Forum and only recently realized they’re on the web. It’s an eclectic magazine, but has interesting malpractice cases. Here’s another one.

Basically, it’s a patient who came in with dyspepsia. The PCP ordered an upper GI series and it was read as normal. However months later, the symptoms continued, and an EGD found terminal stomach cancer. The …

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A nice summary . . .

. . . on the how Bush and Kerry will approach the various health-care issues. An excerpt:

. . . Kenneth E. Thorpe, an Emory University professor of health policy who has evaluated both plans, estimates that Kerry’s would reduce the number of uninsured by nearly 27 million; Bush’s would cut it by 2.4 million.

Besides the effect on insurance coverage, the proposals differ in two other ways. …

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Why physicians need a true jury of peers

This case illustrates why a physician needs a true jury of peers in malpractice cases – people who at least have some medical background.  In this case, a cardiologist was sued for giving Retavase (presumably for an ST-elevation myocardial infarction).  Unfortunately, the patient died from cerebral hemorrhage – a well-known complication.  The jury found him liable.  Here’s what the independent counsel found:

A four-person state medical malpractice screening panel that met …

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The battle lines . . .

. . . have been drawn in Florida.  Lawyers vs physicians.  The people will decide in November.

Two views . . .

. . . on medical malpractice. One from the insurers’ perspective, the other from the lawyers. These articles are from the state of Wyoming, where 1 of the 3 medical malpractice insurers withdraws from the state later this year.

The option of binding arbitration . . .

. . . as a solution to alleviate the malpractice crisis. Some practices claim up to 80% of patients agree to the terms – namely waiving their right to a jury trial. Read more about it in Medical Economics.

How the American health system is becoming more elitist

An ethics professor takes an interesting look at how elitist the US health care system is becoming. On one hand, we have concierge practices:

Now, one might wonder why it is necessary to pay a bounty to get a doctor to call you back, especially if you are already paying through the nose to belong to a managed care plan. The answer is that under the watchful eye …

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More malpractice ranting

Nothing like coming back from vacation and seeing more inflammatory articles on the malpractice controversy. Medrants summarizes some of the more recent articles.

Update:

After catching up on some weekend reading, our friend Medpundit has also chimed in on the recent ignorance by the NY Times and the esteemed Mr. Herbert.

Response to the NY Times malpractice op-ed

There has been much discussion on the recent NY Times piece on “Malpractice Myths”, seen here at Medrants. Now comes some more criticism from the law world, highlighting the obvious ignorance of the article (via Medpundit).

A professor of law on malpractice reform

Today’s Boston Globe contains an interesting piece on malpractice reform from a professor of law at Columbia University. One nice analogy:

Current practices make no more sense than asking airline pilots to guarantee safety for the entire aviation industry, and forcing those who fly the most dangerous routes to compensate injured passengers from their personal paychecks.

"We’ll get you one way or another"

What a quote from the president of the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers in response to the increasing number of physicians going without malpractice insurance (i.e. “going bare”):

‘You can’t hide all of your assets and you can’t hide all of your wages forever. One way or another, we’ll find a way to represent these medical malpractice victims because they deserve it,” said Alexander Clem, president of the …

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"Defensive wording" in medical guidelines

Medical Economics discusses the use of clinical guidelines in malpractice litigation. One interesting point is raised regarding whether new guidelines are being affected by the current malpractice atmosphere:

. . . as trial lawyers are using guidelines more in court, the organizations writing them are changing their motives. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, for example, has recently come under fire from plaintiffs’ lawyers . . . …

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The medical world that awaits this resident

Our first winning entry is a story from a grizzled resident:

A lot is on my mind these days. I am thirty years old, I have a one year girl who is turning into an Olsen Twin with melodrama substituted for’acting’. I just had a new baby boy 7 days ago who has decided to make me relive my intern year all over again; sleepless nights and …

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Physicians vs lawyers

More stories are coming out that demonstrate physicians taking the malpractice crisis in their own hands.

An extreme response to malpractice

Here is one physician’s extreme response to rising malpractice costs. It surely was meant to be inflammatory. The fact it was allowed to get this far reflects the deep frustration within the physician community. Some doctors are taking matters into their own hands.

A common-sense solution

This solution to rising malpractice premiums makes the most sense to me.

A suit on ignored medical advice

An Alaska surgeon was sued because a patient ignored his advice to go to the emergency room. Again – a failure of personal responsibility has resulted in yet another malpractice suit. Fortunately, the jury was sensible and ruled in favor of the physician. I still have hope yet.

No-fault malpractice

Medical Economics this month discusses the feasibility of no-fault malpractice, similar to automobile accidents and workplace injuries. A fascinating read.

Longest wait for specialists in Boston

I trained in Boston so I periodically keep tabs on the medical scene there. In the same vein of the previous entry I wrote today, comes this story from the Boston Globe.

. . . new patients in Boston wait an average 37 days to see a cardiologist, 45 days to see an obstetrician-gynecologist, and 50 days to see a dermatologist “” the longest waits …

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More on prostate cancer screening

Medpundit and DB has chimed in on the mainstream coverage of the deficiencies of PSA screening for prostate cancer that was discussed here on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Medpundit writes:

Beware of organizations made up of hospitals and urologists who call for lower thresholds for treatment. They have much to gain from the increased number of biopsies such lower thresholds would produce. Unfortunately, it’s far from clear …

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