December 18, 2006

Docs Flee, Lawyers Slacking, and a Lost Kidney

Eli Lily hid side-effects info, kept pushing schizo drug Read [Wilmington Star News]

News_22 Adios cowboys! A third of Wyoming docs plan to flee Read [Casper Star Tribune]

VA and health care behemoth Kaiser pushing docs to web for diagnosis info, options Read [Kansas City Star]

Bad Apples: North Dakota rebuking record number of state's lawyers Read [Bismark Tribune]

Patient gets screwed out of friend's kidney, dies, and CAN'T sue Read [New York Sun]

December 12, 2006

Pad Se Sue

Padseew From a scrappy news service in Thailand comes this little gem for peace in medicine:

"Both doctors and patients must also be assured that a safeguard will be put in place to prevent frivolous claims for compensation. For example, a satisfactory list of criteria must be established before a medical malpractice lawsuit can be initiated." Read [Nation Multimedia]

Any volunteers want a seat at the roundtable to set these ground rules?

December 04, 2006

Bubba's Records Get Hacked

Clinton Former President Clinton's identity was hidden behind a false name when he went to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital two years ago for heart surgery, but that didn’t stop computer hackers, including people working at the hospital, from trying to get a peek at the electronic records of his medical charts.

Somehow, we don't think his, um, extra-curricular activities are listed in said records.

When the Dems take over the Hill in January, bringing hospitals into the 21st century and protecting medical records is said to be a top priority. Read [Times Daily]

November 13, 2006

News of the Nation

News_20 Petition: Lower the insurance rates already! Read [Florida Today]

$20 mil Payout in Philly Suburb; Thought Only City Juries Paid Out Big Read [Philadelphia Inquirer]

Miffed Mom Pickets Outside Doc's Office Over Poor Treatment Read [The Roanoke Times]

Rx: Judge Orders Sides To Work Something Out Read [The West Virginia Record]

Corporations Trim Fat and Liability, Tell Plebes To Get Operations in India Read [Austin Chronicle]

Med-Mal Caps? Check. Insurer Profits Up? Check.  Read [Birmingham Business  Journal]

ER Wait Kills Mom; Hospital Quickens the Pace Read [Gwinett Daily Post]

November 07, 2006

Webcast Alert

Blaine We've told you before about Common Good, the crew behind special Health Courts. This is truly one of the most innovative solutions to dealing with America's Medical Liability circus. They're having a cool webcast on Wednesday, November 9 that you might might to check out. Details below:

Common Good and the Harvard School of Public Health will be webcasting
their upcoming event, Health Courts and Administrative Compensation:
Opportunities for Safety Enhancement

Speakers at the event include: Harvard School of Public Health
Professors David Studdert and Michelle Mello, Dr. Dennis O'Leary,
President of the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare
Organizations (JCAHO), and Massachusetts State Senator Robert O'Leary.

These speakers and others will discuss how an administrative approach to
injury compensation could enhance safety and quality, as well as legal
and policy issues likely to be raised by proposed demonstration

The webcast will begin at 1 p.m. EST on Wednesday, November 8th.  Access
the webcast and more information on the forum, here.

P.S. - For anyone in the DC area, there is still space available to
attend the event in person.

October 19, 2006

Med Boards Hide Info and Jersey Helps Docs

Jersey Garden Variety Solution? New Jersey cutting check for docs' insurance bills Read [Newark Star-Ledger]

Note: Docs and lawyers amongst folks paying into the state fund. Good sense? BS? Chime in, here. Report says Michigan's state medical website blows, as do most states. They look pretty, but provide scant info on doc's disciplinary records. Check your state's grade, here. This should be an easy thing to put up, no? Come on, people.

September 18, 2006

How To Boost Patient Safety

UnknownIn the latest issue of The Milbank Quarterly, a distinguished group of health policy experts applaud special health courts—a novel solution to ease the pain that is the nation's medical liability crisis:

"... Among those advantages are 'the cultivation of a culture of transparency regarding medical errors and the creation of mechanisms to gather and analyze data on medical injuries.'"

Philip K. Howard—the chair of Common Good, which champions special health courts—said: “Reliable courts are essential to align incentives to improve quality and contain costs. Medical justice today is ad hoc, infecting healthcare with a debilitating distrust that special health courts would be able to cure.”

Read more here.

September 15, 2006

Liability Madness

Door-sized window found ajar, 84-year old hospital patient dead three stories down Read [Frederick News-Post

Arbitration Works: Suit settled over hospital's tainted steroids Read [The Pilot]

'Conservative' Lawyer Joins GOP Gov Ticket in Florida even though he broke with GOP on medical liability law. A trial lawyer and the GOP living in perfect harmony? Nice work Jim Baker on brokering this truce. Read [Palm Beach Post]

August 24, 2006

SorryWorks! Responds to Critics

Dougwojceszak_4_1 We hadn’t checked in with Doug Wojcieszak for a bit. He’s still leading a nationwide charge on behalf of  SorryWorks!, a "middle ground solution to the medical liability crisis." He recently responded to criticism lobbed at this communication and reconciliation plan between healthcare providers, patients, and families.

There has been a slight rumbling of criticism from the patient/family/consumer-side over the past few months. Some testimony has been given, comments made, and other gripes have been aired about Sorry Works! The comments usually say that Sorry Works! short-changes patients, families, and their attorneys (how else could the program save money??!!) or that attorneys are closed out of the program and injured people are taken advantage of, etc, etc. Others simply say "sorry" isn't enough for injured people.

In this brief section we are going to address those concerns. We won't name any names, because names are not really important for this discussion, but the issues are extremely important and they're basically the same whether you're from a big city or small town, New York to California and all places in between.

Let us say upfront Sorry Works! only works because of three words: credibility, credibility, and....credibilty.

Continue reading "SorryWorks! Responds to Critics" »

August 15, 2006

The Insurance Company Gets a Patient's Right To Sue?

Segal_4_1Jeffrey Segal, M.D, a board-certified neurosurgeon and the founder and president of Medical Justice Services, Inc., offers a potential cure to the nation's healthcare blues:

What if we all stopped and looked at healthcare in America? Would we like what we saw?

Think about it. Millions are uninsured – and the cost of their care drives up the cost of healthcare for those that can pay.  Health insurance rates are high, driven by the increased costs of defensive medicine, which is primarily practiced, after all, not to provide care but to provide a defense to a lawsuit.

Medical malpractice premiums have increased, in some areas, to the point where specialists in trauma neurosurgery and high-risk ob/gyn are leaving for better climes, which leaves some patients without access to the care that they need. And patients have reasonable expectations, that they’ll receive quality care, that they’ll be safe, that they’ll be made whole again if they are injured through the negligence of others.

What if there was a better way? I have a suggestion. It’s called HealthCare 2.0™. And it would work like this:

Continue reading "The Insurance Company Gets a Patient's Right To Sue? " »

About TMMS

  • ThisMakesMeSick answers renowned medical inventor Dr. Robert Fischell's wish to spread awareness (and outrage!) about the medical liability crisis that's ruining our healthcare system.

    Learn more...

What makes you sick?

  • We want to hear your thoughts and personal stories.

    Have you...

    • Fretted over rising malpractice premiums?

    • Signed a truly unbelievable medical liability waiver?

    • Faced a frivolous lawsuit?

    • Dealt with a doctor or a hospital who wouldn't take responsiblity for their actions?

    • Practiced defensive medicine?

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You don't say...

  • "This election destroyed a popular Karl Rove myth. The truth is that trial attorneys are winning, attacks on trial attorneys are backfiring and opponents of the civil justice system are losing."

    The CEO of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America said.

  • "We have discovered that virtually all patients are willing to sign a contract in which they agree not to sue their doctors on frivolous grounds."

    Jeffrey Segal, M.D, a board-certified neurosurgeon and the founder and president of Medical Justice Services, Inc., said.

  • "Low-risk obstetrics has been done here for 60 years, but not anymore."

    Carl Hanson, chief operating officer of the county-run Minidoka Memorial Hospital in southern Idaho hospital's, explained as they get out of the baby business. Read

  • "I have children, and I don't know where they're at."

    Rosalinda Elison, a former patient at the UC Irvine Medical Center’s fertility clinic, said after learning that that her eggs and embryos had been stolen and implanted in another woman who then gave birth to twins.

    Read more You Don't Say, here.

Crisis by numbers:

  • $4.6 million

    New York state grants available to expand the use of electronic medical records. Such initiatives have been hailed nationally as a way to cut medication errors, save money and improve patient safety. LINK

  • $700,000

    Amount raised by Fairness and Accountability in Insurance Reform to oppose malpractice limits in Arizona. LINK

  • $450,000

    Amount the Arizona Medical Association says Arizonans for Access to Health Care has raised to decide whether to push for montetary limits on lawsuits. LINK

    Read more CRISIS BY NUMBERS, here.

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