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August 30, 2006

Wistful Doc, Nurse Rescue Team, and Anchorman's Blues

Old Doc Codger retires, says some doctors need to be sued, but “somebody shouldn’t win a $2 or $3 million settlement for what was an honest mistake or honest misjudgment." Then he handed out penny whistles and moon pies.  Read [Tyron Daily Bulletin]

Nurses Union Launches National Disaster-Response Network, Again Assumes Liability in Post-Storm Chaos Read [Oakland Tribune]

'Paralyzed' Anchorman's Med-Mal Suit Gets Wet: Date of Speedo-Sportin' Photos Questioned Read [The Olympian]

August 29, 2006

Lawsuits and Rx Drugs: Living in Perfect Harmony

Rx Drug makers faced the most lawsuits of any industry last year. We're not pointing fingers, but the numbers are just nuts.

"Since 2000, more than 65,000 product liability lawsuits have been filed against prescription drugmakers" The big four targeted in the last few years: hormone-replacement drug Prempro, birth-control patch Ortho Evra, anti-psychotic Seroquel and anti-seizure drug Neurontin.

Plaintiffs claim drugmakers failed to disclose the drugs' risks and/or failed to properly test them.

A law professor offered his two-cents on the situation: "The lawyers have created almost an assembly-line approach to use ... against an industry that's in tobacco-land in terms of how much people hate it." Ouch. Read [USA Today]

Mississippi: Surgeon Shortage Just Getting Worse

Miss "The problem reached crisis level here just a few years ago, when some surgeons began leaving, saying they could no longer afford their malpractice insurance in notoriously litigious Mississippi. Some others temporarily went on strike. Legislative tort reform and measures taken by hospitals had been reported to have eased that problem somewhat. But now Katrina appears to have exacerbated it, and officials say the problem is worse than ever before." Read [Sun Herald]

Dr. Responsibility

Respon_4 Gastric-Bypass Doc Flees Iowa for NY, Leaving Six Dead Patients Behind
"In charges made public ... the Iowa Board of Medical Examiners accused him of "a substantial lack of knowledge or ability" and of "engaging in practice harmful or detrimental to the public." The charges could lead to a fine or suspension of his Iowa medical license."

And, what else? Read [Des Moines Register]

August 28, 2006

Med-Mal News Roundup

Critics of Med-Mal Caps Send Illinois Gov. A Message: "This cruel law ... hurts innocent Illinois citizens and has done nothing to reduce doctors’ insurance costs." Read [Chicago Business]

News_15 Watts Hospital Born From '60s Riots To Close? Led Cali In Malpractice Suits Read [Washington Post]

Pres. Bush Says 1,600 Counties Don't Have OB-GYNs Read [Philadelphia Inquirer]

Bush Flashback. For Kicks:
"Too many OB/GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country." Read [The Whitehouse]

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 23, 2006

Bush, Frustrated Docs, and a Crusader

Storybushthursday Pres. Bush Takes a Break From The Middle East: "These trial lawyers need to back off."  Read [Washington Post]

Retired Doc Volunteering At Clinic: Priceless. Getting Malpractice Insurance: $10,000. Read [Insurance Journal]

Woman Whose Husband Died During Sinus Surgery Helps Others Navigate Med-Mal Legal World Read [OC Register]

A Californian Asks: "Do any medical malpractice attorneys advance costs, or split them with the client? Also, why are so many experts needed?"
For the answer, click here [The Daily Breeze]

August 22, 2006

Welcome Back!

Gabekaplanthumb We ran into Gabe Kaplan on our way back from the beach. He shouted "Welcome Back," as the train entered the station. We replied, "We've missed you, too, Kotter." Guess he needs the snarky, biting look at America's never-ending liabilty circus.

A little roundup to get back into the swing.

Big Easy Hospitals Need Beaucoup $$ To Reopen, Pay Malpractice Insurance Read [KATC-TV]

W. Va Hospital Where Dr. Lawsuit Worked May Stay Open
Read [The State Journal]

"Crusader" Sued Vet, Now Wants Pets to Get Rights Read [Saginaw News]

Boob Job: Non-Certified Docs Cashing in On Plastic Surgery Read [Dayton Daily News]

Docs Say Being Sued Is Part of Being a OB/GYN Read [Charleston Gazette]

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? " »

August 14, 2006

Fearing the Prison Infirmary

SlaSymbionese Liberation Army cohort Kathleen Soliah—nee Sara Jane Olson—who was finally caught in 1999 after living on the run for 23-years, fears falling ill in the Central California Women's Facility where she's doing time. Why? Seems the misfit who rolled with the gang best known for kidnapping newspaper heiress Patty Hearst fears "a prison healthcare system that experts say claims one life a week through malpractice or neglect." Really? Seems the LA Times unearthed some nasty tales on that front back in July. Read about it here. Or, just check out the juicy profile of Soliah's life on the trash detail making 24 cents an hour. Read [KTLA-TV] 

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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