January 02, 2007

It Starts With Boob Jobs and Strippers

Boob Dr. Michael Gleeson is miffed that his lawyer got $600K when he sued the cops and won $2 million.

While the doc/lawyer friction is interesting. The back story to how it got to this point is fantastic.   

In 1999,  Dr. Gleeson approached the owner of the Grandview Gentlemen's Club.

"How about I enhance your employees' breasts," he said. Or at least something to that effect.

"Brilliant," the proprietor probably replied. And they had a deal.

Gleeson got to work, enlarging the breasts by inserting an implant through a tunnel from the belly button to the pocket beneath the breasts.

But then, let's call her Cheyenne West, didn't like her new look. So she called the cops.

The police arrested Dr. Gleeson on 400, YES 400, separate charges linked to his services.

But the charges were eventually tossed and Dr. Gleeson sued the cops and some local governments for the mess. And he won.

Now, Dr. Gleeson says his lawyer shouldn't have gotten a 30% cut and he's asking a federal judge to slice it.

We love this story. Read [Pocono Record]

December 06, 2006

Docs Phoning It In

Phone "Prescribing antibiotics has become so common that many doctors literally are just phoning it in ... Researchers found that 40% of people who filled an antibiotic prescription had not seen a doctor in at least a month."

Flashing liability alarms are just the tip of the iceberg, no? But we can kind of see where docs are coming from; our mom pushed antibiotics like smarties. Read [USA Today]

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]

September 13, 2006

The Great Untalked About in Med-Mal

Dougwojceszak_6From the most recent SorryWorks! Newsletter:

The media often talks about the pain visited upon patients and families by medical errors (which is very real), but rarely do they talk about the pain and suffering experienced by medical professionals after medical errors. Sure, there are those healthcare professionals who are cold and callous and truly don't care, but the vast majority of doctors and nurses suffer greatly after a medical error. They beat themselves up and literally grieve.

The situation is made worse when risk management and defense counsel tell the doctor or nurse to shut up and abandon the patient/family. Healthcare professionals being told not to heal patients and families who have been hurt only makes a bad situation worse. There are countless stories of clinical depression, ruined careers, divorces, and even suicides among healthcare professionals after medical errors.

Doctors and nurses need healing too after errors, and they can only receive the healing they need by taking ownership of an error, confessing their mistake to a patient and family, apologizing, and then hearing the magic words from a patient or family: "I forgive you."

June 05, 2006

Lacking Medical Interpreters

Dictionary_1 Check out an interesting liability angle to the nation’s immigration debate and quest to make English the official U.S. language. Hospitals lacking translators can get hit with lawsuits later on. Two decades ago, Miami paramedics defined "intoxicado" as "high on drugs"—instead of "nauseous." This led to a series of emergency room miscommunications and a malpractice settlement that could amount to $71 million over the lifetime of a former high school athlete, one William Ramirez. Read [New America Media]

June 01, 2006

Solid Rebuke… 12 Years Later!

Valium The Rhode Island state medical board has finally found Dr. Aaron R. Sherman, a Warwick OB/GYN, guilty of unprofessional conduct for injecting a young woman with Valium without telling her, causing her to fall unconscious in the examining room. She remained there for a half-hour. It is uncertain whether she was alone or with him in the room. Oh yeah, this occurred in 1994. Better later than…. Read [The Providence Journal]

May 09, 2006

Your Senators' Votes on Caps

ImagesWe thought you may like to see where your senators voted on the two bills to limit med-mal awards. All the Democrats voted no and were joined by three Republicans. Check out the results for S.22 here and S.23 here. Interesting note: Sen. McCain, R-AZ, didn't vote on either bill. Hmmmmmm. See you in 2008, John.

May 03, 2006

ER Millionaires and Lap Dances On Call

1) News_2_1_1_1_1_1_1Since there's a new study saying most U.S. Hospital ERs Lack Specialists--compensation and legal liability weigh heavily--Read [Forbes], seemed the perfect time to find someone throwing truckloads full of cash at the problem. Sometimes, it's just too easy. One obviously tony West Palm Beach hospital is overcoming the shortage of brain surgeons, particularly those willing to work the ER: they make them millionaire$. Oh, and they cover their malpractice insurance. We're in the wrong game.Read [Palm Beach Post]

2) Now onto the senior circuit. The National Citizens' Coalition for Nursing Home Reform said that proposed med mal caps up in the Senate would prompt attorneys not to take cases filed by families of nursing home patients who die because of neglect or abuse. "When total compensation is limited to $250,000, it is often barely enough to cover the cost of bringing a lawsuit against one of the large national corporations that own most of our nursing homes." We're certain senators' offices on capital hill will be getting calls. Read [Kaiser Network]

3) Ah, that coveted second chance. A pediatrician in West Virginia whose medical license was restricted because of allegations of improper sexual conduct at Welch Community Hospital—just masturbating in an examination room in front of a 15-year-old girl, getting a lap dance from a hospital employee and having oral sex with a member of the hospital staff in a car in the parking lot—is suing the heads of the hospital and a state agency for blocking his privilege to practice there again. Read [Charleston Daily Mail]

April 25, 2006

No My Left Foot, So Sorry, and More Liability News

News_2_1_1_1_1_11) While surgery on the wrong patient or wrong body part often makes headlines, a new study that looked at 20 years of data from a malpractice insurance provider found that cases of "wrong-site surgery" are rare. Read [Forbes]

2) British Columbia is considering "The Apology Act," which could become the greatest Canadian export since hockey. Read [Press Telegram]

3) A doc with a new book about a 'Broken Medical System' says she laments having "to order an MRI just to prove they don’t have a brain tumor, even though we know they don’t." Read [Beverly Citizen]

4) Philipsburg Area Hospital in Pennsylvania battled to stay in business. But difficulties in recruiting doctors hurt and the rising cost of malpractice insurance "hit like a lead balloon." Read [Centre Daily Times]

5) Conservative estimates say doctors and lawyers will invest over $1 million in this year's races for the Tennessee General Assembly. One writer noted an interesting sight at the state capital: "hallways filled with physicians, clad in white coats, earnestly confronting lawmakers." We're sure lawyers in bespoke suits were lurking, as well. Sigh. Read [The Tennessean]

April 24, 2006

What Scares Docs? Being a Patient. Seriously.

TimecoverHating the hand that feeds you? Not exactly. As you know, we're not docs. So we found this week’s TIME mag package especially interesting. Docs fear the health care system as much as the rest of us. Dig in. Here's a not to earth-shattering blurb:

“While there are bad doctors practicing bad medicine who go undetected, that's not what scares other physicians the most. Instead, they have watched the system become deformed over the years by fear of litigation, by insurance costs, by rising competition, by billowing bureaucracy and even by improvements in technology that introduce new risks even as they reduce old ones. So doctors resist having tests done if they aren't absolutely sure they are needed.”

TIME also tells us how to be good patients: be nice. Stop the presses!

Take a read and tell us how if the current climate clouds the liability situation.
Did they ask patients what they want in a doc?

Let us know what strikes you in the articles. Read [TIME]

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.

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What makes you sick?

  • We want to hear your thoughts and personal stories.

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    • Fretted over rising malpractice premiums?

    • Signed a truly unbelievable medical liability waiver?

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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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