Medical Malpractice News and Views

Latest from Medical Malpractice News and Views

There are predators in the medical profession.  The profession is unable or unwilling to root them out.  The doctor I writing about today was proven to have preyed on vulnerable women in Southern Virginia for at least ten years between 2009 and 2019.  He almost certainly preyed on them for much longer than that.  He never should have had the chance.  As early as 1982, he lost his privileges at a local hospital for “poor clinical judgment” and for performing unnecessary surgeries.  His license to practice medicine was temporarily revoked in the 1990’s but reinstated in 1998.  How in the
Continue Reading Virginia OB/GYN, Who Routinely Performed Unnecessary Surgeries, Gets Prison Time

Capitalism has done wonders for the world in terms of raising the standard of living for so many people.  Of course, like everything else in this world, capitalism is not an unbridled blessing.  It has its dark side.  When it comes to health care, capitalism has caused a lot of problems.  Among them are the rise of health insurance giants, the growth of hospital chains, big pharma, and the increasing emphasis on medicine as a business whose goal is to make money to name just a few.  Today, I want to discuss how capitalism affects rural hospitals.  Rural hospitals face
Continue Reading Capitalism can be bad for your health

“Under no circumstances may physicians place their own financial interests above the welfare of their patients.”  American Medical Association Code of Medical Ethics Opinion 11.2.2.
Doctors rightly occupy a privileged position in our society.  We entrust them with our bodies, our health and, indeed, our very lives.  We trust them to put our interests first.  We trust them not to take advantage of us.  We trust them to be honest with us.  Without this level of trust, the physician/patient relationship cannot work.  Sadly, it seems that more and more often doctors are putting their own interests ahead of ours.  We
Continue Reading Doctor Conflicts of Interest Are Getting Worse.

I recently spoke to a gentleman, who lives here in Arizona,  Let’s call him, Bob.  Bob had been involved in an accident in another state.  The accident was the fault of the other driver.  The tow truck driver, who removed Bob’s motor home from the scene, told him he knew a good lawyer and had the lawyer call Bob.  Bob agreed to use the lawyer to make a claim for his property damage and his personal injuries.  It has now been almost two years since the accident and the lawyer won’t answer Bob’s calls, won’t send him correspondence with the
Continue Reading Choosing A Lawyer.

Last week I wrote about an ICU doctor in Ohio, who was accused of deliberately overdosing 11 of his critically ill patients with a powerful painkiller and thereby shortening their lives.  After nearly a week of deliberations, the jury acquitted him on all charges.
Today I want to write about another criminal case involving a medical professional, but one which involved quite different legal issues.  In this case, a nurse in Tennessee was convicted of negligent homicide for giving a patient the wrong medication, which allegedly caused her death.  Unlike the case against the ICU doctor, there was no allegation
Continue Reading Medical Malpractice or Criminal Conduct?

A 46 year old critical care specialist is on trial in Ohio.  He is accused of deliberately overdosing critically ill patients with fatal amounts of the potent painkiller, Fentanyl.  He was originally charged with 25 deaths but the court threw out 11 of those deaths.  The trial has been going on for almost two months.

In each of the 14 cases left, the patient was brought to the hospital in critical condition and was not expected to live.  The prosecution alleges that the doctor deliberately overdosed the patients in order to cause their deaths.  The doctor’s attorney claims the doctor
Continue Reading Murder, Malpractice or Compassionate Care?

There is never a good time to develop breast cancer but for women who have had the misfortune of being diagnosed with breast cancer, the treatment options have never been better than they are today.  The statistics remain daunting, however,  In 2021, over 280,000 women were diagnosed with breast cancer.  Almost 45,000 women died of breast cancer last year, many of whom had been fighting the disease for years.

Early detection and treatment are key to the improvement of outcomes.  When breast cancer is still localized at the time of its diagnosis, the survival rate is almost 99%.  Localized breast
Continue Reading Lots of Developments in Treatment of Breast Cancer

I recently lost one of my sisters to sepsis.  She got an infection that lingered until her immune system couldn’t deal with it any longer and it sent her body into septic shock, which killed her.  Over a quarter of a million people in the United States die of sepsis each year.  Six times that many develop sepsis each year but manage to survive.  However, those who survive sometimes are left permanently damaged from their bout with sepsis.  Sepsis is becoming more and more common as our population ages.  It is now the 10th leading cause of death in the
Continue Reading When Immune Systems Go Haywire

“Time is brain.”  When a patient has a stroke, the sooner treatment can be begun, the better the outcome.  For strokes which occur outside the hospital, and that is most of them, valuable time is sometimes lost before the patient or someone around the patient recognizes something is terribly wrong and calls 911.  More time is lost transporting the patient to the hospital.
Once the patient arrives at the hospital, there is one more critical step which must be performed before treatment can be begun.  The patient must be imaged to determine if the stroke is one caused by blood
Continue Reading Newest MRI Technology Will Save Lives

Hats off to nurses.  They do most of the hands on work of providing medical care to the community.  They are not well-paid for their efforts.  The average salary for a registered nurse across the United States is about $77,000, not a lot of money in this day and age.  Nursing assistants make around $31,0o0 per year and Licensed Practical Nurses around $49,000.
                                                       (Not all nurses look like these actors from the TV
Continue Reading Nursing Is A Dangerous Profession

Every year it is the same old story.  Americans pay more per person for health care than any other developed country in the world and yet our health care outcomes don’t measure up to the other countries.  We spend twice as much on health care as a percentage of the economy than the average industrialized nation.  For our trouble, we have the highest number of hospitalizations from preventable causes and the highest number of avoidable deaths.  We have the lowest life expectancy of the industrialized nations and much higher levels of obesity.  Fee for service is one of the reasons
Continue Reading Fee For Service Isn’t Working.

It is no secret that nurses are the backbone of the health care system.  They are generally caring and compassionate.  They are the health care professionals who interact most often with patients in both doctors’ offices and in hospitals.  Right now, they are in short supply, especially at hospitals.

There have always been traveling nurses.  When hospitals found themselves short staffed due to vacations or other factors, they would hire one or more traveling nurses from a service to fill their temporary vacancies until the regular nurses returned from vacation or until the hospital could hire and train more regular
Continue Reading Traveling Nurses: An Increasingly Common Phenomenon

In the movies, the wild west is always portrayed as a lawless place in which the sheriff was either outgunned or corrupt and citizens were at the mercy of the bad guys.  You had to protect yourself because there was precious little help available from the people who were supposed to be helping you.  At least as far as medical treatment goes, that is pretty much where we are today.  The people and organizations that are supposed to be protecting the public from fraud and malpractice are either impotent, lazy, or corrupt or some combination of all three.

Turn on
Continue Reading It Is The Wild West Out There.

Last week I wrote about scams being perpetrated on patients.  This week the scammers took on Medicare and the health insurance industry.  Over a period of five years, a woman and her doctor husband operated a surgery “institute,” which defrauded Medicare and health insurance companies.  In order to perpetrate their fraud, they enlisted the help of their patients.

The fraudsters ran their scheme like this:  They would approach people they knew had good health insurance and offer them “free” cosmetic surgery.  In some cases they even paid the patients to undergo the “free” surgery.  All the patient had to do
Continue Reading Beware! Beware! Beware! Part II

Healthcare is a multi-billion dollar industry.  Where there is money, there are fraudsters and scammers.  The healthcare industry has more than its share.  Some of these scammers target Medicare and health insurers but many target individuals.  Don’t be one of their victims.

Healthcare fraud against individuals takes many forms.  One involves calling a patient, often an older patient who is a Medicare beneficiary, and obtaining confidential information, which can be used to file phony health claims or to enroll the victim in a Medicare Advantage plan without their knowledge.

Scammers are very sophisticated these days.  They can manipulate the caller
Continue Reading Beware – health care fraud ahead

There are some bad doctors out there.  They are what medical malpractice lawyers call “frequent flyers.”  They are careless and incompetent.  They get sued over and over again.  No matter how often they get sued, the Arizona Medical Board keeps on renewing their licenses.

It never ceases to amaze me that these bad doctors keep getting patients referred to them by other doctors.  What is going on?  Don’t the doctors who are referring patients to these bad doctors know what all the malpractice lawyers know?  Do they know and not care?
I think the most charitable and probably most accurate
Continue Reading “But He Came Highly Recommended.”