Tort Reform is Hurting More Than Helping

As the health care debate continues, so does tort reform. While some efforts have been made to help protect patients and their rights, there is still tort reform that is trying to cut costs and because of this there are still many people that are unable to get proper medical care and unable to fight for their rights to it. If tort reform continues the way it has, it is hurting more people than it is or will help.  Cutting costs and providing coverage for everyone is a great idea, but it is only great if it actually helps people to get the care they need and to have the services they need to fight for proper medical care if it is not given.  They are still many people being injured daily because of medical errors and malpractice. They are still many elderly being abused in nursing homes due to improper medical care. It is great that programs are trying to be put in place to cut down on medical malpractice lawsuits but what about just cutting down on the actual malpractice? If patients receive proper medical care, including checkups, treatments, evaluations and more, then we can worry less about lawsuits because the medical care will be better. Until medical errors are dramatically reduced and programs are put in place for more adequate medical care than people still need malpractice rights and lawyers to help them advocate for their rights to proper medical care. Tort reform may try to cut costs all it wants, but people still need their rights and one of these rights is their right to sue for medical malpractice. These rights are there to help those hurting.  Tort reform has only hurt more and not helped.

If you would like more information on the health care debate and tort reform, you may visit:

This link.

If you or someone you loved has been injured or denied proper medical care, contact a malpractice lawyer right away. They will help you fight for your rights and get your voice heard to help those you love.

Should a Price Tag be put on Good Medical Care?

There has been much debate about health care over the last few months. One of the issues that is being brought up over and over again is whether or not tort reform and limits on malpractice suits actually will save money. Some people say it does because doctors will not have to spend so much money ordering special tests and treatments for patients when it may not be needed. Should a price tag really be put on good medical care? What if a doctor did not order a test or treatment because they thought it was not needed and then later discovered that it could have helped? For situations like these that happen every day in millions of hospitals, doctor’s offices, and nursing homes in every state, we still need our malpractice rights. It is still possible that even with universal coverage those doctors may make a medical error either because they want to cut a cost or because they just did not pay enough attention. States that have medical malpractice caps and tort reform are not actually saving any more money than those who do not have them. So why should we deny patients the right to good medical care and treatment when we are not really saving any money by doing so? Everyone, even the doctors that see patients every day, should have the right to speak up if their medical care is inadequate or if there is a problem. This should be a basic right as a person and an American. Malpractice caps do not save money on health insurance so why take away a person’s right to good medical care and treatment and the right to sue if they do not receive it? The logic just does not make sense.

People in this country have the right to free speech as well as many other rights and that should always include the right to speak up about medical errors and malpractice. These rights should be totally different than the health insurance debate because there should not be a price tag on person’s right to good proper medical care.

If you would like more information on the health care debate and malpractice rights, you may visit this link.

If you or a loved one has been injured or abused due to improper medical care, contact a medical malpractice lawyer right away. They will help you advocate for your right to be heard and receive the care you deserve.

Health Care Reform versus Medical Malpractice Rights

There continues to be much debate about health care reform and how to achieve it for everyone. There have been people talking about and trying to push aside medical malpractice rights in favor of other medical rights and reform. The truth is that is two different topics and should be given two seperate debates. Health care reforms main goals are to make sure every person in this country has affordable health care coverage. That is great and even wonderful if it can happen, but it should not come at the expense of taking away other much needed rights of the same Americans we are trying to get medical coverage. If we get medical coverage for every person, but then take away their rights to file a complaint if injured while receiving  that medical care what are we as a country saying? Are we saying you can go to any hospital or doctor you want now because you are covered with insurance but we do not care if you are injured or we do not care how good that medical care is? This country needs medical coverage for everyone, we really do, but we also need to keep protecting the rights of those injured by medical errors and malpractice every year. Thousands of people with medical coverage still not receive proper medical care, due to errors, injuries, malpractice, and abuse. We as a country need good medical care, but we also need to protect our rights to voice our opinions and let them be heard if we are injured by a medical error. If health care reform pushes aside medical malpractice rights then we will just have yet another crisis on our hands. We need to think of people first and foremost and profits second. Medical coverage will not matter if the medical care is not good. This is why medical malpractice rights are still very important and cannot be pushed aside.

If you want to do your part to protect medical malpractice rights, write a letter to your congressmen or your editor and get the word out about how we still need these rights and they should not be taken away.

For more information on the health care reform and medical malpractice rights you may visit: www.peopleoverprofits.org

Patients should not have to Choose

Health care reform and what rights will be given and which ones will be pushed aside has been the subject of much public debate for many months now. One of the most recent concerns is that the Obama Administration may push aside malpractice reform and rights in order to push for other health care reform that may be more favorable to more people. This does not seem right. People should not have to choose between one of their rights to make room for another.

They should have their voices heard and their rights protected no matter where they are or who they are. There are millions of people that suffer each day in nursing homes from malpractice, abuse, neglect, and much more. They deserve to have their voices heard and rights protected as much as anyone else. If we choose to take away one very necessary right to make room for another, what are we saying to those nursing home patients and their loved ones?
Is this country saying that it does in fact care more about profits than people? If so, then something must be done to change this and make more voices heard. This is America where the rights of the people are supposed to come first before profits.

If you feel that health care reform is pushing malpractice rights aside to make room for other rights and want to do something about it, take action and write a letter to Congress and make your voice heard. Tell them that patient care and rights should not take second place to other rights. Speak up for your loved ones suffering from nursing home abuse and neglect.

If your loved ones have suffered from nursing home abuse and neglect and you want their rights to be protected and heard, contact a nursing home lawyer right away and let them help you get your voice heard for your loved one.

For additional information about health care reform and malpractice reform and to take action, you may go to this site.

Nursing Home Training Tips to Prevent Abuse

Every day millions of nursing home patients face abuse because many nursing home put profits over patients.  As a result, many nursing homes are understaffed and have overworked, underpaid and unqualified employees. In particular, many nursing home employees are not trained to properly care for and treat bed sores due to incontinence, poor nutrition, and immobility. Many goverment agencies and organizations, including the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, have studied and evaluated ways to better train employees at nursing homes and other assisted living facilities to help prevent bed sores and pressure ulcer, as well as many other types of nursing home abuse faced by millions of patients every day. Although, the first concern should be patient care, unfortunately money usually comes before the care of a patient.  Clearly, with proper training and care of nursing home employees, much of the abuse we see can easily be prevented.

For example, nursing home employees should be trained to properly asses patients  with immobility problems such as those in a wheelchair or those who are bed bound. The evaluation of these patients should include plans for:

·a special diet plan

·Being repositioned or turned at night to reduce or prevent bed sores.

·A daily exercise routine

·Regular skin and hygiene evaluations

Regular bathing and cleansing of bed bound or wheelchair bound individuals can also help reduce or prevent bed sores and other types of abuse. Problems should be noted and written down on a weekly or monthly report. If a nursing home patient develops a malnutrition problem the first step that needs to taken is an evaluation of the food they have been eating and careful evaluation after adding more calories and nutrients.

Many times, the employees want training, but can not afford to do so.  Clearly, nursing homes and assisted living facilities should provide training classes to nursing home caregivers at little or no cost so that they can learn the proper ways to reposition, transfer and help a bed bound or wheelchair bound patient to help prevent bed sores or pressure ulcers.

Below are simple and general guidelines and training tips that can help to prevent nursing home abuse for millions of patients every day. Patients and their care should be priority number one; if not, patients need to have nursing home lawyer, someone fighting for their rights to proper medical care and abuse prevention.

If you feel that you or your loved ones rights have not been respected or you have been a victim of nursing home abuse, please contact a nursing home abuse attorney right away and let a nursing home lawyer help you fight for your rights and your loved ones.

To read additional information about the guidelines provided by the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research and the National Libary of Medicine, you may visit the following website:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/bv.fcgi?rid=hstat2.chapter.4409

New Jersey Governor Signs bill concerning Patient Safety

 

When a Patient goes in to the hospital, they expect and deserve to receive the proper medical care and attention. Most patients believe they will be better when they leave the hospital than when they came in to the hospital. Unfortunately, there have been many times where a patient comes in with one illness or problem and leaves with a new and different illness because of medical malpractice.  For example, otherwise healthy patients have been known to leave hospitals with factures, punctures, transfusion reactions, drama from birth and even surgery done in the wrong place. This has caused many patients much more worry and pain than before they entered a hospital.

 New Jersey is now one  of the first States to take action on this problem  In fact the Governor of New Jersey signed a bill yesterday, August 31, 2009 that will require the Department of Health and Human Services to report safety measures for patients on a hospital by hospital basis. This bill will also help protect patients from being charged for a hospital’s medical error.  This bill means that each hospital and all their procedures will be checked and reported on annually and then additional safety indicators may be regulated by the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services. The Department of Heath and Senior Services will include the following patient safety indicators in their reports:

  • forgein body left during a procedure
  • post operative hip facture (a facture after surgery)
  • latrogenic pneumothorax
  • postoperative hemorrhage or hematoma
  •  postoperative deep vein thrombosis or pulmnary embolism
  • postoperative sepsis
  • postoperative wound hiscence
  •  accidental pucture or laceration
  • transfusion reaction
  • Obstetric trauma- vaginal delivery with instrument
  • Obstetric trauma- vaginal delivery without instrument
  • air embolism
  • surgery on the wrong side, wrong body part, or wrong person, or wrong surgery performed on a patient

This list consists of concerns and conditions that can happen to a patient if the hospital is not following safety regulations. Some of these are minor and some of them are very serious. Never the less, they are all very important are things that should “never” happen in a hospital. They are called the “never events” for this reason.

 The Commissioner may consider recommendations from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, as well as the Commissioner requesting studies from the Quality Improvement Advisory Committee on how to get public reports on patient infections, bed sores,  ulcers, or falls by patients while in hospital care. 

This bill signed by the Governor yesterday on August 31, 2009 is another step towards better patient rights and patient care. After all, when you enter a hospital as a patient you should know that you are getting the best care possible. If you are not, you should be able to fight for your right to better patient care and services.

If you feel that your rights have been violated under this new bill, contact a New Jersey Malpractice lawyer,  right away for help regarding your rights.

 For more information regarding this bill and your rights you may visit:

New Jersey State Legislature

 

Is Grandma Safe in the Nursing “Home” for the Holidays? Safety violations reported in 94% corporate nursing homes

“More than 90 percent of nursing homes were cited for violations of federal health and safety standards last year, and for-profit homes were more likely to have problems than other types of nursing homes, federal investigators say in a report issued on Monday.” Robert Pear, The New York Times

The Department of Human Health and Services has found nearly 94% of for profit nursing homes, many run by large corporations, have been cited for safety violations.This statistic is appalling, considering the millions dollar profits being made by these nursing homes. For the year 2008, nursing homes charge families $77,380 on average for a room and $36,372 for assisted living rooms.With costs increasingly rising, poor patient care and frequent violations are inexcusable.

If it wasn’t bad enough that these corporate nursing homes drastically overcharge, for the quality of care they provide, they are also supplementing their profits by overcharging taxpayers.Inspector General of the Department of Human Health and Services said he had found some cases in which nursing homes billed Medicare and Medicaid for services that, “were not provided, or were so wholly deficient that they amounted to no care at all.”

The decision to place a member of your family in a nursing home or assisted living is difficult, but often necessary.If you currently have a family member in assisted living or a nursing home, please make sure that someone you trusts checks them regularly to ensure that the home is providing proper care.Never hesitate to ask the staff any question, and always bring up any concern you have.Write down the names of the individuals with whom you speak.Do not let nursing home staffs tell you that you are worrying too much.When it comes to the care of your family, you can never be cautious enough. Finally, remember that neglect and abuse has many signs, some of which can be hard to immediately detect.Every time you visit your family member, be sure to always check the following by talking to the staff, and making your own observations: 1. be sure that there are no signs of bruising on your family member from possible abuse, 2. make sure that they are receiving the proper and necessary medication and nutrition, 3, makes sure that the staff is frequently monitoring that there are no bed or pressure sores developing, and 4. make sure that nursing home staff is capable of responding immediately to an emergency situation.

If you suspect abuse, you can report it to the local regulatory authorities:

In Pennsylvania you can go to the Office of Aging website

http://www.aging.state.pa.us/aging/site/default.asp

In New Jersey, contact the Adult Protective Services

http://www.state.nj.us/health/senior/aps.shtml

Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in New Jersey

Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Pennsylvania

Contact a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in New Jersey

Contact a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in Pennsylvania

US Servicemen Still Denied Right To File Suit For Medical Malpractice Against Military Hospitals & Doctors

Members of the US Military are once again seeking to overturn a 1950 Supreme Court decision which denies active duty service members the right to file medical malpractice lawsuits. This effort comes after a string of careless and deadly medical errors occurring at military hospitals across the country. Case in point (reported in the LA Times):

Minutes after routine surgery for acute appendicitis in October 2003, Staff Sgt. Dean Witt, 25, was being moved to a recovery room at a Northern California military hospital when he gasped and stopped breathing. A student nurse assisting an understaffed anesthesia team tried to resuscitate Witt and failed. Inexplicably, Witt”s gurney was wheeled into a pediatric area. Lifesaving devices sized for children, not a 175-pound adult, proved useless, according to an internal report on the incident.

Medical personnel at David Grant Medical Center at Travis Air Force Base screamed at each other. A double dose of a powerful stimulant was mistakenly administered. When a breathing tube was finally inserted, it was misdirected, uselessly pumping air into the patient”s stomach. Errors compounded errors and delays multiplied.

By the time a breathing tube finally was inserted correctly, Witt had devastating brain damage. Three months later, he was removed from life support and died. Witt, who grew up in Oroville, Calif., left behind a wife and two children, including a 4-month-old son.

Apparently, medical errors such as this happen often at miltary hosptials. This isn”t surprising considering the fact that miltary hosptials are typically understaffed and poorly funded. Consequently, the miltary has taken steps to ensure that these hosptials are immune from medical malpractice lawsuits because medical mistakes are bound to happen and they can”t afford to pay. I understand the logic, but the real question is whether this is fair to the servicemen and women who risk their lives defending this country only to loose them at the hands of poorly trained medical staff in a miltary hospital?

Clearly, the Supreme Court seems to think so. They have consistenly upheld the 1950 ruling of Feres v. United States, which denies the right of active-duty servicemen and women to file medical malpractice lawsuits–even when it is clear that a deliberate medical error has occurred. The Court has bought into the government”s argument that the dicipline of the military will be compromised if it is forced to deal with costly and time consuming litigation for medical malpractice. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine), a member of the House Armed Services Committee and a former fighter pilot, has even gone as far as calling Feres “a reasonable approach to ensuring that litigation does not interfere with the objectives and readiness of our nation”s military.”

In my opinion, Hunter”s statement and the Court”s reasoning makes very little sense. Basically, the military assumes that medical malpractice lawsuits willl compromise the quality of the nation”s military by paying out money that is better spent on equipment, personnel, etc.. However, what they fail to realize is that this policy will have the exact opposite effect in the long run. If men and women can not count on the miltary to provide quality care for them or their families should they get hurt or sick while on duty, they will not join and enlistment will plummet. Its just that simple.

Furthermore, if the Supreme Court and Congress can not justify allowing servicemen and women to file a lawsuit after they have been permanently injured as a result of medical malpractice, then at the very least they should force the military to hire better doctors and medical staff to cut down on some of these careless mistakes. Our men and women expect to risk their lives on the battlefiled– not at miltary hosptials that they count on to help them get well. It”s just not right, and the miltiary will eventually pay for this choice if they do not actively change their ways.

For further information on medical malpractice lawsuits, click on the links below:

New Jersey Medical Malpractice Attorneys

Does PA’s Decline In Medical Malpractice Suits Confirm The Need For Tort Reform?

Short answer- absolutely not. Although supporters of tort reform are rallying behind recent reports that medical malpractice suits in Pennsylvania have declined after the implementation of stricter court requirements to weed out frivolous lawsuits, it seems to me that the actual cases of medical malpractice are still shockingly high.

Apparently the number of malpractice suits filed in Pennsylvania fell to 1,617, which is a 4.5 percent decline from 2006. The reason for this decline, according to Chief Justice Ronald D Castille, are stricter court guidelines which require lawyers to have an independent physician or expert verify the credibility of a case before a suit is filed.

OK- so the frivolous lawsuits have been weeded out. But how can you discredit the 1,617 medical malpractice lawsuits in Pennsylvania that did have merit in the eyes of the court? These are people who have been injured, disfigured and even died as a result of a medical mistake. Most victims do not make a full recovery and are often unable to work or unable to provide for their families.

Lets expand these numbers to include medical malpractice suits on a national level. A recent analysis of Medicare patients between 2004-2006 showed that preventable medical mistakes caused 238,337 wrongful deaths, 1.1 million unnecessary injuries and cost Medicare $8.8 billion dollars. The most common mistakes involved bedsores, accidental punctures or lacerations, anesthesia complications, sepsis, infections and surgical mistakes resulting from instruments and foreign objects left in the body. Furthermore, the same report claims that if the doctors involved followed the same prevention steps and procedures required by top-rated hospitals, 37,214 wrongful deaths from medical malpractice would have been avoided.

So lets compare apples for apples and then decide what”s fair. If we allow tort reform, a doctor who makes a fortune already will save some money on his malpractice insurance. On the other hand, a mother of three who was permanently injured after the doctor made a careless mistake can not recover enough money to support her family and live off of should she be unable to work. Forget the lawyers involved. These are real people with real injuries that could have been prevented. If someone slips on your icy sidewalk and gets hurt, your gonna have a lawsuit on your hand because you made the mistake of not shoveling. That”s life. Why shouldn”t doctors be held to the same standard?

I don”t believe this study confirms the need for tort reform-in fact I believe it shows the exact opposite. If stricter rules were implemented and there were still1,617 people who had viable medical malpractice suits, then the problem lies in the medical field. Its time to stop punishing the victims because the filthy rich hospitals and doctors do not want to pay when mistakes happen. What”s fair is to weed out the bad doctors who hurt people. The medical malpractice lawsuits will then naturally drop off without the help of tort reform or the politics behind it.

Health Alert– Botox Injections for Neurological Injuries Causing Death and Serious Illness in Patients

On February 8, 2008, the US Food and Drug Administration issued a safety alert regarding the use of Botox injections for neurological injuries. Prior to this date, the FDA had received reports for patients who have had severe respiratory side effects following the use of botulinum toxins type A and B. These reactions are believed to occur when the botulinum toxins spread in the body beyond the site where it is injected. The most serious cases associated with these injections resulted in hospitalization and even death in children treated for cerebral palsy associated limb difficulties. It is also worthwhile to note that this injection treatment has not been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for children or adults.

Although not approved, doctors have recently experimented with using botox injections in patients with neurological injuries. In this treatment, doctors inject small amounts of Botox into areas of the neck which purportedly relieves pain for up to 120 days before it wears off. Unfortunately, because the technique and treatment is poorly understood, some patients have had muscle paralysis to the esophagus. As a result, these patients are unable to swallow, nor function properly as fluid and food is aspirated into the lungs. Tragically, as of February, 16 deaths have occurred and 658 reports of injuries have been associated with Botox injections.

And while Botox is receiving a lot of negative attention in the United States, Europe continues to permit Botox to be used for this treatment. However, the Europeans require a specific warning before use that the treatment can result in long-standing muscle weakness or paralysis–especially among children.

Fortunately, The FDA continues to monitor and study this issue. However, for those who have suffered an adverse event related to Botox, I highly recommend that they complete the form online posted on the FDA”s website.

For further information filing a dangerous drug or medical malpractice lawsuit, click on the following lins:

Medical Malpractice lawyer in NJ