WASHINGTON — Doctors who worry about medical malpractice lawsuits would get major relief under legislation that was approved by a House committee Tuesday and that would make it harder for patients to come after their money.
The legislation, approved by the House Judiciary Committee in an 18-17 vote, would cap damages that can be paid by doctors, hospitals, and nursing homes. (Many states already limit awards paid by individual providers.) It would cover individuals who are insured under Medicare, Medicaid, veterans or military health plans, and the Affordable Care Act, and could also impact people covered under COBRA or health savings plans.
There is clearly something wrong in the entire medical system and in the legal system as well in the people that complain about medical malpractice. The doctor is not the only one that cause medical malpractice, it takes the cooperation of nurses that here, in Italy, are often the vehicle to carry out a bad action or deadly action. Are politician seriously working on this issue? No. The worst medical malpractice can be recognized easily because it walk leaving clear marks: the symptoms of the patient are not written in the medical records; medical records are badly written, numbered or organized. Are there any laws that will punish financially a worker of the hospital for not doing his or her job? Why there are laws that make a policeman pay up to 300 euro for making a mistake on the job while there is no such law for doctors or nurses? There is a clear cooperation with crime into the hospitals that need to be eradicated. I call this type of mafia the mafia of modern times, the mafia of the donkeys on a rampage. Those doctors are not even able to recognize any longer a hearth attack from a lung infection.
The system in USA is just extremely unfair.
I was violated with surgeries that a doctor in San Francisco did without my consent and now he just continues his career like nothing happened. He has harmed several of his patients, but it is hard to get a lawsuit out of this because lawyers do not want to take the cases because they don’t get enough money.
I think there has got to be some other way. People need to be protected from some horrordeous plastic surgeons like TM. I would not need money from my case but I would like the doctor to be jailed because what he did.
I paid nearly 30 000$ of the process of getting the best help for my minor problem. However I ended up getting the worst nightmare because the doctor harmed me on purpose. Now an online troll is threatening me that they will take me to court because I have been telling the truth about this psychopath doctor online. How wrong is that? He abused me in many ways and I can not take him to court because lawyers do not get enough money and soon I might be in court because what I wrote online to save other peoples lives from this horrible plastic surgeon…
Please make some other kind of system.
Some of the most ethical people work in the health care industry, but unfortunately some of the worst ones do to. Because of these worst one there has got to be some easy way to get these cases in court if a doctor harmed a patient on purpose. Some that is not greedy but some that serves justice to the harmed patient too.
I’m extremely sad that what happened and he just continues. I supporten USA economy with nearly 30 000 with my months visit and I got abused in the most unethical way. Please do something about this. Timothy Marten ruined my life and he just continues like nothing happened.
Yes, they (doctors&lawyers&politicians etc) “secured” the malpractice laws and system in their favor. In a nutshell: whatever, no matter they do they do always fall within a Morgana-phenomenon-type “standard of care” which no one defines or describes or even designed so far. For example, any other industry sector, except healthcare, has rigorous, industry-specific “standard-of-care” for each product (i.e.: processing schemes, technological schemes, technical and quality standards etc.). Nevertheless, I believe that this gang-style operations carried on by decadent doctors&lawyers&politicians are enabled by the masses of citizens who are doing nothing about it. The problems in this field are social, and require civic response. However, you might have other options than the classical malpractice, for example (this is not an advice for your problem): breach of contract/duty, health insurance fraud, conversion, battery etc. etc. It is for you to research the matters, to put your documents/medical records in order and to find the right legal avenues that would fit your situation.
All is a slap over the face of medical malpractice victims who are suffering unknown to the self-made-“elite” who is making, handling, and “applying” the laws. The law is that THERE IS NO LAW! There is only a jungle law. Everyone, from the incompetent doctors, lazy legislators, a blind and crooked justice system, to the attorneys who fake representation, are making money by effectively sucking the money from taxpayers. I am the living proof of their medico-legal prostitution that led to an insurance fraud of more than $250,000.00 and $100,000.00 my personal finances. I do not suffer of any deadly medical condition that would justify this sort of money. I just needed a simple treatment which with the “help” of medical providers became a very complicated case to care for. Yet, the care for newly acquired conditions is not financially evaluated. For the paid $250,000.00 from the insurance fraud and $100,000.00 my personal finances, I got: a broken surgical screw catapulted into my sinus (as a bonus, a guess?), a broken jaw, also as a “bonus”, a destroyed joint, “bonus” too, a hellish life without medical help and corrective treatment, chronic pain, FDA office lies, OCR office laziness, insurance denials, no-one-cares-state and -federal offices paid by the taxpayers etc. etc. There is no reason to believe that this nation will wake up and understand where the problems lie. All is simple but made complicated by these mouth-flapping politicians: who’s wrong has to pay towards the victim and towards the society.
I am a Emergency Physician currently in the state of Washington, and proudly spent my career in academia as a assistant clinical professor in EM in the Cook County(Stroger) Residency program in Chicago. As well as private practice both full time and still practice here in Washington in the Franciscan Health system.
After being inundated with the rigor of constant defensive practice of medicine in a very polarizing medicolegal environment like Chicago, it is very apparent that the majority of what representative Jayapal construes is certainly not with physicians best interests in mind. It is a response laiden in the misinformed and uneducated financial commitments and greed motivating administrators who are not medically in support of the patient first integrity. The financially motivated and prolongation of the apparent medical negligence and harm created by the Swedish neuroscience saga involving Dr Johnny Delashaw and others in this story, is a clear cut example of the very essence of all motivations that do not protect patients and doctors as the undeserved and unfortunate scape goats of the process. As in this case when many physicians repeatedly expressed imbue of the lack of proper medical practice of such physicians as Delashaw with no response to impose termination and continuation for months on end of patient negligence. And all of this with deaf ears and “malpractice” on administrators parts to no avail. This is clearly not physicians responsibility all be it “protection” from physicians representative Jayapal. Physicians are indirectly implied with such unnecessary guilt to the public eye, it is criminal. When most of their efforts for integrity are simply way sided, and treated with insouciance. And simply drives wedges of animosity increasingly between the medical providers and the uninformed and ignorant eye of administrators and others making uninformed decisions involving physicians well being ultimately and their well intentioned oaths. And its ideals in medicine and the human condition, which can not ever be “boxed” or predicted with medical protocols, care guides, and other such covers for intelligence and the art of medical practice.
Far more harm and unnecessary practice results from defensive practice than its counter description of patient protection and patients rights. Which for the most part are still well in view of the landscape of most practitioners. Certainly the end result of such litigation etc. and its hovering of constant background noise is terminating many great physicians and their motivation to practice and mentor any proactive care and experience to the patient population. Many , many quality physicians have “harmed” the over all well being of medicine having succumbed to the constant redefining and defensive practices counterintuitive to what they know is better over all for the human wellness , let alone their own. Consequently leaving practice far too early, and depriving the public of betterment in experience as a result of all of the administrative constraint day after day, draining medical dollar percentages to their own salaries, bonuses, etc. that unrelate to physicians, and their practices versus the procrastination and “bottom line” theft that trickles down to patients and their bills with “physician” protection versus the actual malpractice responsibility lying with uninformed administrative motivation and false representation of their own greed and bottom lines. Completely unrelated to the physician.
More and more of the medical dollar Ms. Jayapal , is taken away from the patient, to administration and, as many of my colleagues in this country would testify, certainly has degraded the quality of care and personal patient commitment as we spend less and less time with patients struggling to satisfy “requirements” driven financially by misguided and inappropriate and uninformed decision makers who can’t even look me in the eye with conviction as to their motivation because they all know it was for wrong reasons.
The amnesty should be publically given to the physicians and providers, and put on the agenda of the actual guilty , as in your own Swedish neuroscience situation, and that is the negligent powers that should have some sense of integrity, ethic, and conscience. Three qualities sadly lacking in this country.
That was my character drive to enter medicine in the first place like many others in this field.
Sadly you and many others continue the diatribe with physicians as the subject of prosecution subconsciously , when you might want to redirect your malpractice protection against the actual decision makers , unfortunately, whom are mostly people with other motivations, and “turned heads” to the poor practice guides and financial reimbursement bottom line that result in patient harm and such deception presented to patients day after day. That must be their idea of a “good business model” right? As in your very own Swedish situation which should have been directed to the negligence of the very people who poorly hired this physician and certainly should take part of that malpractice blame now shouldn’t they??
Maybe in this unfortunate and declining age of medical quality, you should protect the “actual” educated medical practitioners, and concentrate on the some of the new age sources of malpractice. The very administrators and others creating dictum by which physicians are reluctantly and insistently dictated to on how to practice, all be it, not in the best interest of the patient many times . and its consequences which much of the time are results unrelated to a physician and their practice intent or best interest of the patient.
Malpractice doesn’t any longer represent the picture necessary as to where all the blame lies in obvious exhibition or was manipulated to ultimate bad outcome in many cases. That constant scrutiny representative Jayapal, is more and more outside the physicians control, and lies with decision makers with voided or ignored physicians inputs. Thus where is the patients protections actually regarded?? As more and more quality physicians leave the field because of this constant scape goating and plaintiffs “betterment” with a legal pass if you will to decision makers and their secondary greed and motivation, you and the consuming public, as a future patient, as well as your family, should remember what you are actually advocating for. You are not actually protecting patients from further injustice if you will, you might even be promoting it, by not looking at the actual hierarchy of decision making and accountability, that is more and more out of physicians hands, and in other unqualified , unethical, lack of integrity hands that ultimately affect the patient experience, and their outcomes for better or worse.
Health identity is not what it once was and certainly needs some fair and accountable distribution. Maybe you and others should be looking elsewhere to those responsible for dictating more and more of the health care. You aren’t necessarily protecting patients from physicians “malpractice” any longer. As with many others things in health care and such illogical and ignorant decisions being made , you and Congress alienate and are losing more physicians by the day. This is 2017!!! Not the 20th century. Things are not what they once were representative. Regards Mark P. Kling
Thanks for your comment. Anyways, all what they do is a slap over the face of medical malpractice victims who are suffering unknown to the self-made-“elite” who is making, handling, and “applying” the laws. The law is that THERE IS NO LAW! There is only a jungle law. Everyone, from the incompetent doctors, lazy legislators, a blind and crooked justice system, to the attorneys who fake representation, are making money by effectively sucking the money from taxpayers. I am the living proof of their medico-legal prostitution that led to an insurance fraud of more than $250,000.00 and $100,000.00 my personal finances. I do not suffer of any deadly medical condition that would justify this sort of money. I just needed a simple treatment which with the “help” of medical providers became a very complicated case to care for. Yet, the care for newly acquired conditions is not financially evaluated. For the paid $250,000.00 from the insurance fraud and $100,000.00 my personal finances, I got: a broken surgical screw catapulted into my sinus (as a bonus, a guess?), a broken jaw, also as a “bonus”, a destroyed joint, “bonus” too, a hellish life without medical help and corrective treatment, chronic pain, FDA office lies, OCR office laziness, insurance denials, no-one-cares-state and -federal offices paid by the taxpayers etc. etc. There is no reason to believe that this nation will wake up and understand where the problems lie. All is simple but made complicated by these mouth-flapping politicians: who’s wrong has to pay towards the victim and towards the society.
Lobbying is the key here. It should not be legal for any politician to accept money, gifts, services, jobs or anything. It should exist simply as the freedom to state a case.
right, anti-kickback laws.. but who to hear? all are involved.
I found it very odd that somehow my health and indentity is linked to a bank. Somehow my personal health, my tissue from my children used to some research all without my consent. Sparrow.org is linked to the hospital I had my chimdren, however they are based out of Michigan, but their information hwy has made billions of dollars. what happens when the errors are of the information inputed? What happens when someone writes down something that actually kills them. Perhaps not fatal but much like our country does to our Veteran’s. I do not think any soilder really knows the impact taking experimental drugs prior to war, only to find out the government is purposely drugging them to see if the drug works. A real live lab rat. what happens when a doctor prescribed anti depression medications but you feel so wacked that you jump out a window? What happens when your ex husband who is well rounded in securties, works with government contracts, with the department of justice, owns an insurance company, commits perjury all for the mighty dollar. We have lost our way to humanity, to compassion and mutual understanding. I trust no doctor and I trust no government body. Public trust is broken. Take a look around the people all over the world are rising up to Big Corporations who are built on the backbones of the poor. They lie, cheat and amunity. So unfair.
Someone look into sparrow.org when information is being imputed as false information the patient is at the mercy of doctors. Trying to correct the information is difficult for once that information is imputed that patient is branded. I no longer trust doctors or congress because it appears they care more about shares than human life and liberty. Where the justice?
We have a huge medical errors problem, not a frivolous lawsuit problem. According to the film, Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue America’s Healthcare, “30,000 medical care recipients die each year from medical errors, or care they don’t need. That’s the equivalent of a jumbo jet airliner crashing each week. If the aviation industry killed that many people, we’d be up in arms.”
This is another result of special interest lobbying. Your elected representatives have it all wrong, and their action will make the Medical Errors problem worse. Lawsuits, especially those with punitive damages, play an important role in reducing medical errors and improving the safety of products and procedures, by making it financially cheaper to fix the problem than pay the penalties. (See http://www.mhealthtalk.com/medical-errors/)
You are so right!
You’re so correct! All is a slap over the face of medical malpractice victims who are suffering unknown to the self-made-“elite” who is making, handling, and “applying” the laws. The law is that THERE IS NO LAW! There is only a jungle law. Everyone, from the incompetent doctors, lazy legislators, a blind and crooked justice system, to the attorneys who fake representation, are making money by effectively sucking the money from taxpayers. I am the living proof of their medico-legal prostitution that led to an insurance fraud of more than $250,000.00 and $100,000.00 my personal finances. I do not suffer of any deadly medical condition that would justify this sort of money. I just needed a simple treatment which with the “help” of medical providers became a very complicated case to care for. Yet, the care for newly acquired conditions is not financially evaluated. For the paid $250,000.00 from the insurance fraud and $100,000.00 my personal finances, I got: a broken surgical screw catapulted into my sinus (as a bonus, a guess?), a broken jaw, also as a “bonus”, a destroyed joint, “bonus” too, a hellish life without medical help and corrective treatment, chronic pain, FDA office lies, OCR office laziness, insurance denials, no-one-cares-state and -federal offices paid by the taxpayers etc. etc. There is no reason to believe that this nation will wake up and understand where the problems lie. All is simple but made complicated by these mouth-flapping politicians: who’s wrong has to pay towards the victim and towards the society. I would add: we need public lawsuits, where the citizens are coming and listen and judge the crooked doctors. Maybe a “middle-age” type of justice will serve since modern justice is just a fake and who is defending whom with better lies and fake documents.
You’re so right. They “treat” patients with law and not with medicine. In medical schools they learn how to avoid legal responsibility for their incompetence and carelessness, they have a lot of “training” on how to legally avoid their own incapacity, and yet they go to learn and practice medicine on humans just because they will make big money. I rather trust a veterinarian than a human physician: we tell them in human language what we suffer of and still the human physicians do not get it. Veterinarians deal with speechless beings and still they have a lower malpractice rate that the human “doctors”.
March 2, 2017
Response to “Lawmakers seek to cap damages in medical malpractice cases” by Sheila Kaplan in Stat: Politics, Feb.28 2017
I can understand why opponents of malpractice reform do not like caps on pain and suffering. After all, awards for pain and suffering can increase payouts by several millions of dollars.
But it is wrong to say that caps would allow health care professionals to act irresponsibly to make more money and not be penalized, as one Democratic representative said.
Her comments may apply to a very few in the medical profession as they may apply to a very few in the legal profession as well.
But the great majority of physicians act competently and with high moral standards.
The problem is that that many lawmakers do not understand the complexity of modern medicine and how the possibilities for diagnosis and treatment increase almost daily. And that people live longer and suffer with more chronic diseases than ever before.
For instance, elderly patients with heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and cancer undergo treatments and procedures that are susceptible to complications and drug reactions that make their prognosis unpredictable.
But in spite of this patients have been led to believe and expect that modern medicine can produce miracles. So that when their outcomes are poor some sue their doctors.
Naturally, plaintiffs’ lawyers aggressively seek to find negligence or anything that resembles it or in some cases that can be misconstrued as negligence. It is their job to protect their patients by any methods allowed by the legal system.
Unfortunately, this fervor and rush to find negligence even when evidence is questionable can lead to unwarranted (frivolous) malpractice suits.
Because doctors are very threatened by these suits and by the prospects of a long litigious battle (sometimes lasting as much as 5 o 6 years) they settle rather than undergo the stress of a drawn-out legal battle which can affect their health, their personal lives, and their professional reputations.
Lawyers know this and use this fear to their advantage to shake down innocent doctors.
It seems that alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is much better way to resolve medical disputes. It would work similar to workman’s compensation.
All parties would agree to find an amicable solution, bypassing the legal wrangling that escalates ill will and hostilities that can prolong the process for years.
To make this work Democrats and Republicans need to bring this issue to the court of public opinion. For it is there the final and best solution be found to this problem that is a blight on the entire health care system.
Finally, it is important to mention also that the threat of frivolous suits forces doctors to order tests that are no always necessary just to have a defense in case suit is filed.
This wastes countless amounts of money and raises the cost of insurance for all of us.
It also wastes specialists’ time because they spend it seeing patients who don’t really need their care. As a result patients who truly need to see a specialist may find it difficult to make an appointment.
Clearly, there are moral as well as practical reasons to reform malpractice law. It’s time has come.
Too much is at stake for all of us to allow the flaws and inadequacies of the current system to persist.
Edward Volpintesta MD
I looked you up and see that you are one of the majority of really good doctors and have a well respected family practice. My primary doctor is a hard working, caring, prudent, excellent physician also. I understand your comments and where they are coming from. But hear this–just like you have noticed that sole proprietorship or partnership for the town doctor is becoming a thing of the past, so have frivolous malpractice lawsuits. In Florida, and many states, stringent rules and laws have been passed to protect doctors and hospitals. Now the pendulum has swung the other way. So much that, the few bad doctors are injuring people for various reasons, and they continue to harm people because the system can’t stop them. Read about Texas neurosurgeon where the criminal law had to take over and sentenced him to 30 years recently. It is so difficult in these states to pursue malpractice that doctors do not bother to purchase malpractice insurance. That is how secure they feel about it. Our University teaching hospitals or any hospital that receives government funds, cover doctors under the umbrella as employee, and are not concerned about law suits because they have sovereign immunity. Insurance companies that cover doctors for malpractice have not had large payouts for the last several years, and their coffers are so full, that they are trying to figure out what to do with all the money. Because the financial regulating authorities that audit them have rules about the funds they hold. The patients that suffer consequences of bad doctors have no recourse. Because of all this, and I know about this personally, there is an arrogance in the hospitals and administrations. I have worked with doctors throughout my career and all of them were fine, intelligent, people, who truly cared about patients. But something is changed. Medical schools are turning out doctors to work at big corporate facilities that encourage money making more than healing. Coupled with no fear of litigation, and the privilege to bill big corporate entities (insurance companies and Medicaid and Medicare) astronomical figures. this has set the stage for corruption and injured patients are incidental. These corporations do not judge and promote doctors for patient outcome. They judge and promote them according to their billing and reimbursement. There was a time for your soapbox about frivolous malpractice, but open your eyes. Things have changed in recent years.
Years ago you spoke out about insurance companies and the negative effect they were having on doctors ability to practice medicine, rather than clerical work. My specialty was electronic health records and coding. The companies I worked for pushed doctors to see 30 to 40 patients a day. Those are the doctors that got the big bonus checks! The third party billing system is the culprit of today’s broken healthcare system. Please re evaluate your thoughts on federal bill to limit private citizen rights. You are well respected and people listen to you. I am just a broken woman who has been disabled by a neurosurgeon who decided to do extra procedure while he was in my brain, and I am convinced he did that so he could bill for it, there was no other reason. He has his own plane, he’s famous, he’s rich. But when I was fighting for my life in the hospital after he performed a rhizotomy of my trigeminal nerve, and I was having seizures, he did not come to see me one time. He sent interns and oversaw my case through them. Cardiologists have done unneeded procedures and gotten rich risking lives for the glorious right to bill. Please google everything I have told you and find out yourself. Where justice is barred, corruption flourishes.
In California there is the same situation nearly than in Florida. No lawyer wants to take a case because they don’t get enough money.
It is unfortunate for the violated patient and great for the malpractice doctor. Healthcare attracts the most wonderful professionals but also the worst ones. People need to be protected from the worst ones who eg. do surgeries without patients consent.
I’m in a situation that a doctor from San Francisco ruined my life and I can not find a lawyer to take this easy case. All I can do is file a police report and complaint to California medical board. I have read from online that the medical board exist more to protect the doctors which I find sad. Who is there who protects people from evil doctors? There should be some instance that would put the bad doctors to jail and out of job if they do surgeries without consent.
Something has to be done!
I totally agree with Jayapal’s statements. I live in Florida. I am the victim of a neurosurgeon who caused me disabling brain injury, intractable pain, and epilepsy. He decided to switch surgeries on my brain that was unneeded and risky for the sole purpose of his billing pleasure. My insurance paid him for the very expensive surgery, and the hospital, for the treatment of complications, he created. Florida has a sovereign immunity law and $250,000 limit. There is not a law firm that can afford to pursue a malpractice case with this limit. Doctors have stopped carrying malpractice insurance in Florida because there is no need for it. Florida law firms rarely accept a malpractice case no matter how solid the evidence. The malpractice insurance coffers are overfunded because there have been little malpractice pay outs. The patients in Florida are totally unprotected and their human rights are being trampled. My profession, before I was disabled, was medical coder and electronic medical record specialist. I can tell you, the third party reimbursement system is the culprit of skyrocketing medical costs and the reason physicians find themselves on the slippery slope of corruption. It’s a broken system. My family and I suffer Greatly because of what the neurosurgeon did, without my consent, and I have no recourse for justice. I think beginning to change health care, by reducing rights of private citizens, at the federal level, is a huge mistake. Why would a representative of the people vote to take away American’s human rights to defend themselves when harmed? I have a brain injury, and even I know that does not make sense. I know that many Americans have been harmed by a broken health care and denied justice because several states have adopted these limits in recent years. So take heed congressman–when loved ones have been directly affected and harmed, Americans pay attention to how you vote. The health care issues are more important than taxes or jobs or immigration. When you are messing with our health care you are messing with our grandma, our babies, and our Daddy’s. Best change the conversation to put limits on the rights of big pharma, hospital administrators, nursing homes, and neurosurgeons. They are the ones who are pulling our purse strings, not private citizens. This proposed bill is so far from the real issues in health care, it is unbelievable that it has gotten this far. C’mon, I thought Mr. Trump would be a people’s president? Who’s agenda is this?
Wow…that is so sad and I am so sorry that incident happened to you. My husband sustained life long on going stabbing neck pain within hours post procedure due to a negligent Orthopedic physician who performed a C5-C6 cervical fusion with instrumentation and left a screw impinged against his carotid artery. The screw has caused irreversible nerve damage. He never admitted to his mistake. Only attempting to send my husband to a chiropractor to manipulate his neck and send him to an early grave. He refused physical therapy . A Neurosurgeon discovered the problem months later. No physician in the state of Texas will risk removing the screw. Since this is a workers comp case, the insurance company will not admit their physicians mistake, yet they continue to pay benefits going on 7 years now. Yep, it sucks knowing that the doctors don’t have a worry in the world. Maim you or kill you….no accountability.
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