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I'm a doctor. So sue me. No, really

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posted on Oct, 27 2009 @ 11:45 PM

The doctors' lobby says capping malpractice suits will make healthcare cheaper. I'm an M.D. and I don't believe it

Flu season has come early and I'm writing far too many prescriptions for Tamiflu. I'm trying my best to adhere to the guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control for who should get the drug (kids under 5 years of age, or kids who have a chronic illness like asthma or diabetes). But in more than a few instances, I've ignored the guidelines and given Tamiflu to perfectly healthy kids with no risk factors for influenza-related complications.

Part of the reason I'm writing so many extra prescriptions stems from stories about healthy people getting sick with H1N1 and ending up critically ill or dead. One of those stories aired recently on "60 Minutes" -- a healthy high school football player in Arkansas developed a fever after a game. He went to his doctor, who thought he had a garden variety flu and sent him home. Two days later, the boy collapsed and was airlifted to the nearest pediatric intensive care unit. He developed a bacterial pneumonia on top of his H1N1 flu, which led to severe damage to his lungs. He couldn't breathe on his own, so he remains in the ICU on a ventilator.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

This doctor, surprisingly, is not for tort reform and does not believe that doctors performing "unnecessary" procedures or practicing defensive medicine are really wasteful or the causes of the escalating health care costs in this country. He maintains that there are fewer malpractice suits than is popularly believed and that they are usually not frivolous. He estimates about 15 out of 100 doctors will be sued, and that is probably a good representation of the number of doctors who actually make mistakes or are simply incompetent.

This is eye-opening to me, as I always thought many doctors were in favor of tort reform and against an overhaul of the health care system.

[edit on 27-10-2009 by Sestias]

posted on Oct, 28 2009 @ 12:17 AM

Originally posted by Sestias

This is eye-opening to me, as I always thought many doctors were in favor of tort reform and against an overhaul of the health care system.

[edit on 27-10-2009 by Sestias]

be careful, this is just the opinion of one doctor. dont assume all doctors feel this way.

other doctor's opinions would give you (and all of us) a better grasp on the situation.

posted on Oct, 28 2009 @ 12:48 AM
reply to post by Sestias

He estimates about 15 out of 100 doctors will be sued,

The doc is blowing smoke! 15% (I don't believe that number) if you are a doc scares the heck out of you!

Makes you fear your patients (lawsuits and lawyer!s!)! Gotta order more tests, take more Xrays, do an MRI, bring in a referal doctor, send you to a psycologist and on and on.

The estimate is about 25%. I'm in the industry and think it's more like 40% and that's conservative. Doctors do not use judgement and common sense they order tests! Why? Because they have to because of the lawyers! Otherwise they would spend all their time in a courtroom.

Your blowing smoke doctor is an Obamadoctor. Brainwashed!

posted on Oct, 28 2009 @ 01:23 AM
I'm glad to see this. I'm an attorney, several of college buddies are Docs, and strangely enough, one of my oldest and best friends is an insurance agent. So, believe me, this topic comes up with my friends and I.

One thing we can all agree on though, is that it is not the Doctors fault that costs are outrageous; and it is not the attorneys fault for bringing suits against negligent Docs (malpractice suits account for less than 2 percent of the total costs of health care), and it's not the fault of the guy that sold the doc the policy..... nope the costs are the result of the Insurance Company and its claims adjusters who only move up company ranks by denying claims. This creates a horrible corporate mentality and it is driven by nothing but greed.

To illustrate, I'll give my stock answer to all calls for tort reform:
The insurance companies want you to believe that tort reform is the answer. They have paid millions of dollars to advertise that the "Evil Lawyers" are nothing more than blood sucking vampires that steel money from your pockets by suing innocent Doctors. Stop believing their lies!!!

Lawyers that sue Doctors do so almost exclusively on a contingency fee basis . They don't get paid a dime unless they win the case. Filing a suit costs a lot of money. Preparing for trial costs a lot of money. Taking the doctors deposition costs a lot of money. See a pattern here? The lawyer foots that bill and only gets that money back if they win. In order to win, the Doctor had to have done something wrong. Thus, filing frivolous lawsuits would be insane and financial suicide.

The insurance companies do not want to pay when the Doctor screws up. Who can blame them. But they have no problem cashing that doctors check every month when she pays her premium.

I dare you to ask a judge about frivolous lawsuits. If you can find one active judge that says frivolous suits are costing the people of his or her state money, I will star every post you have ever made and flag all your threads. You CANNOT do it, because judges throw out cases without merit. Period. No merit - no claim. Case closed, so to speak.

Further, check any state that has passed comprehensive tort reform and find out if anyone's premiums have gone down. Not one I guarantee it. The premiums in those states have risen right along with the national average. The only thing tort reform has done in those states in limit the amount an innocent injured party can receive in compensation for those injuries. That, and limit how much we as consumers can hit back at a negligent corporation with by awarding punitive damages.

Tort reform is nothing but corporate immunity and IS an insurance company LIE.

posted on Oct, 28 2009 @ 02:27 AM
My mother recently had to undergo two major surgeries and almost died due to a doctor's CLEAR NEGLIGENCE.

There was no doubt the doctor was negligent (failed to give a CAT scan for sudden severe abdominal pain).

No lawyer would sue the doctor - because the case wasn't worth enough.

Two surgeries and 3 months in the hospital is only worth about $100,000 (or so they say). It's costs so much to bring a case against the doctor, lawyers will only take the case if there is a permanent disability or death.

Most people don't know this - they think doctors get sued for every little mistake.

posted on Oct, 28 2009 @ 05:59 PM
reply to post by Artephius Abraxas Helios

And then the insurance companies are always upping the cost of malpractice insurance, just because they can. They know that doctors need it and can make them pay about anything for it. They blame those who sue the doctors to deflect outrage at their prices.

The insurance companies pretty much have it all sewed up.

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