Thursday, February 25, 2010
Tort Reform will not reduce cost of healthcare
I am watching the chaos that is the Health Care Summit in DC.
I am tired of hearing about "tort reform." I am not certain that the average person understands what exactly constitutes "tort reform." Do proponents of "tort reform" mean a cap on pain and suffering?
I was injured by unnecessary orthopedic surgeries in 2000 and 2001. As a consequence, I underwent 7 additional surgeries to correct the damage. In 2010, I still face more surgery.
My dad was ignored and mistreated by "hospitalists" who refused to coordinate, cooperate or even communicate with dad's clinic physicians and surgeons. In fact, one Duke University Hospital hospitalist told me that she would not communicate with dad's Duke Clinic because "it would muddy the waters" and another hospitalist told me that his job was to save DUH money.
My dad fell. I showed the picture to dad's Duke physicians. I also repeatedly telephoned the physicians. Ignored. Two weeks later, my dad died.
How can you compare the pain and suffering? Therefore, how can you mandate that a limit exists for pain and suffering?
The reform that needs to take place is not tort reform . . . it is medical society reform. Stop protecting bad doctors! North Carolina Medical Board ignores that a Duke orthopedic surgeon Mark Easley, MD said that Duke Hospital ignored my dad's foot infection. Dad fought that infection from August 2008 until his death in January 2010. NCMB said that missing the infection on an old man was within the standard of care? No discipline to Hope Uronis, MD (who ignored the explicit directive of the Duke Clinic physician and, as a direct result of Dr. Uronis' arrogance, my dad was readmitted to the hospital 4 days later with pneumonia) and no discipline to Veshana Ramiah, MD (who, according to Dr. Mark Easley, ignored the infection in my dad's foot and caused him to undergo more than 5 additional surgeries and suffering for almost 2 years).
Illinois Medical Board said that they were "troubled" when Carle Clinic Association orthopedic surgeon Chris Dangles. MD testified that he did not know why he did the surgery to my foot because there was nothing wrong with the foot. But no discipline.
Even groups that purport to protect patients (like the AMA) threaten physicians and surgeons who testify against "bad doctors." How does that help?
Please know your doctor. Know his or her background, training and experience. This is especially true in a hospital setting where you will be subjected to physicians who IMHO are inferior and who are hired by hospital administrators to save money at the expense of patient safety and continuity of care.
If medical boards protected patients against bad doctors then patients like me would not consider a lawsuit.