The self-service emergency department. If they have a vending machine for Percocets, they may be on to something.
Hospital staff fails to realize umbilical cord wrapped around newborn’s neck during labor, allegedly causing oxygen deprivation and severe brain damage. Mother and father each awarded $5 million by federal court after child’s death.
Crime or no crime? Man gets upset in emergency department, rips out his IV, and runs about the ED spraying blood over other patients. Eleven year old boy with a laceration gets blood on him. Dad wants to press charges.
Malpractice or no malpractice? Patient with chronic brain shunt for hydrocephalus goes to emergency department for evaluation of headache. She gets transferred to neurosurgeon who evaluates her and discharges her. She sees several physicians in follow up. Five months later, the patient develops a brain infection. Would a brain infection for 5 months not have killed the patient? The issue never got to a jury because the case was settled for $9 million. A court of appeals upheld the settlement.
Survival in an Emergency DEPARTMENT. A NY Times photographer spends a week in a Brooklyn, NY emergency department and gets a nice set of pictures.
Its all about the Benjamins. Minnesota’s Hennepin County Medical Center will begin turning away poor and uninsured patients who live outside Hennepin County and who present to its emergency department for nonemergency treatment. By doing so, the hospital estimates that it will save about $600,000 per year. Between 2008 and 2009, the hospital lost $6.6 million treating more than 11,000 patients who lived outside Hennepin County. If you’re an illegal immigrant, you’ll still get care, though. The County board voted down a proposal to limit care to U.S. citizens or immigrants with a green card.
Iowa seniors getting dumped by insurance companies. Insurance companies in Iowa will no longer provide private Medicare Advantage plans after the end of this year. Seniors will be required to either find a different Medicare Advantage plan or to go back into the government insurance plan. Wonder why this is happening?
Should evidence of a $1.4 million life insurance payout and social security payments of $3,300 per month be admissible when a jury is determining liability in a medical malpractice case? Plaintiff attorneys call such disclosures “prejudicial.” I tend to agree that collateral source payments don’t have a lot to do with determining whether malpractice was committed, but they have everything to do with the amount of damages awarded — and therefore with the plaintiff attorney’s contingency fee. Now a Wisconsin appeals court gets to decide the issue.
More violence in the emergency department. Shooting from night club carries over to hospital. Twenty year old man fatally shot in the entrance to the emergency department.
Sometimes you just can’t win. First the radiologists bash us for doing too many CTs in the emergency department. Now they put out a study suggesting that more CTs in the emergency department is a good way to rule out cardiac disease. A year from now, we’ll be the bad guys again because the number of CT scans in the emergency department will go up even further.
Truth is stranger than fiction. Man shoots his girlfriend in the head in hospital parking lot, then checks into the emergency department to be evaluated for back pain. His family members pick him up from the ED and take him home. Twelve hours later he calls police to confess, then barricades himself in a shed and refuses to come out alive.
Right idea, wrong conclusion. Dr. Danielle Ofri calls emergency care the new primary care and states that “providing health insurance for all its people is an obvious basic tenet of civilized society.” Great. Give everyone Medicaid “insurance.” Then watch how all the patients with “health insurance” still can’t get the care they need. It’s all about the access. Health care insurance doesn’t mean access to medical care any more than car insurance means you have access to a car.