Florida is back in the news again. After creating legislation to criminalize medicine, creating a three strikes law where doctors lose their license if they lose three malpractice suits, and having some of the highest malpractice premiums in the country, a funny thing seems to be happening. Florida doesn’t have enough doctors.
Now Senator Bill Nelson from Florida came out with a press release stating that “Florida desperately needs more doctors” and describing how Florida is increasing the funding for residency training in the state in an attempt to increase the number of doctors in the state.
Without creating a better environment in which to practice medicine, most of the residents will leave once they finish their training.
Remember that whole “perfect care versus available care” dilemma? Why would doctors want to practice in Florida when there are states with much better practice environments?
New York is another state in which medical care is tanking. An Op Ed piece in the NY Post by the creator of health care reform in Texas shows some compelling facts. Nearly 1,300 physicians have left New York for Texas since 2003. The number of physicians in Texas has almost doubled since tort reform was enacted. Total amount for malpractice claims was eight times higher in NY than in Texas. Charity care in Texas is up by $500 million per year. After tort reform was enacted, Texas added more than 2 million patient visits per year.
Perfect care or available care?
Arrrrrrrrh! It works. The Captain Morgan technique is quite effective for reducing dislocated hips – even prosthetic dislocated hips. And you don’t have to climb up on the cart or get a glass of Coke and ice to do it.
What specialties get sued the most? You probably knew the answer – neurosurgery, cardiovascular surgery, and general surgery. By age 65, 99% of physicians in these specialties have been sued. Emergency physicians are sued just a bit more than the average for all physicians. Pediatricians paid out the most per claim, on average forking over $520,000. And only 1 in 5 cases leads to a settlement or other payout. That must mean that 80% of the filed medical malpractice cases are frivolous, right?. Read more findings in this NEJM study.
$5.2 million verdict against Pennsylvania family physician after physician failed to send patient experiencing chest pain, jaw pain, and anxiety immediately to emergency department. Patient died four days later from heart disease.
Sprained ankles straining resources in the emergency department? An article in Clinical Orthopedics says so. The authors want patients with lower extremity injuries to call an emergency phone number to get a visit with a doctor during regular business hours. Is the study another way of saying that emergency departments are taking a bite out of some orthopedists’ bottom lines?
What types of cases come through the emergency department at night in Sydney, Australia? Read this article to find out. Hard to believe that wearing the color black has to do with any of the injuries, though.
Wild story about emergency department director who was convicted of giving drugs to patients for sexual favors. He served a year in prison until the conviction was overturned. As you read the facts of the case in this well-written article, you can see why the doctor is now suing the prosecutor, the police detective, and the local and county governments for falsely accusing and convicting him. Wow. Shows what can happen to seemingly innocent people at the hands of an allegedly corrupt government.
Carlisle Regional Medical center in Pennsylvania cited by health department because patients waiting too long. The Health Department found that the hospital was violating its own 20 minute policy for ED wait times and that sometimes patients waited nearly two hours before seeing the triage nurse. After being admitted, patients then waited up to 18 hours in the emergency department before getting to a hospital bed.
Some people allege that the hospital is cutting back on staffing in order to save money. Is it staffing shortages, or are the wait times just a result of our dysfunctional health care system as a whole?
Contrast the Carlisle case with the situation in Canada. This article notes that overcrowding in Canada results in many who need to be admitted waiting on stretchers for up to two days. Most patients are seen by a doctor in 24 hours, though. I think that Pennsylvania’s Health Department would go into convulsions in Canada.
I know the waits are long, but can’t you just read book or watch TV? Guy sitting in a hospital emergency department waiting room decides to flash his “business” to little girls. By the way, the newspaper needs to choose a different headline. “Man with history of exposing himself to children held“? That just conjures up the wrong images in my mind. What exactly was being “held” and who was “holding” it … er, um … him? I mean the guy.