Archive for April, 2014

New Healthcare Laws Need New Medical Malpractice Framework?

April 27th, 2014 at 12:53 pm

affordable care act, obamacare, healthcare, personal injury lawyerSeveral subjects regarding healthcare and patient–doctor responsibility have come to light in the wake of the passage of the Affordable Health Care Act. One such necessary discussion that has been much less prominent has been the need to reform the framework for medical malpractice. According to a recent article in the Huffington Post, however, this is one of the most important debates the nation is not having.

One important tenant of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, attempted to curb the cost of wasted money in the healthcare industry. The majority of this waste comes from three causes, reports the Huffington Post: defensive medicine, “caused by unnecessary tests and procedures done in part to help protect doctors from possible lawsuits;” a reimbursement system that rewards doctors for providing more instead of better care; and the cost of “a torrent of bureaucracy.” The article suggests that inefficient healthcare systems waste approximately one trillion dollars of taxpayer money every year. “Solving these problems,” reports the Huffington Post, “requires entirely new frameworks.”

One such initiative included in an early draft of the Act included “alternative systems of justice,” according to the Huffington Post, but this provision was tempered with the actual passage of the law. As it stands, patients can opt out of participating in these special types of health care courts at any time.  

In 2012 alone, according to the New York Daily News, medical malpractice suits costs New York City $134 million by August alone. According to a Connecticut State government legislative report, a total of 3,302 claims were reported in the state between 2008 and 2012, and just less than half (1,562) closed with an indemnity payment. The total cost for the state over the five-year reporting period was $861 million.

Special health care courts that are made mandatory could help to keep the cost of medical malpractice down for taxpayers, no matter in which state you live. Regardless, medical malpractice is a serious issue that requires the assistance of legal counsel. If you or someone you is considering a medical malpractice suit in Connecticut, contact the law offices of Richard H. Raphael for a free initial consultation today.

Malpractice Suits From Laser Hair Removal Treatments Surge

April 17th, 2014 at 1:23 pm

laser hair removal, medical malpractice, Connecticut malpractice lawyer, Connecticut attorneyAs complex medical procedures increase in popularity, so do the mistakes that accompany them. According to Medical News Today, the number of litigated cases involving malpractice in laser hair removal treatments has surged in recent years. In 2011, Medical News Today reports, “dermatologic surgeons carried out 1.6 million treatments” in the U.S.—one of the most common cosmetic operations performed in the nation.

The major risk with laser hair removal practices comes most often from non-physicians “who may have minimal training,” reports The New York Times.  In addition to the figures compiled by Medical News Today, the Times suggests that there may be several unreported operations performed annually as well. “The percentage of lawsuits over laser survey that involved a non-physician operator rose to 78 percent in 2011 from 36 percent in 2008,” the Times reports.

Eleven states do not have regulatory laws concerning laser hair removal. According to the State of Connecticut Medical Examining Board, in 1996 such regulatory measures were approved in the state, making it illegal for any physician without a specific license to employ lasers for hair removal. “In making this ruling,” the report states, “the Board is choosing to err on the side of safety to best protect the public.”

Risks associated with laser hair removal can be permanent, though the procedure itself may not be. According to The New York Times, risks can include (but are not limited to:

  • Disfiguring injuries;
  • Severe burns in sensitive areas (“like the bikini line and the mustache area above the lips”);
  • Death. 

Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery Director Dr. Tina Alster told the Times that, “there’s a perception by the public that anybody can do this. People need to remember, it’s not the laser doing the work, it is the operator.”

If you or someone you know has been injured or disfigured by a laser hair removal treatment in Connecticut, you may be eligible for compensation. The most important first step is to seek the counsel of a legal professional. Contact the law offices of Richard R. Raphael for a free initial consultation today.

New Study Reveals Most Hospitals Don’t Follow Infection Prevention Policies

April 9th, 2014 at 12:37 pm

hospital, infection prevention, lawyer, attorney, medical malpractice, Westport, ConnecticutA new study by Columbia University School of Nursing about hospital infection prevention policies has revealed some disturbing results – most hospitals fail to follow their own policies. The price of these infections is high, costing $33 billion annually for excess medical care and killing 100,000 people in this country every year.

Researchers studied the prevention policies of over 1600 intensive care units (ICU) at almost 1,000 hospitals located across the U.S. The team was especially interested in what kind of checklists were in place to prevent central line-associated bloodstream infections, ventilator-associated pneumonia and catheter-associated urinary tract infections.

Of all the ICUs studied, one in 10 still did not have any kind of checklist in place to help deter bloodstream infections. The study also found that one in four ICUs had no checklists to help prevent patients developing pneumonia while on a ventilator.

For those units that did have checklists in place, these safeguards were only followed half the time.

Past research has shown that the use of electronic monitoring systems and staff that are trained and have infection control certification can significantly reduce the occurrence of these infections. But only one-third of the hospitals actually had some type of electronic monitoring system in place. And more than one-third of the hospitals studied had no staff trained in infection control.

The research was led by Dr. Patricia Stone, who has been involved in considerable research about hospital and health-care infections. In a statement, Dr. Stone said, “Hospitals aren’t following the rules they put in place themselves to keep patients safe. Rules don’t keep patients from dying unless they’re enforced.”

Dr. Stone also added, “Every hospital should see this research as a call to action – it’s just unconscionable that we’re not doing every single thing we can, every day, for every patient, to avoid preventable infections.”

If you have suffered from complications caused by negligent medical care, contact a Westport medical malpractice attorney to find out what compensation you may be entitled to for pain and loss.

American Bar Association Connecticut Bar Association


Contact Westport Divorce Attorney


Disclaimer | Site Map | Privacy Policy

OVC Lawyer Marketing, Inc.