Archive for the ‘malpractice attorney’ tag

How Safe Are Outpatient Surgeries?

October 13th, 2014 at 7:00 am

comedienne Joan Rivers, malpractice attorney, medical malpractice, outpatient surgeries, surgical error, Westport medical malpractice attorneyAccording to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the number of outpatient surgeries went from approximately 11 million procedures in 1996 to 57.1 million procedures in 2006. Many of the surgical procedures that are now being done in doctors’ offices were once only performed in hospitals. However, along with the increase in outpatient surgeries comes the increased risk of surgical errors and other medical malpractice incidents.

Much of the increase in outpatient surgery can be attributed to the difference in costs for insurance companies when a surgical procedure is done in a doctor’s office compared to the same procedure being performed in the hospital. That difference can be as much as 65 to 70 percent. Many insurance companies, and even Medicaid, will pay only a lower reimbursement fee for hospital-stay procedures, compared to a full-rate for office procedures.

As more and more surgical procedures are classified as outpatient procedures, the number of fatalities will also continue to rise. According to research from John Hopkins University, there are over 4,000 “never events” that occur each year in the United States. The National Patient Safety Agency defines never events as “serious, largely preventable patient safety incidents that should not occur if the available preventative measures have been implemented.”

Other statistics from the CDC reveal that of those outpatient procedures performed in 2006, the majority of patients—20 million—were women. The most common procedure performed were endoscopies of either the large or small intestines. In 2006, there were 9.3 million outpatient endoscopies performed.

Endoscopies are often done to examine the vocal cords, esophagus, stomach, or part of the small intestine in order to obtain a biopsy or for treatment. The safety of outpatient endoscopy, especially in elderly patients, has come under scrutiny recently, with the death of comedienne Joan Rivers who stopped breathing while having the procedure done as an outpatient.

According to the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE), complications from the procedure are not common; however, there are risks associated with it and include the perforation of the gastrointestinal tract lining. Some medical professionals have pointed out that the disadvantage of performing the surgery in an outpatient clinic is that the necessary medical equipment and medical expertise to resuscitate a patient should they go into respiratory or cardiac arrest is not available.

If you suspect that you or someone in your family has been a victim of medical malpractice or surgical error in Connecticut, the most important first step is to seek the counsel of a malpractice attorney. Contact an experienced Westport medical malpractice attorney for a free initial consultation today.

Hospitals Make More Money When Surgery Goes Wrong

October 6th, 2014 at 7:00 am

Connecticut attorney, Connecticut malpractice attorney, Connecticut malpractice lawyer, Connecticut medial malpractice, Connecticut medical malpractice lawyer, malpractice attorney, medical malpractice, medical side effects, surgery goes wrongA study conducted by the Ariadne Labs and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that more money is made by American hospitals if a surgery goes wrong. As shared on the Harvard School of Public Health’s website, lead study author and Chief Medical Officer of Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary stated how their finding of  “clear evidence that reducing harm and improving quality is perversely penalized in our current health care system.” Hence, if a patient goes in for surgery, he or she may experience worse complications afterwards than those experienced leading up to the surgery.

The report also noted that patients in the U.S. spend an estimated $400 billion on surgery every year. Those with private insurance, who had experienced complications after surgery, amounted for a 330 percent profit margin increase than those whose surgeries were successful. Therefore, this staggering number suggests that hospitals and private doctors are rewarded for incompetence rather than successful medicine.

Patients with government-subsidized insurance (Medicaid) who experienced complications during surgery also amounted for a higher profit margin for hospitals and doctors, but to a much lesser extent. For those privately insured, the report notes a $39,017 higher profit margin per patient in regards to associated complications. The profit margin was higher by less than $1,800 for Medicare patients.

According to WebMD, pain is the most common surgical complication. The degree of pain complication depends on the degree of invasiveness of the surgery. Other common side effects of surgery can include simple but extreme fatigue, or potentially fatal effects like severe blood clots.

If you or someone you know has experienced complications post-surgery and believe the hospital or surgeon to be at fault, please contact an compassionate Westport medical malpractice lawyer for a free initial consultation. Richard H. Raphael, Attorney at Law, represents clients in Westport, Weston, Darien, Norwalk, Stamford, Wilton, Greenwich, New Canaan, Fairfield, Bridgeport, Wilton, Ridgefield, Danbury and Trumbull as well as Fairfield County and New Haven County in Connecticut. Call 203-226-6168 today to discuss your case.  

Sunshine Act Requires Doctors to Report Kickbacks

September 10th, 2014 at 3:35 pm

Connecticut malpractice attorney, Connecticut medical malpractice attorney, hospital safety, malpractice attorney, medical malpractice, report kickbacks, Sunshine Act, Westport medical malpractice attorneyThis fall a proviso of the Affordable Care Act goes into effect known as the Sunshine Act, which requires all medical device and pharmaceutical companies to report publicly all payments made to doctors over the amount of $10. This is meant to curb big pharma and device manufacturers from giving doctors and other medical professionals shady kickbacks for using their products, or at least to make the public aware of such practices. Charlie Ornstein, a senior editor for ProPublica, told CBS News that the practice of big corporations providing “pay to play” for doctors who use their medications or devices is nothing new. It has been in place for decades. Ornstein told CBS News that the promotion part “has gotten a lot of attention in recent years because drug companies have paid … billions of dollars to settle lawsuits that have accused them of improper marketing and giving kickbacks to doctors.”

It is an illegal practice for corporations to give kickbacks to doctors for prescribing their products, but it is not illegal for corporations to give doctors money for promoting their drug. This makes for a very grey line between legitimate and illegitimate relationships between drug manufacturers and the medical professional world. Ornstein told CBS News that it all boils down to trust. If your doctor recommends a certain drug to you, you should be able to assume that he is recommending that particular drug because it is what your body needs.

Ornstein said that it would make sense that a doctor would first prescribe a generic or cheaper alternative, as the cost of drugs continues to skyrocket. Another good example of a doctor doing what is best for his patient would be to recommend a non-medication alternative “to reach your goals perhaps first.”

According to ProPublica, the issue of doctors having to settle issues of marketing fraud is widespread. Since 2008, at least 15 manufacturers of drugs or medical devices have had to pay $6.5 billion collectively to settle such accusations. Yet no individual doctor has faced the same penalties, “despite allegations of fraud or of conduct that put patients at risk.”

If you or someone you know suspects that your doctor has illegally received kickbacks for prescribing medication, the most important step is to speak with a legal professional. Contact a Westport medical malpractice attorney today.

American Bar Association Connecticut Bar Association


Contact Westport Divorce Attorney


Disclaimer | Site Map | Privacy Policy

OVC Lawyer Marketing, Inc.