We’ve all seen them. They start off with a question. Has your loved one suffered from bed sores, broken bones, laceration or death? If so, call 800-screwanmd and we’ll sue for millions! The commercials clearly imply that any injury that occurs while you are in a nursing home must be from malpractice. According to the latest commercial, if you die in a nursing home, the law firm of Screw’em LTD will get you at least a million. The commercial is quick to point out that the attorneys work on your behalf is free if they don’t collect!
Why is your loved one in a nursing home? They certainly aren’t there because they are young and healthy! People go to nursing homes when they need extra care because they are old, infirmed, confused, at high risk of falls, etc. Yet, according to the attorney’s commercial, anything that happens while your loved one is in a nursing home must be from neglect.
So, I’m retired. Why should I care? Why should you care? Reason number one is that part of every medical bill you pay is the price of malpractice and liability insurance. How much of your bill is related to lawsuits? It’s hard to say. Calculating the cost of malpractice insurance per patient treated is an easy equation. The complicating factor is discerning how much of the care you receive is “cover your ass” (CYA) medical care.
There are times when your patient is clearly litigious and CYA cost are obvious. I’m sure there are subconscious decisions related to fear of lawsuits that drive up the cost of care. Now that I’m a patient, I really don’t want to pay the price for CYA care. You shouldn’t have to either.
I’ve been sued twice in my 34 years. The first time was by the parents of a patient I never saw. To this day, I’m not sure how my name got attached to the suit but it took 4 years and around $50,000 to get a judge to look at the case and dismiss it. That case taught me that practicing CYA medicine is useless as anyone can be sued at any time for any reason.
My second suit was for failure to diagnose and treat an appendicitis in a timely manner. On the day she presented to my office, my note clearly stated that she needed hospitalization and should go to the ER immediately as I suspected that he had an acute appendicitis. My note the following day showed that she did not go to the hospital, so I called her and strongly advised that she go to the ER. I called her 5 more times over the next 5 days and she finally went to the hospital. Her attorneys (she had 4 or 5 as they kept firing her) claimed that she didn’t understand how serious her condition was and that I should have been more emphatic! I guess telling her she was going to die was not emphatic enough.
That case took 5 years and close to $100,000 dollars to defend. It was finally thrown out. The scary part was when my attorney told me that had the case been in Cook County, I might have lost. Apparently, in Cook County, jurors look at insurance companies as winning lottery tickets. This case taught me to be more emphatic. Subsequently, when a patient refused to heed my warnings, I would tell them and write in the chart that they were going to “Fucking die!” Interestingly, there is a difference in simply dying and fucking dying because everyone would respond the same way, “If you feel that strongly, I’ll go to the ER.”
It won’t be long before the legal ads will start suggesting that, if your loved one died in a hospital from COVID, it must be the hospital/doctors’ fault! Lawyers across the US will go on fishing expeditions, testing the waters and limits of the law as they sue the heroes that worked so hard to save so many. When you see those ads, get angry! Call those law firms and make sure they understand how angry you are.
We, the patients of America, have been silent too long and we’ve paid for that silence in inflated medical bills and defensive medical care. The time for tort reform is now!
Here’s today’s music (click on underlined words). We could all use a little help from our friends. Here’s your joke of the day:
An attorney was working late one night in his office when, suddenly, Satan appeared before him. The Devil made him an offer. “I will make it so you win every case that you try for the rest of your life. Your clients will worship you, your colleagues will be in awe, and you will make enormous amounts of money. But, in return, you must give me your soul, your wife’s soul, the souls of your children, your parents, grandparents, and those of all the your friends.” The lawyer thought about it for a moment, then asked, “But what’s the catch?”