Don't blame the insurance companies alone for the high cost of ...
(too old to reply)
2012-05-06 01:14:32 UTC
If you don't understand why yourdoctorwanted to see you, you are
hopelessly dense.
He has your entire mdical record. His idea is to make sure that you both
understand what happened, what was found, and what was done. He's
protecting himself against a lawsuit for malpractice.
Tort reform.
Put in place "loser pays" provisions and you will see worthless lawsuits
stop clogging the courts. That wil lower insurancecostsfor you and
Worthless lawsuits ? Very few worthless lawsuits ever get to court.

SEE Medical Errors
Gangsters in Medicine
By Thomas Smith

The Journal of the American Medical Association recently reported that
as many as 106,000 deaths occur annually in US hospitals due to
adverse reactions to prescription drugs that are properly prescribed
by physicians that use them as directed by the drug companies.

Even worse, the National Council for Patient Information and Education
reported that an additional 125,000 deaths occur annually due to
adverse reactions to drugs that the physician never should have
prescribed. In these deaths the doctor did not follow the instructions
on proper administration of the drugs. For example, Glucophage, a
diabetic oral hypoglycemic, should never be prescribed for patients
with Kidney disease or Congestive Heart Failure because it can cause
fatal Lactic Acidosis in these patients. A warning label is
prominently placed on the medication container to warn of this
potential misuse.

However, JAMA reported that almost 1/4 of the patients who had been
prescribed Glucophage had Kidney damage or Congestive Heart failure or

The annual death toll from synthetic prescription drugs, both from the
correctly prescribed and the incorrectly prescribed, amounts to about
231,000 deaths every year. To put this into perspective, this is the
equivalent of a world trade center disaster every week for over a year
and a half or the crash of two fully loaded 747 aircraft every day of
the year.

No information was reported on the number of outpatient and doctor's
office deaths caused by these very same drugs when prescribed by these
very same doctors. The reported figures alone, however, make drug
deaths caused by physicians the third leading cause of death in the
US. It is far ahead of accidents, drunk driving, homicides, airline
accidents, as well as all other disease with the sole exceptions of
cancer and heart disease


America's Healthcare System is the Third Leading Cause of Death
Barbara Starfield, M.D. (2000)

Summary by Kah Ying Choo
This Journal of the American Medical Association article illuminates
the failure of the U.S. medical system in providing decent medical
care for Americans.

In spite of the rising health care costs that provide the illusion of
improving health care, the American people do not enjoy good health,
compared with their counterparts in the industrialized nations. Among
thirteen countries including Japan, Sweden, France and Canada, the
U.S. was ranked 12th, based on the measurement of 16 health indicators
such as life expectancy, low-birth-weight averages and infant
mortality. In another comparison reported by the World Health
Organization that used a different set of health indicators, the U.S.
also fared poorly with a ranking of 15 among 25 industrialized

Although many people attribute poor health to the bad habits of the
American public, Starfield (2000) points out that the Americans do not
lead an unhealthy lifestyle compared to their counterparts. For
example, only 28 percent of the male population in the U.S. smoked,
thus making it the third best nation in the category of smoking among
the 13 industrialized nations. The U.S. population also achieved a
high ranking (5th best) for alcohol consumption. In the category of
men aged 50 to 70 years, the U.S. had the third lowest mean
cholesterol concentrations among 13 industrialized nations. Therefore,
the perception that the American public’s poor health is a result of
their negative health habits is false.

Even more significantly, the medical system has played a large role in
undermining the health of Americans. According to several research
studies in the last decade, a total of 225,000 Americans per year have
died as a result of their medical treatments:

Thus, America's healthcare-system-induced deaths are the third leading
cause of the death in the U.S., after heart disease and cancer.

One of the key problems of the U.S. health system is that as many as
40 million people in the U.S. do not have access to healthcare. The
social and economic inequalities that are an integral part of American
society are mirrored in the inequality of access to the health care
system. Essentially, families of low socioeconomic status are cut off
from receiving a decent level of health care.

By citing these statistics, Starfield (2000) highlights the need to
examine the type of health care provided to the U.S. population. The
traditional medical paradigm that emphasizes the use of prescription
medicine and medical treatment has not only failed to improve the
health of Americans, but also led to the decline in the overall well-
being of Americans. Starfield’s (2000) comparison of the medical
systems of Japan and the U.S. captures the fundamental differences in
the treatment approach. Unlike the U.S., Japan has the healthiest
population among the industrialized nations. Instead of relying on
sophisticated technology and professional personnel for medical
treatment as in the U.S., Japan uses its technology solely for
diagnostic purposes. Furthermore, in Japan, family members, rather
than hospital staff, are involved in caring for the patients.

The success of the Japanese medical system testifies to the dire need
for Americans to alter their philosophical approach towards health and
treatment. In the blind reliance on drugs, surgery, technology and
medical establishments, the American medical system has inflicted more
harm than good on the U.S. population. Starfield’s (2000) article is
invaluable in unveiling the catastrophic effects of the medical
treatments provided to the American people. In order to improve the
medical system, American policymakers and the medical establishment
need to adopt a comprehensive approach and critically examine the
failure of the richest country in the world to provide decent health
care for its people. The reason that they have difficulty doing that
is explained on the following page.

After heart disease and cancer, doctors are the third leading cause of
death killing 225,000 Americans every year. Over 100,000 of these
deaths occur in hospital emergency rooms due to malpractice.

Starfield, B. (2000, July 26). Is US health really the best in the
world? Journal of the American Medical Association, 284(4), 483-485.


Emergency Room Deaths Caused by Medical Malpractice

In the emergency room, there are a high number of medical errors
occurring on a regular basis due to a number of factors

Frequently, emergency room errors lead to series of medical
complications and even death of the patient.

According to a 2007 statistic released by the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC), 115 million Americans receive treatment
in emergency rooms each year. According to a report from the Journal
of the American Medical Association, more than 225,000 people die each
year as a result of medical malpractice. Nearly half of those deaths
are because of emergency room errors.

According to the report, the emergency rooms’ hectic, stressful
environment in combination with long work hours for medical
professionals can lead to a wide variety of medical errors that can
lead to medical malpractice. Errors such as incorrect diagnosis or
lack of diagnosis for serious, life-threatening diseases or
infections, delay of vital treatment because of overcrowding, dosage
errors for prescriptions or medications, diagnostic test omissions,
and/or failure to consult specialists.

A Health Grades, Inc. study reported that health professionals
misdiagnosed 20-40 percent of emergency room patients. Mistakes like
these can result in further injury and wrongful death.

Doctors Are The Third Leading Cause of Death in the US, Killing
225,000 People Every Year

The author is Dr. Barbara Starfield of the Johns Hopkins School of
Hygiene and Public Health and she describes how the US health care
system may contribute to poor health.


12,000 -- unnecessary surgery
7,000 -- medication errors in hospitals
20,000 -- other errors in hospitals
80,000 -- infections in hospitals
106,000 -- non-error, negative effects of drugs
These total to 225,000 deaths per year from iatrogenic causes!!

What does the word iatrogenic mean? This term is defined as induced in
a patient by a physician's activity, manner, or therapy. Used
especially of a complication of treatment.

Dr. Starfield offers several warnings in interpreting these numbers.

"Well, we did our best. These things happen."
At least 100,000 hospital patients dying each year due to medical
malpractice in the U.S. "Substandard or negligent care have been swept
under the rug" by the medical profession for too long.

"'The person most likely to kill you is not a relative or a friend, or
a mugger or a burglar or a drunken driver. The person most likely to
kill you is your doctor."
---- Vernon Coleman, author - What Doctors Don't Tell You

It’s a wonder any of us makes it out of the doctor’s office or
hospital alive

Physicians SHOULD disclose to patients information about procedural or
judgment errors made in the course of care

A 2000 Institute of Medicine report estimated that medical errors are
estimated to result in about between 44,000 and 98,000 preventable
deaths and 1,000,000 excess injuries each year in U.S. hospitals.[

^ Zhang, J., Patel, V.L., & Johnson, T.R (2008). "Medical error: Is
the solution medical or cognitive?". Journal of the American Medical
Informatics Association 6 (Supp1): 75–77. doi:10.1197/jamia.M1232.

A medical error is a preventable adverse effect of care, whether or
not it is evident or harmful to the patient. This might include an
inaccurate or incomplete diagnosis or treatment of a disease, injury,
syndrome, behavior, infection, or other ailment.

The American Medical Association's Council on Ethical and Judicial
Affairs states in its ethics code:

"Situations occasionally occur in which a patient suffers significant
medical complications that may have resulted from the physician's
mistake or judgment. In these situations, the physician is ethically
required to inform the patient of all facts necessary to ensure
understanding of what has occurred. Concern regarding legal liability
which might result following truthful disclosure should not affect the
physician's honesty with a patient."

From the American College of Physicians Ethics Manual[62]:

“In addition, physicians should disclose to patients information about
procedural or judgment errors made in the course of care if such
information is material to the patient's well-being. Errors do not
necessarily constitute improper, negligent, or unethical behavior, but
failure to disclose them may.”

However, "There appears to be a gap between physicians' attitudes and
practices regarding error disclosure. Willingness to disclose errors
was associated with higher training level and a variety of patient-
centered attitudes, and it was not lessened by previous exposure to
malpractice litigation".[63] Hospital administrators may share these

Consequently, in the United States, many states have enacted laws
excluding expressions of sympathy after accidents as proof of
liability; however, "excluding from admissibility in court proceedings
apologetic expressions of sympathy but not fault-admitting apologies
after accidents"[65]

Disclosure may actually reduce malpractice payments.[66][67]

[edit] Disclosure to non-physicians
In a study of physicians who reported having made a mistake,
disclosing to non-physicians sources of support may reduce stress more
than disclosing to physician colleagues.[68] This may be due to the
physicians in the same study, when presented with a hypothetical
scenario of a mistake made by another colleague, only 32% physicians
would have unconditionally offered support. It is possible that
greater benefit occurs when spouses are physicians.[69]

[edit] Disclosure to other physicians
Discussing mistakes with other doctors is beneficial.[48] However,
doctors may be less forgiving of each other.[69] The reason is not
clear, but one essayist has admonished, "Don't Take Too Much Joy in
the Mistakes of Other Doctors."[70]

[edit] Disclosure to the physician's institution
Disclosure of errors, especially 'near misses' may be able to reduce
subsequent errors in institutions that are capable of reviewing near
misses.[71] However, doctors report that institutions may not be
supportive of the doctor.[48]

[edit] Use of rationalization to cover up medical errors
Based on anecdotal and survey evidence, Banja[72] states that
rationalization (making excuses) is very common amongst the medical
profession in covering up medical errors. Common excuses made are:

"Why disclose the error? The patient was going to die anyway."
"Telling the family about the error will only make them feel worse."
"It was the patient's fault. If he wasn't so (obese, sick, etc.), this
error wouldn't have caused so much harm."
"Well, we did our best. These things happen."
"If we're not totally and absolutely certain the error caused the
harm, we don't have to tell."
[edit] By harm or not harm to patient
A survey of more than 10,000 physicians in the United States came to
the results that, on the question "Are there times when it's
acceptable to cover up or avoid revealing a mistake if that mistake
would not cause harm to the patient?", 19% answered yes, 60% answered
no and 21% answered it depends. On the question "Are there times when
it is acceptable to cover up or avoid revealing a mistake if that
mistake would potentially or likely harm the patient?", 2% answered
yes, 95% answered no and 3% answered it depends.[73]

Legal procedure

Main article: Medical malpractice
Standards and regulations for medical malpractice vary by country and
jurisdiction within countries. Medical professionals may obtain
professional liability insurances to offset the risk and costs of
lawsuits based on medical malpractice.

[edit] Methods to improve safety and reduce error
Further information: Patient safety
Medical care is frequently compared adversely to aviation: while many
of the factors that lead to errors in both fields are similar,
aviation's error management protocols are regarded as much more

patient's informed consent policy
patient's getting a second opinion from another independent
practitioner with similar qualifications
voluntary reporting of errors (to obtain valid data for cause
root cause analysis
Electronic or paper reminders to help patients maintain medication
systems for ensuring review by experienced or specialist
hospital accreditation
[edit] Reporting requirements
In the United States reporting medical errors in hospitals is a
condition of payment by Medicare.[82] An investigation by the Office
of Inspector General, Department of Health and Human Services released
January 6, 2012 found that most errors are not reported and even in
the case of errors that are reported and investigated changes are
seldom made which would prevent them in the furture. The investigation
revealed that there was often lack of knowledge regarding which events
were reportable and recommended that lists of reportable events be
developed. [83]

[edit] Misconceptions of medical error
Common misconceptions about adverse events are the following, and in
parentheses are the arguments and explanations against those

"Bad apples" or incompetent health care providers are a common cause.
(Although human error is commonly an initiating event, the faulty
process of delivering care invariably permits or compounds the harm,
and is the focus of improvement.[6]
High risk procedures or medical specialties are responsible for most
avoidable adverse events. (Although some mistakes, such as in surgery,
are harder to conceal, errors occur in all levels of care.[6] Even
though complex procedures entail more risk, adverse outcomes are not
usually due to error, but to the severity of the condition being
treated.).[19][84] However, USP has reported that medication errors
during the course of a surgical procedure are three times more likely
to cause harm to a patient than those occurring in other types of
hospital care.[20]

If a patient experiences an adverse event during the process of care,
an error has occurred. (Most medical care entails some level of risk,
and there can be complications or side effects, even unforeseen ones,
from the underlying condition or from the treatment itself.[85]

[edit] See also
Adverse effect
Adverse event
Serious adverse event
Adverse drug reaction
Complication (medicine)
Fatal Care: Survive in the U.S. Health System (book)
Medical malpractice
Medical resident work hours
Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005
Patient safety and nursing
Patient safety organization
Quality Use of Medicines
Swiss Cheese model of accident causation in human systems
To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System

Your Family Doctor - Friend or Foe? Which is It?
It’s the family doctor who sees you the most. It’s your family doctor
who decides whether you need medication. It’s your family doctor who
says whether or not you need physiotherapy, massage therapy,
chiropractic treatment, x-rays, etc. And it’s also your family doctor
who will determine if you will see a specialist
Capping damage awards is another good idea.
Of course, a lot of bottom-feeding injury lawyers will have to look for
legitimate work, but that's a good thing, too.
"Peace is that brief moment is history when everybody stands around
Rev. Skip Heitzig
2012-05-06 02:02:52 UTC
If you don't understand why your doctor wanted to see you, you are
hopelessly dense.
He has your entire mdical record. His idea is to make sure that you both
understand what happened, what was found, and what was done. He's
protecting himself against a lawsuit for malpractice.
Tort reform.
Home > Medical Negligence / Malpractice > State Tort Reform vs.
Patient Safety

Doctors are the Third Leading Cause of Death in America. Emergency
Room Death Sparks Outrage Given the slow service and questionable
care of emergency rooms,

Medical Malpractice

It has been estimated that between 44,000 and 98,000 people die in
hospitals annually due to preventable medical errors[3]. Another
estimate: 119,000 deaths annually: 12,000 from unnecessary surgery,
7,000 from medication errors, 20,000 from various other errors in
hospitals, and 80,000 from nosocomial infections acquired in
hospitals[4]. It is clear that medical malpractice is a real problem
and safeguards are needed. One estimate is that the medical liability
system costs $6.7 billion annually[6]. That is peanuts relative to the
problem. Probably the greatest cost to society of malpractice is
doctors’ fear of malpractice suits and as a consequence, doctors
prescribe an excessive amount of health services. The reality of it
is that medical negligence lawsuits hardly contribute to America’s
insurmountable health care costs.

How common are Emergency Room Deaths With notoriously crowded U.S.
emergency rooms, chances are most American families have a story of
someone waiting. It could have been half a day for a sore throat or
perhaps hours for stitches or a sprained ankle.

What percentage of annual US deaths occur in emergency rooms?

Locations of death within USA
In the USA about 33% of all annual deaths occur in hospitals.
Approximately twenty percent die annually in nursing homes. Another
13% of deaths occur in ER's or are persons brought to ERs dead on
Using hospice data we know that seventeen percent of annual USA deaths
are in private homes under hospice care and 6% of annual deaths occur
in a hospice facilities.
The remaining 11% of annual USA deaths consist of patients who die at
home not under hospice care or those who die in other locations.

Therefore, Re. Annual USA Deaths
1) 46% occur within hospitals or their emergency rooms
2) 20% occur within nursing homes
3) 6% occur in hospice facilities
4) 17% occur at home under hospice care
5) 11% occur unassociated with hospitals, ERs, hospice or nursing

Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_percentage_of_annual_US_deaths_occur_in_emergency_rooms#ixzz1u3AhztYb

Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_common_are_Emergency_Room_Deaths#ixzz1u3AQwBoA

Emergency Room Deaths are very common. On a national average I would
venture to guess approximately 0ne out of every 22 persons die during
cardiopulmonary resuscitation.alone.

Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_common_are_Emergency_Room_Deaths#ixzz1u3AAEuXV

Preventing medical errors will lower health care costs, reduce
doctors’ insurance premiums, all the while protecting the well-being
of the patient.

State Tort Reform vs. Patient Safety
Posted on January 29, 2010 by Khorrami, LLP
The insurance industry has done an incredible job portraying medical
negligence as a potential source of savings to health care costs-what
a myth! A close look at the numbers reveals that insurance companies
enjoy record profits while physician and patient premiums continue to
increase exponentially. The reality of it is that medical negligence
lawsuits hardly contribute to America’s insurmountable health care
costs. Undisputedly, an analysis of data from the National Association
of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and company annual statements shows
malpractice insurer profits are 24 percent higher in states with
malpractice caps. In these cap states, insurers took in 3.5 times more
in premiums than they paid out in 2008. In contrast, insurers in
states without caps took in just over twice what they paid in claims.

A closer look at the data clearly indicates that no correlation
between the cost of malpractice premiums and health insurance
premiums. In fact, with more than 30 states enforcing MICRA’s
malpractice caps, insurance companies are enjoying extraordinary high
levels of profit while approximately 98,000 patients are killed
annually by preventable medical errors. (From To Err Is Human:
Building a Safer Health System Executive Summary - Committee on
Quality of Health Care in America, Institute of Medicine). Its time
for America to call the insurance companies on their bluff and expose
the facade that medical negligence caps as a source of savings to
health care costs. Logically, the true source of any potential savings
is the underlying principle of reducing preventable medical errors. It
follows that preventing medical errors will lower health care costs,
reduce doctors’ insurance premiums, all the while protecting the well-
being of the patient. So, lets take it back to the basics. If patient
safety becomes the overarching goal by focusing on reducing/preventing
medical errors, don't all the related problems seem to go away?

Tags: Medical Negligence / Malpractice, NAIC, Patient Safety, State
Tort Reform
Put in place "loser pays" provisions and you will see worthless lawsuits
stop clogging the courts. That wil lower insurance costs for you and
your doctor.
Capping damage awards is another good idea.
Of course, a lot of bottom-feeding injury lawyers will have to look for
legitimate work, but that's a good thing, too.
"Peace is that brief moment is history when everybody stands around
Rev. Skip Heitzig