for consumers

/Tag: for consumers

November 2012

Doctors’ Insurance Premiums Continue to Fall

By David Kulwicki|2019-03-18T22:02:46+00:00November 28th, 2012|Patient Safety|

The next time someone complains about escalating malpractice premiums driving doctors out of business, following is some pertinent information.  This argument is often used by Big Insurance and its front organizations, like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, to promote unneeded "tort reform" legislation.  In truth, premiums are falling and the number of U.S. doctors continues to rise. The National [...]

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October 2012

Congratulations to National Nurses United

By David Kulwicki|2019-03-18T22:02:54+00:00October 15th, 2012|Patient Safety|

National Nurses United (NNU) is the largest nurses organization in the U.S.  They have been front runners in promoting safe hospital practices for consumers, especially through efforts to end unsafe nursing staffing levels -- an all too common hospital practice in American hospitals.  This month, NNU was certified as the union for registered nurses at Affinity Hospital in Massillon, [...]

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Injuries Caused By Greed, Incompetence

By David Kulwicki|2019-03-18T22:02:56+00:00October 10th, 2012|Patient Safety|

A doctor who operates on the patient's wrong leg and claims he did her a favor?  A major hospital chain that hires runners to bring homeless patients in for unnecessary procedures? You wouldn't believe it if it wasn't true.  Unfortunately, these stories and many similar tales of greed and incompetence can be read right here:  [...]

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August 2012

For Consumers, Caps on Damages Are Not The Answer

By David Kulwicki|2019-03-18T22:02:59+00:00August 17th, 2012|Patient Safety|

A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) acknowledges what advocates for consumers of healthcare have long known: caps on damages in medical malpractice claims do not work.  The NEJM article, titled "A Systematic Approach to Containing Healthcare Spending," explains that "[s]trategies to control costs associated with medical malpractice and defensive medicine must be responsible [...]

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Healthcare Does Not Fit Into A Mass Production Model

By David Kulwicki|2019-03-18T22:03:01+00:00August 13th, 2012|Patient Safety|

The New Yorker recently published an article by a Harvard surgeon in which he contended that the Cheesecake Factory restaurant chain provides a model for the future of healthcare.  The author touted the efficiency and innovation of the restaurant chain as a way to improve quality and reduce costs.  Unfortunately, despite the tenuous analogy between quality dining and quality [...]

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July 2012

How Malpractice Claims Improve Healthcare for Consumers

By David Kulwicki|2016-06-08T18:42:53+00:00July 30th, 2012|Patient Safety|

For consumers of healthcare services, safety is the top priority. Likewise, one aim of tort law is to create incentives to improve safety.  If healthcare providers profit from unsafe practices, they are likely to continue.  Tort law imposes a tax on unsafe practices that acts as a disincentive.  The Center for Disease Control's recent National and State Healthcare-associated Infections Standardized Infection [...]

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Study Shows 1 In 4 Medicare Patients Injured By Medical Error

By David Kulwicki|2019-03-18T22:03:02+00:00July 24th, 2012|Patient Safety|

Medical errors are all too common for consumers of healthcare services. I previously reported that approximately 1,503,323 people die or are injured annually as a result of medical errors [The $17.1 Billion Problem: The Annual Cost of Measurable Medical Errors, Health Affairs, April 2011, 30:4].  This data  is consistent with findings contained in the Institute of Medicine's To [...]

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Capt. C.B. “Sully” Sullenberger on Medical Malpractice

By David Kulwicki|2019-03-18T22:03:03+00:00July 20th, 2012|Patient Safety|

Earlier this week, I posted an article about the unnecessary death of a 12-year-old boy, Rory Staunton, from an undiagnosed but easily treatable infection.  The boy, an aviation buff, was a big fan of Captain C.B. "Sully" Sullenberger, the pilot who heroically landed a disabled U.S. Airways plane in the Hudson River in 2009. Capt. Sullenberger was quoted in the article as [...]

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The “Malpractice Crisis” is Greatly Exaggerated

By David Kulwicki|2019-03-18T22:03:04+00:00July 18th, 2012|Patient Safety|

The next time that someone tells you that malpractice premiums are escalating and contribute to runaway healthcare costs, please make them aware of the following information. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners published statistics on malpractice payouts showing that direct losses incurred have dropped from a high of $8,459,389,539 in 2003 to $3,655,161,296 in 2011. Without factoring in inflation, that [...]

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June 2012

Misplaced Guilt: Another Side Effect of Medical Negligence

By David Kulwicki|2019-03-18T22:03:06+00:00June 22nd, 2012|Patient Safety|

Add to the obvious tragedy of medical negligence -- death, injury, disability, lost independence, lost dignity, financial ruin, etc., etc. -- another torment: guilt.  Virtually every client that I have had goes through an endless round of "if only I had ...."  In truth, this guilt is misplaced.  No matter who you are, how smart [...]

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