Healthcare Update Satellite — 06-06-2013


More HealthCare Updates from around the web are at my other blog at

Remember the case where hospital administrator Bruce Mogel allegedly planted a gun in a doctor’s car then called the police to frame him because the administrator didn’t like the doctor’s criticisms of the way the hospitals were being managed? The doctor sued the hospital and won $5.7 million.
Well a judge just threw out that judgment. Employers can’t be liable if the employee/officer’s actions are not reasonably related to the job or reasonably foreseeable.

Patients gone wild. Combative New Jersey patients gets beat down by police, then causes officer to dislocate his ankle. Now charged with aggravated assault on an officer.

UK hospital emergency department director states that there is “toxic overcrowding” and that hospitals are at a “crisis point.” Notes that the EDs are “simply not equipped to safely care for such numbers of patients, an increasing proportion of whom are elderly and frail with complex medical, nursing and social needs.”
More patients, sicker patients, “substandard conditions” … what could go wrong?

Missouri Clinic sued for failing to drain an allegedly nonexistent perirectal abscess. The patient was instead placed on antibiotics, instructed to use sitz baths, told to see the surgeon the following day, and instructed to return to the emergency department if his condition worsened. Four days later when the next surgery appointment was available, the patient was determined to have had necrotizing faciitis which by that time had spread from his buttocks to his knee.
Experts in the case allege that immediate lab tests, CT scans/ultrasounds were required and that the patient should have been admitted to the hospital. The emergency physician plaintiff’s expert testified that it is a deviation from the standard of care to discharge a patient with such an abscess from the emergency department.

Canadian politicians demanding an inquest into death of a patient who fell and hit her head, then left emergency department after waiting six hours to be seen. She was found dead the following day. According to statistics in the article, the number of patients leaving hospitals without being seen by physicians increased nearly 10% between 2011 and 2012.

Brainiac Democratic Nevada politician Marilyn Kirkpatrick tries to amend the Nevada constitution to cap costs for anyone receiving treatment in a hospital emergency department.
Changing the CONSTITUTION to reflect how much people should have to pay when someone else renders private services to them? How much more idiotic can legislators in this country get?
Why stop at emergency services? What’s next? A constitutional amendment to limit the charges in Nevada for fast food hamburgers? Pints of alcohol? Attorney’s fees? How about capping Nevada lawmaker’s salaries?
Fortunately, this colossal example of poor judgment died without even coming up for a vote.

Two thirds of Americans aren’t sure that they will purchase coverage required by Obamacare by the January 1, 2014 deadline. More than 60% of people believe that the UnAffordable Care Act will lead to higher health care costs. It already has.


  1. I saw the Mercy lawsuit article came from STL Today. Too bad you didn’t explore the site a little bit more and post about the neurosurgeon at SSM in STL who operated on the wrong side of the brain. I understand your frustration with a system that seems stacked against you but then again it would be nice to see you post things about situations that precipitate more ridiculous regs. And call out that physician. There is something very wrong when the government had to intervene to prevent wrong site surgery. All the steps in place and it still happens. Right vs left is not that hard of a concept to wrap your head around.

  2. “Changing the CONSTITUTION to reflect how much people should have to pay when someone else renders private services to them? How much more idiotic can legislators in this country get? Why stop at emergency services? What’s next? “

    Ask the residents of your favorite state, Florida. We specialize in such idiocy. The Florida Constitution grants the people the power to propose amendments to Florida’s Constitution — all you need is a petition signed by a number of voters equal to eight percent of votes cast in the last presidential election.

    As a result, we have a constitutional prohibition “[l]imiting cruel and inhumane confinement of pigs during pregnancy” and a constitutional “class size” requirement that PK-3 classes do not exceed 18 students/teacher, 4-8 classes do not exceed 22 students/teacher, and 9-12 classes do not exceed 25 students/teacher (yeah, so if you’ve got 22 kids in your fifth grade class and a family moves into town with a fifth grader, you need to hire a new teacher… – otherwise you’re violating the kids’ CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS). And as you might be aware the automatic revocation of any medical license where the provider has three or more incidents of ‘medical malpractice’ is also actually written right into the constitution.

    That “cost-capping” constitutional amendment may have failed in Nevada, but given that Florida’s constitution already mandates the treatment of pregnant pigs, I could see something like that at least making it onto the ballot here.

  3. “Changing the CONSTITUTION to reflect how much people should have to pay when someone else renders private services to them?”

    Having had tort reform struck down as violating state Constitutions, many “reformers” are now seeking to change their state Constitutions to allow them to cap the value of those injuries.

    Once you get started capping things to what someone else (almost always someone with a vested interest in the cap being low) thinks is “reasonable” no matter the specific situation, it just doesn’t end, does it?

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