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The 3 ring circus continues the shows

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The 3 ring circus continues the shows

Old 02-24-2004, 11:34 AM
  #1  
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Default The 3 ring circus continues the shows

From Fox News:


More Florida Doctors 'Going Bare'
Tuesday, February 24, 2004

MIAMI — Nearly 2,500 physicians are now legally practicing medicine in Florida without insurance, according to the state.



After years of paying the highest malpractice rates in America, some doctors say their only option is to "go bare" and cancel their malpractice insurance (search) policies.

The doctors can legally do it by putting up some of their own money in case they're sued, while sheltering the rest of their assets from patients.

"It's a stopgap measure we've adopted in Florida, because we haven't had other options," said Amos Stoll, a neurosurgeon without insurance. "But I'm not telling the rest of the country this is a great thing — for everybody to 'go bare.'"

"It's the least attractive choice, probably," Stoll adds, "but it still allows us to practice."

Critics say "going bare" — which caps malpractice awards at $125,000 — keeps injured patients from collecting larger amounts when doctors are found liable.

"If they injure or maim people, they're pretty much protected," said medical malpractice attorney Marvin Kurzban. "We're taking a class of people that can well afford to pay for the injuries they cause and allowing them to escape the responsibility."

Most states don't require doctors to carry malpractice insurance. According to the American Medical Association (search), as rates continue to go up, "going bare" will become even more of an attractive alternative.
====================


So who is to blame? The doctors, the lawyers, or the insurance companies?
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Old 02-24-2004, 11:39 AM
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Default RE: The 3 ring circus continues the shows

this is one of those double edged swords for me. One one hand I completely understand "going bare". The insurance rates are unbelievable and medical malpractice lawsuits are a money grabbing tatctic for the most part. One the other hand if a doctor truely screws up and changes someones life for the extreme worse through his negligence then $125,000 isn't going to be enough, and I'm not sure I would go to that doctor.
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Old 02-24-2004, 12:00 PM
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Default RE: The 3 ring circus continues the shows

For the most part, I wouldn't have a problem seeing a doctor without malpractice insurance. As with any physician, I'd check his background out and get a few references, but that's about it.

On the other hand, if I need a neurosurgeon like the doctor in the article, I think he/she had better be insured. If I came out from under the knife with a broken brain, I'd want to get some money out of it for future expenses.
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Old 02-24-2004, 01:03 PM
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Default RE: The 3 ring circus continues the shows

We're taking a class of people that can well afford to pay
Typical lawyer misthinking. Huge lawsuit payments come out of the pockets of ordinary people, not the doctors. Legal awards get huge, need for insurance goes up, premiums go up, Dr.'s need to charge more to cover the premiums...
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Old 02-24-2004, 01:27 PM
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Default RE: The 3 ring circus continues the shows

You can thank the bloodsucking, ambulance chasing, bottom feeding malpractice lawyers who abuse tort law to make a quick buck every chance they get. It's the frivolous lawsuits that are running insurance companies who write malpractice policies into the ground, taking the doctors and patients with them. If you ever wondered why the cost of health care has skyrocketed over the past 20 year, the greated culprit is the rising cost of malpractice insurance and the increased demand for medical services created by the widespread use of "defensive medicine" to guard docs from lawsuits in the first place.

One of the hardest hit area of medicine is in obstetrics (delivering babies). If someones kid is born with a birth defect (preventable or not), people sue the doctor. Complications during childbirth that the doctor can't fix, sue him. Stillborn, sue the doc. Doesn't matter if the doctor did anything wrong. What usually happens is that the insurance co., even though they know that the suit is BS, also know that the cost of proving it's BS is greater than settling out of court. So they pay up, get a judge to issue a gag order, and pass the cost onto the other docs who heve insurance through that company. Of course, the docs then have to pass that cost onto their patients, or if the cost becomes too great, stop practicing at all. Being a good or bad doc isn't the issue. There are places where the cost of MP insurance is so great that many private family practice docs can't charge enough to pay the insurance bill. I remember reading in a medical journal while sitting in my doctors office that the average cost of malpractice insurance is $9000/doctor/MONTH ($108,000/year), with some places and medical fields (like OB/GYN) being as high as $1 MILLION a year.

The increase in lawsuits and the cost of insurance has brought about the disturbing trend of doctors, as a career survival tactic, using excessive "defensive" medicine to cover their butts against any remote chance of being sued. You go to the doc with a severe cramping pain in your upper right abdomen. The doc does basic inexpensive (relatively) tests and is 99% sure you've got an inflamed gall bladder. But to be 100% he sends you into the hospital to get $10,000 worth of additional tests done to cover his ass because of the slight possibility that he could be wrong. Then after all those expensive tests point to the same obvious conclusion, he does what he could have done to start and recommends surgery to remove the offending gall bladder, when he could have saved the patient and my insurance company $10,000 if he'd told me he was sure in the first place. But he wouldn't or couldn't because if he'd have recommended surgery when he was only 99% sure, and he was wrong, he was afraid I'd have sued him. This happened to me, and it happens all the time all over the country. Doctors are scared witless by the damn lawyers, and in the end the result has been that healthcare costs have skyrocketed.

The next time you go to your doctor and he wants to order a bunch of tests, challenge him to give you a breakdown of why each test is necessary and what the statistical cumulative error rate is. I'll bet he's wasting your money by useing excessive diagnostic testing to tell him what he probably already knows, just so he can cover his butt against the remote chance of a lawsuit.

Mike
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Old 02-24-2004, 02:34 PM
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Default RE: The 3 ring circus continues the shows

You can also thank the doctors themselves, for not getting rid of the idiots with the most lawsuits. I agree there are some ridiculos lawsuits, but there are also many that need to be filed. I know a doctor that referred a woman to a hospital in another town for tests as his hospital did not have the facilities. Instead of the external testing she was to receive the idiot doctor gave her a colonoscopy. You telling me she shouldn't sue that quack? Until the doctors start policing their ranks and getting rid of the idiot quacks they have I refuse to feel sorry for them or their insurance payments. Especially when they charge $200 to stop by and see my child for 2 minutes in the emergency room.
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Old 02-24-2004, 03:45 PM
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Default RE: The 3 ring circus continues the shows

Not trying to defend the bad doctors, but I think that there are by far more lawsuits filed against good honest doctors that did their job as best as possible.

And you say you don't care about his premiums, but you should, because YOU'RE paying them, not him. Did you ever stop to think that that might be exactly why a doctor charged you $200 to see your kid? Maybe because he has to pay a $9,000 a month premium to keep insurance to protect him from lawsuits he shouldn't have to worry about in the first place. I'm all for the system when it's used correctly and justly. But it's gotten way out of hand.

Mike
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Old 02-24-2004, 04:10 PM
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Default RE: The 3 ring circus continues the shows

What usually happens is that the insurance co., even though they know that the suit is BS, also know that the cost of proving it's BS is greater than settling out of court. So they pay up, get a judge to issue a gag order, and pass the cost onto the other docs who heve insurance through that company. Of course, the docs then have to pass that cost onto their patients, or if the cost becomes too great, stop practicing at all.
And that pretty much describes 90+% of all civil lawsuits aimed at deep pockets that can afford to settle out of court. That and the fear of some idiot jury awarding millions/billions for a questionable issue. Shakespeare was such a visionary when he said "first we kill all the lawyers." With 5% of the world's population and 50% of the world's lawyers, the U.S. is doomed.
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Old 02-24-2004, 04:12 PM
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Default RE: The 3 ring circus continues the shows

Mike (driftrider), I posted before I read down to your posts. You summed it up very nicely indeed.
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Old 02-24-2004, 04:29 PM
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Default RE: The 3 ring circus continues the shows

Uh oh, Mr. Doctor poked me with a needle and it hurt a little bit, I better sue him for $298 million[8D]
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