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Med Mal ReCap 2-16-2011

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					  ReSource ReCaps                                                                                  Wednesday February 16, 2011




                                     Medical Professional Liability News
                A weekly update of significant news articles from around the nation and the world relating to
          medical professional liability insurance and reinsurance. This news recap is provided with our compliments
                                                 by ReSource Intermediaries, Inc.


Deep Digging Needed to Uncover Malpractice
Reform’s Common Ground
                                                                                           Inside this issue:
Insurance & Financial Advisor,
Hunt Valley, MD
                                                                                           Deep Digging Needed to Uncover Mal-      1
February 16, 2011                                                                          practice Reform’s Common Ground

President Obama signaled in his State of    call to repeal the health care reform          Many Bone Doctors Order Tests Out of     2
                                                                                           Fear of Lawsuits, Study Finds; Up to
the Union address that Democrats and        measure passed by the Democrat-                One-Fifth Unneeded
Republicans might find common ground        dominated House and Senate last year.
on health care reform with the issue of                                                    (MA) Lubin & Meyer's Andrew C. Meyer, 2
                                            In his State of the Union address,             Jr. and Benjamin Novotny Secure $2.5
medical malpractice, but experts remain                                                    Million Settlement in the Overdose
                                            Obama made a peace offering, saying,
far apart on how the Congress should                                                       Death of Toddler
                                            “I’m willing to look at other ideas to bring
tackle the issue.                                                                          Obama's Budget Includes $250M in         2
                                            down (health care) costs, including one
                                                                                           Malpractice Grants
Gene M. Ransom III, executive director      Republicans suggested last year —
                                                                                           (MT) Republicans Pitch Malpractice       2
for the Maryland State Medical Society,     medical malpractice reform to rein in
                                                                                           Reform in MT
remains optimistic. He says aisle-          frivolous lawsuits.”
                                                                                           (MI) Teen Awarded $1.4M in Medical       3
crossing on medical malpractice would                                                      Malpractice Lawsuit
                                            Ransom said he agrees with Republi-
better both sides.
                                            cans who say that “defensive medicine”         (TX) Texas Expands Medical Liability     3
“Hopefully, Democrats and Republicans       drives up costs, and leads to higher mal-      Protections for State-Employed Doctors
can work together on this issue,” Ran-      practice insurance rates for physicians,       (AL) Birmingham Man's Family Wins $3     3
som said. “It would mean a reduction in     who pass them down to patients. Ending         Million in Wrongful Death Suit
defensive medicine, which is something      defensive medicine would mean signifi-
                                                                                           The Ten Most Expensive Medical Errors 3
that would help people across Maryland      cant change for the medical liability sys-
from all demographics.”                     tem in Maryland — a state, he said, al-        (IL) State Faces Doctor Shortage in      4
                                                                                           Coming Years, ISMS President Warns
                                            ready burdened with having, “one of the
Defensive medicine refers to the practice
                                            lowest (Medicaid) reimbursement rates
of medical professionals ordering extra
                                            for doctors in the country.”
tests or procedures, that may be unnec-
essary, out of fear of being sued.          http://ifawebnews.com/2011/02/16/deep-
                                            digging-needed-to-uncover-malpractice-
Republicans took over control of the
                                            reforms-common-ground/
House in November 2010, in part on a
Page 2                                                                                                                ReSource ReCaps

  Many Bone Doctors Order Tests Out of                             Obama's Budget Includes $250M in Mal-
  Fear of Lawsuits, Study Finds; Up to                             practice Grants
  One-Fifth Unneeded
                                                                   Med Page Today, Washington, DC
  The Chicago Tribune, Chicago, IL                                 February 16, 2011
  February 16, 2011
                                                                   In a nod to those who have called for changes in the medical
  CT scans, MRIs and other pricey imaging tests are often          liability system, President Obama's 2012 budget proposal
  more for the doctor's benefit than the patient's, new research   includes $250 million in Justice Department grants for states
  confirms.                                                        that want to try out some alternatives.

                                                                   The aim of the grants -- which were quietly tucked into the
  Roughly one-fifth of tests that bone and joint specialists or-
                                                                   Justice Department budget and not even mentioned by the
  der are because a doctor fears being sued, not because the
                                                                   nation's top health officials -- is to help states try out an alter-
  patient needs them, a first-of-its-kind study in Pennsylvania
                                                                   native to the medical tort system that would fairly compen-
  suggests.
                                                                   sate patients who are harmed by negligence, improve the
                                                                   quality of healthcare, and reduce medical costs associated
  The study comes a day after President Barack Obama be-
                                                                   with defensive medicine, according to a Justice Department
  gan a push to overhaul state medical malpractice laws as a
                                                                   summary.
  way to reduce unnecessary tests that drive up health care
  costs.                                                           "These grants will help states reform their laws to pursue
                                                                   innovative approaches that will improve the quality of health-
  http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/sns-ap-us-med-
                                                                   care, fairly compensate patients who are harmed by negli-
  medical-tests-malpractice,0,2405758.story
                                                                   gence, reduce medical costs and liability, and protect patient
                                                                   safety," said Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy
                                                                   Schmaler.
  Lubin & Meyer's Andrew C. Meyer, Jr.
                                                                   http://www.medpagetoday.com/PracticeManagement/
  and Benjamin Novotny Secure $2.5 Mil-
                                                                   Medicolegal/24904
  lion Settlement in the Overdose Death
  of Toddler
  Insurance News Net, Camp Hill, PA                                Republicans Pitch Malpractice Reform
  February 16, 2011                                                in MT
  Well-known medical malpractice attorneys, Andrew C.              The Washington Examiner, Washington, DC
  Meyer, Jr. and Benjamin Novotny of Lubin & Meyer, PC,            February 15, 2011
  have settled the medical malpractice case (Suffolk Superior
                                                                   Republicans said Tuesday that proposals to limit medical
  Court, 08-3123-D) against Tufts University psychiatrist, Ka-
                                                                   malpractice claims are among their ideas to lower health
  yoko Kifuji, M.D. for $2.5 million for the tragic overdose
                                                                   care costs as they try to undermine implementation of fed-
  death of 4-year-old Rebecca Riley. Even before reaching
                                                                   eral health care reform.
  this groundbreaking settlement, Meyer’s case garnered na-
  tional media attention on the hot-button-topic of the over-      One proposed bill aims to give doctors more protection from
  prescribing of powerful psychiatric medications to toddlers.     lawsuits. Another would limit the amount survivors could
  According to court documents, the girl was prescribed a psy-     seek if a relative died due to medical malpractice.
  chotropic drug cocktail including: Clonidine (a sedative), De-
                                                                   Critics countered that the proposals would not reduce costs
  pakote (a mood stabilizer), and Seroquel (an anti-psychotic).
                                                                   and would only hurt injured patients seeking relief.
  http://insurancenewsnet.com/article.aspx?
                                                                   http://washingtonexaminer.com/news/2011/02/republicans-
  id=248181&type=newswires
                                                                   pitch-malpractice-reform
Page 3                                                                                                               ReSource ReCaps

  Teen Awarded $1.4M in Medical Mal-                                  Birmingham Man's Family Wins $3 Mil-
  practice Lawsuit                                                    lion in Wrongful Death Suit
  Lawyers and Settlements, Santa Cruz, CA                             AL.com, Birmingham, AL
  February 15, 2011                                                   February 13, 2011

  An allergy specialist reached a $1.4 million settlement in a        The family of a Birmingham man has won a $3 million jury
  medical malpractice claim brought by a 13-year-old patient          award from Baptist Princeton Hospital and a team of doc-
  receiving a regularly-scheduled immunotherapy allergy in-           tors, af-ter a two-week medical malprac-tice trial that ended
  jection. The suit alleged that the teen developed an acute          Friday.
  anaphylaxis reaction in the form of respiratory distress and
                                                                      The Jefferson County Circuit Court jury decided the wrongful
  loss of consciousness. He was transferred by EMS to a hos-
                                                                      death civil suit after about three hours of deliberation, said
  pital, where he was successfully resuscitated.
                                                                      Shay Samples, the lawyer for the Birmingham law firm Hare
                                                                      Wynn Newell & Newton who rep-resented the family of
  Thereafter, the teen was transferred to a tertiary care facility,
                                                                      Laboyish Catlin. A Baptist Health spokes-man said the non-
  but was comatose for several weeks. He regained con-
                                                                      profit health care group extends condolences to the family
  sciousness, but was severely brain-damaged and suffered
                                                                      but disagrees with the ver-dict.
  near-complete quadriplegia. The parties reached a
  $1,400,000 settlement agreement shortly after discovery             Catlin's family said in the law-suit the 37-year-old died in
  commenced.                                                          Janu-ary 2006, a few days after surgery for a duodenal ul-
                                                                      cer. The suit cited an autopsy report that said he bled to
  http://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/settlements/15453/
  teen-awarded-1-4m-in-medical-malpractice-lawsuit.html               death. The suit claimed negli-gent and improper surgery and
                                                                      other flawed medical care by the hospital and doctors. After
                                                                      the surgery, the suit said, Catlin re-quired "multiple blood
                                                                      transfu-sions."

  Texas Expands Medical Liability Protec-                             http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2011/02/
                                                                      birmingham_mans_family_wins_3.html
  tions for State-Employed Doctors
  American Medical News, Chicago, IL
  February 14, 2011                                                   The Ten Most Expensive Medical Errors

  Texas doctors employed by the state have gained an extra            International Business Times, New York, NY
  layer of protection against medical liability lawsuits after a      February 11, 2011
  recent decision by the Supreme Court of Texas.
                                                                      Medical errors can injure patients as well as cost lives and
  The majority of justices ruled that plaintiffs must sue the gov-
                                                                      have a significant monetary cost to society. Another direct
  ernment entity where an alleged medical error occurred --
                                                                      impact of medical errors is on medical malpractice insurance
  not the physician. In the past, doctors employed at state-run
                                                                      rates. Dr. Bialek examines the ten costliest medical errors in
  facilities faced the same susceptibility in lawsuits as their
                                                                      the US, based on cost of health care and loss of income.
  private practice counterparts.
                                                                      Dr. Bialek uses snapshots of real patient cases to represent
  The Jan. 21 ruling stems from several medical liability cases
                                                                      each of the top ten most expensive medical errors. When it
  before the state Supreme Court concerning doctors em-
                                                                      comes to medical errors the lesson is that many of the most
  ployed by government entities and their scope of liability im-
                                                                      common ones could have been prevented.
  munity. The court chose to examine one case as its lead to
  condense its review of the similar issues.                          Article : http://www.covermd.com/Resources/Most-
                                                                      Expensive-Medical-Errors.aspx
  http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2011/02/14/
  prsb0214.htm                                                        http://www.ibtimes.com/prnews/20110211/the-top-ten-most-
                                                                      expensive-medical-errors-in-the-us.htm
State Faces Doctor Shortage in Coming Years, ISMS President
Warns
The Record, Edwardsville, IL                                                    practice. And, the existing workforce is aging with a high
February 11, 2011                                                               percentage close to retirement age.

Illinois State Medical Society President Steve Malkin, M.D.                     "You don't have to be an economist," he said. "It doesn't
said that a shortage of doctors in the state needs to be ad-                    look good."
dressed now, not when there is a workforce crisis.
                                                                                Starting a practice with loans of up to $150,000-$200,000,
Malkin was in Edwardsville Thursday morning talking about                       high malpractice insurance rates and low reimbursements
the organization's upcoming legislative agenda and other                        are discouraging new doctors from going into lower paying
statewide issues. He also was scheduled to speak at a                           fields, he said.
Madison County Medical Society meeting.
                                                                                http://www.madisonrecord.com/news/233315-state-faces-
                                                                                doctor-shortage-in-coming-years-isms-president-warns
He said the state is looking at a looming workforce crisis
because very few new doctors are going into primary care




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