Saturday, 24 of June of 2017

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Study Reveals Hospitals Stand To Profit Following Medical Complications

By Randy Appleton, VA/NC Medical Malpractice Attorney

What Happened:

A recently published study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that doctors and hospitals stand to benefit when surgeries go awry. The results showed that medical providers stand to make substantially more money in cases where surgical complications have arisen than in those cases that go as planned. The authors of the piece, all doctors from Harvard Medical School, found that surgical complications increase a typical procedure’s average contribution margin by 330 percent for privately insured individuals and 190 percent for Medicare patients.

The data was collected by combing through records for more than 35,000 surgeries that were conducted at a major hospital in the Dallas area. The results of the surgeries were then linked to hospital bills and the results surprised even the study’s authors. A typical surgery with a privately insured patient yields a profit of slightly less than $17,000. If a surgical complication were to occur, the profit margin would jump to $56,000. For Medicare patients, profits in routine surgeries average $1,900 and jump to $3,300 in the event of a complication.

The authors of the study first got the idea to explore the issue after puzzling over why some hospitals were so reluctant to implement even small changes that had been shown to lead to large reductions in medical errors. The authors wondered whether money might play a role in the decision-making process and were dismayed to find such a powerful connection between profits and patient harm.

The study concluded that the insurance payment system in the country is broken; that paying doctors for the number of procedures performed without taking into account the success rate of the operation is a mistake. The authors suggest that to begin incentivizing medical providers to lower complication rates, insurers should tie their payments to surgical success rates. The goal, according to the study’s authors, is to more effectively tie payment to medical value, ensuring that doctors and hospitals are not rewarded for harming a patient’s health.

The Virginia Injury Attorney’s Perspective: 

Though most surgeons are highly skilled and work hard to do a good job each and every time, mistakes happen that can leave patients seriously injured or even dead. According to statistics from the Institute of Medicine, 98,000 patients die each year due to medical mistakes and costly surgical complications, a far higher figure than should be acceptable.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a surgical error or complication, you should consult with an experienced Virginia (VA) medical malpractice lawyer for this type of medical malpractice lawsuit. Our firm enjoys a reputation of experience and success while representing victims in medical malpractice cases against doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers. We approach each case individually to provide the resources, knowledge and experience to achieve success on behalf of our clients. 

Potentially Helpful Info:

If you or a member of your family has been harmed by a Virginia (VA) doctor’s misdiagnosis, mistake or negligence, you can begin to learn about your legal rights and options for seeking compensation by downloading this free report.

Have Questions? Check Out Our Firm’s FAQs.

If you or a loved one has been injured at the hands of a medical professional, chances are you are confused about your options and may not know where to turn for help. To learn more about medical malpractice cases, check out this online library of Virginia (VA) attorneys’ answers to frequently asked questions regarding medical malpractice lawsuits.

Here’s a video explaining some of the common medical errors that can occur during surgery:

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About the Editors: The VA-NC medical malpractice attorneys at Shapiro, Lewis, Appleton & Favaloro include medical and surgical malpractice lawyers licensed in both Virginia and Carolina. Our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctors’ mistakes, as well as nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see our track record of success in medical malpractice lawsuits, and also be sure to read our free medical malpractice reports Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider and Top 5 Surgical Errors. Attorneys with our firm have been listed among the Best Lawyers in America since 2008. Attorneys with our personal injury law firm have also been named Virginia Super Lawyers since 2010, an honor fewer than 5 percent of practicing attorneys receive.


Oxygen Deprivation Injury at Birth: A Virginia Medical Malpractice Lawyer Discusses the Dangers

By Mark Favaloro, Birth Injury Attorney in Virginia

Has your child suffered a permanent, disabling injury due to oxygen deprivation at birth? Unfortunately, this type of injury is all too common. An attorney with Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton has written this informative article: “Oxygen Deprivation at Birth Can Lead to Life-Altering Injuries for the Child.”

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About the Editors: The VA-NC medical malpractice attorneys at Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton include medical and surgical malpractice lawyers licensed in both Virginia and Carolina. Our medical/hospital malpractice focus on personal injury and accident law and have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctors’ mistakes, as well as nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see our track record of success in medical malpractice lawsuits, and also be sure to read our free medical malpractice reports Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider and Top 5 Surgical Errors. Rick Shapiro and James Lewis have been listed among the Best Lawyers in America since 2008. They, along with fellow attorney Randy Appleton, have also been named Virginia Super Lawyers since 2010, an honor fewer than 5 percent of outstanding attorneys receive.


Anesthesiologist, Weight Loss Surgery Ad Company Sued After Death of Lap-Band Patient

The doctors are being accused of failing to meet the standard of care required for patients. The firm 1-800-GET-THIN allegedly misrepresented the quality and safety of the services it promoted.

By John Cooper, Surgical Error Victim’s Attorney

A California health care advertising company called 1-800-GET-THIN is facing a wrongful death lawsuit in the wake of a surgical error that left a 52-year-old Lawndale, CA, woman dead. According to the Los Angeles Times, the woman had been steered by the company to an outpatient clinic where she was promised “‘a higher level of care’ by ‘top-rated surgical specialists.’” What actually happened was that an  anesthesiologist who was under suspension by the California Medical Board left her in the care of an unqualified nurse while she was under anesthesia, and the woman lost her life due to complications from the drugs and gases administered.

The anesthesiologist and surgeon with responsibility for ensuring the woman’s safety as she had the Lap-Band device implanted have also been named as defendants in the suit. The doctors are being accused of failing to meet the standard of care required for patients. The firm 1-800-GET-THIN allegedly misrepresented the quality and safety of the services it promoted.

Often considered a safer alternative to other forms of weight loss surgery such as gastric bypass, receiving a Lap-Band is far from a risk-free procedure. This video explains that Lap-Band surgery puts patients in danger for all the complications possible with other forms of abdominal surgery:

Obesity is without a doubt a significant health problem, and weight loss surgery is a viable option for many men and women who need to lose significant weight in order to reduce their risks for death from heart attacks, strokes, breathing problems, diabetes complications and even infections. However, as my fellow medical malpractice attorneys and I know firsthand, it only takes a seemingly minor act of negligence or inattention for a surgeon, anesthesiologist, surgical nurse or other member of the surgical team to injure or kill a patient on the operating table.

If the allegations made in the California Lap-Band wrongful death suit are true, the deceased woman was the victim of a particularly egregious and avoidable surgical error. The ad company misrepresented the level of care she would receive, and the anesthesiologist should not have been working with patients at all. No one can know how the case will play out, but the company, surgeon and anesthesiologist certainly have serious questions to answer.

EJL

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton is a law firm whose Virginia/Carolina attorneys focus on injury and accident law and have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctor mistakes and nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see for yourself. Though not every case meets our criteria, we offer free initial consultations. Give us a call at (800) 752-0042. If you can’t get through due to high call volume, leave a message so we can return your call. Also be sure to check out our free special report Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider. Our primary office is in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA), but we also have offices in Hampton, VA, and Elizabeth City, North Carolina (NC). Our lawyers hold licenses in VA, NC, South Carolina (SC), West Virginia (WV), Kentucky (KY), Florida (FL) and Washington, DC. Rick Shapiro and James Lewis were included in the 2011 issue of Best Lawyers in America. They, along with fellow attorney John M. Cooper, were also named 2011 Virginia Super Lawyers for Personal Injury Law, an honor which fewer than 5 percent of outstanding lawyers receive. We also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube. Further, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard blogs as pro bono public information services.


Elderly Woman Killed by Nursing Home Neglect

By Shapiro, Lewis, Appleton and Favaloro, Nursing Home Neglect Attorney

We often place our elder loved ones in adult care facilities when we begin to worry that they cannot properly take care of themselves. You worry about them eating right, getting around, keeping themselves occupied, and taking their medications correctly — and you believe that a nursing home can help them stay healthy, safe, and comfortable. However some nursing homes fail at their job.  Such was the case in Iowa (IA).

A Davenport nursing home has been fined by the state of Iowa in connection with the death of an elderly resident, less than two weeks after she and another resident of the Ridgecrest Village home were injured in a traffic accident on Nov. 19.  Our thoughts go out to the family for the tragic and preventable loss of their loved one.

According to the Des Moines Register, the van stopped suddenly in traffic, throwing the two residents out of their wheelchairs and onto the van floor. One was a fragile 97-year-old woman.  The van driver told investigators that he’d failed to buckle their safety belts, although their chairs were securely attached to the van’s floor.  That’s the same as saying the seats in a car are secured but the people in it are not.

It was terribly negligent for the driver to forget to buckle in the elderly pair.

His only job was to safely transport the two and he failed, miserably.  It is also sad that the Iowa Department of Inspection and Appeals only fined the nursing home $10,000 for death of this elderly woman.

The department reported that the woman’s death 12 days later was attributed to congestive heart failure as a result of a broken leg and blood loss.  So in essence this woman spent the last days of her life suffering from a totally preventable injury.

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About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm whose attorneys focus on injury and accident law, and we have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctor mistakes, nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see for yourself. Though not every case meets our criteria, we offer free, initial consultations. Give us a call at (800) 752-0042. If you can’t get through due to high call volume, leave a message and we will return your call promptly. Also be sure to check out our free special report Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider. Our primary office is in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA), but we also have offices in Hampton, VA, and Elizabeth City, North Carolina (NC).  Our lawyers hold licenses in NC, SC, WV, KY, FL and DC. We also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube . Furthermore, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard and Norfolk Injuryboard as pro bono public information services.


$2.3 Million Child Birth Injury Verdict Featured in Legal Publication

By Rick Shapiro, Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Attorney Jim Lewis secured a $2.3 million jury verdict for a young child who suffered a permanent shoulder injury and nerve damage due to the negligent care of a nurse-midwife during child birth. This multimillion dollar verdict was featured in Virginia Lawyers Weekly as one of the largest medical malpractice verdicts of 2010.

Our firm is proud of Jim’s work on this case and the jury verdict since it illustrates our commitment to getting results for our clients.

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm whose attorneys focus on injury and accident law, and we have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctor mistakes, nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see for yourself. Though not every case meets our criteria, we offer free, initial consultations. Give us a call at (800) 752-0042. If you can’t get through due to high call volume, leave a message and we will return your call promptly. Also be sure to check out our free special report Top 10 Tips From a Medical Malpractice Insider. Our primary office is in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA), but we also have offices in Hampton, VA, and Elizabeth City, North Carolina (NC).  Our lawyers hold licenses in NC, SC, WV, KY, FL and DC. We also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube . Furthermore, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard and Norfolk Injuryboard as pro bono public information services.


Geriatric Treatment Center With History of Elder Abuse Petitions for Funding

By Randy Appleton, Nursing Home Neglect Attorney

An elderly treatment facility that received a one out of five rating on care quality, largely for failing to “protect patients from injury and abuse,” lost its certification.  Now that facility wants its funding back.  Find out more.

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm whose attorneys focus on injury and accident law, and we have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving hospital and doctor mistakes, nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see for yourself. Though not every case meets our criteria, we offer free, initial consultations. Give us a call at (800) 752-0042. If you can’t get through due to high call volume, leave a message and we will return your call promptly. Also be sure to check out our free special report Top 10 Tips from a Medical Malpractice Insider. Our primary office is in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA), but we also have offices in Hampton, VA, and Elizabeth City, North Carolina (NC).  Our lawyers hold licenses in NC, SC, WV, KY, FL and DC. We also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube . Furthermore, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard and Norfolk Injuryboard as pro bono public information services.


Death Blamed on Liposuction, Anesthesia Complications Results in $20M Judgment

Even the most routine plastic surgeries carry risks for death. This gives every surgeon, nurse, technician and other member of a plastic surgery team the highest responsibilities to protect patients.

By James Lewis, Medical and Surgical Malpractice Attorney

A Pennsylvania (PA) appeals court on November 14, 2010, upheld a $20 million jury award to the parents of a teenager who died when, according to trial evidence, neither the plastic surgeon performing the procedure nor the assisting anesthesia nurse took appropriate actions when the patient experienced complications.

Amy Fledderman, 18, who lived near Philadelphia, died in the offices of plastic surgeon Richard Glunk and while under the care of nurse Edward DeStefano. The fatal operation took place in 2001. It was not scheduled for a hospital because, according to Fledderman’s parents, Glunk was unlicensed at the time and had lost hospital privileges.

During the liposuction, Fledderman suffered a punctured artery and an adverse reaction to anesthetics. The surgeon and nurse did not send the patient for advanced hospital treatment for several hours. This delay led to Fledderman’s death, a trail jury found in 2008. The verdict upheld last month included $15 million in punitive damages.

This sad case reminds me very much of a recent one involving a young Virginia Beach mother whose family received $1.95 judgment against a plastic surgery practice whose staff was found negligent in treating surgical complications.

Both the local tragedy and the one in Pennsylvania highlight two important lessons. First, plastic surgeries as routine as liposuction, breast augmentation and vein ablation (varicose vein treatment) are all surgeries. They carry serious risks and sometimes result in death.

That lesson highlights and reinforces the second: Surgeons, nurses, technicians and all members of the surgical team have every responsibility to protect patients from injuries before, during and after procedures are performed. When they fail to meet this duty of care, they must be held accountable.

EJL

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm which focuses on injury and accident law and our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases, which includes hospital/doctor mistakes, and nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see for yourself. In addition, check out our FREE special reports on the Top 10 Tips from a Medical Malpractice Insider and the top 5 surgical errors you must know about. Our primary office is in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA); we also have a North Carolina (NC) law office. Our lawyers hold licenses in NC, SC, WV, KY and DC. We are ready to talk to you by phone right now. While we do not accept every case, we provide free initial confidential injury case consultations. So call us toll free at (800) 752-0042. Our injury attorneys also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube . Furthermore, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, Eastern Shore Virginia Injury Attorneys Blog and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as pro bono public information services.


Few to No Savings to Be Found Through Tort Reform

By Richard N. Shapiro, Medical Malpractice Attorney

My colleague Jim Lewis, a specialist in medical malpractice, notes in his latest post to our firm’s Web site blog that reducing patients’ rights to file claims against doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health care practitioners would do little to save health care dollars. Citing data from several analyses — the most recent showing that all money related to malpractice, from insurance and so-called defensive medicine to jury verdicts amounted to just 2.4 percent of U.S. health care spending — Jim concludes that so-called tort reform amounts to nothing more than a limit on patients’ rights to seek just compensation for medical malpractice, errors and negligence.

EJL

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm which focuses on injury and accident law and our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases, which includes hospital/doctor mistakes, and nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see for yourself. In addition, check out our FREE special reports on the Top 10 Tips from a Medical Malpractice Insider and the top 5 surgical errors you must know about. Our primary office is in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA); we also have a North Carolina (NC) law office. Our lawyers hold licenses in NC, SC, WV, KY and DC. We are ready to talk to you by phone right now. While we do not accept every case, we provide free initial confidential injury case consultations. So call us toll free at (800) 752-0042. Our injury attorneys also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube . Furthermore, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, Eastern Shore Virginia Injury Attorneys Blog and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as pro bono public information services.


Let’s Put the Seniors in Jail, and the Criminals in a Nursing Home.

Our elderly are being neglected to the point of death, abused, and humiliated in many nursing homes by the hands of those who are paid to protect them. Do convicted criminals have more rights and protection than our seniors? Find out more.

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm which focuses on injury and accident law and our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases, which includes hospital/doctor mistakes, and nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see for yourself. Though not every case meets our criteria, we offer free, initial consultations so give us a call at 1-800-752-0042. If you can’t get through due to high call volume, please leave a message and we will return your call promptly. Also be sure to check out our free special reports on the Top 10 Tips from a Medical Malpractice Insider and the top 5 surgical errors you must know about. Our primary office in based in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA) and we also have a North Carolina (NC) law office.  Our lawyers hold licenses in NC, SC, WV, KY, FL and DC. Our injury attorneys also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube . Furthermore, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard and Norfolk Injuryboard as a pro bono public information service.


Defensive Medicine, Fact or Fiction?

 By Jim Lewis, Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Virginia

 

Another study has been published that seems to tout the rise of defensive medicine.  But what is the real issue here?

If doctors are overloading patients with unnecessary tests to avoid possible malpractice claims, and driving up the cost of medical care as a result, wouldn’t that be called insurance fraud, instead of defensive medicine?  The reality is that doctors are ordering sophisticated tests and procedures to diagnose complex illnesses, in which case, it is medically necessary and there is no “defensive medicine” at work.

Basically, some doctors may order unnecessary tests for many different reasons.  But, studies show that so-called “defensive medicine” is not a widespread incident. 

How can ordering a sophisticated test that validly avoids preventable diseases, be considered “defensive medicine?”  If your loved one was sick you would want as many tests done as possible until a diagnosis was made.  Defensive medicine is just another buzz word that doctors and insurance companies throw out there to convince the general public that tort reform, legal changes designed to make it more difficult for injured victims to sue those responsible, are needed.

So why would anyone want to limit the rights of a victim?  The people at fault do.  Negligent doctors and insurance companies have created the myth of defensive medicine as a way to convince the public and lawmakers that malpractice suits make health care costly and unaffordable. 

They then try to pass laws to limit the ability of patients who are victims of medical errors to hold doctors and hospitals accountable for their mistakes.  They expect people to believe that “defensive medicine” will go away, if they are not held responsible for their mistakes.  These changes would greatly affect Virginia medical malpractice lawyers, Virginia doctors, and those in Virginia who have suffered from medical malpractice and are seeking compensation.

A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report released October 9, 2009, found that there is no evidence of defensive medicine in private managed care systems. 
The CBO report notes that “Imposing limits on [the right to sue for damages] might be expected to have a negative impact on health outcomes.” CBO cites a study that finds that restricting the right to seek compensation for malpractice would lead to a .2 percent increase in the nation’s overall death rate. That means an additional 48,000 Americans killed and more than 400,000 injured by medical malpractice over the next ten years.

The facts are clear. Limiting or severely restricting the ability to file a claim in court for medical malpractice denies justice to injured individuals while benefiting big corporations’ balance sheets.

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About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm which focuses on injury and accident law and our attorneys have experience handling medical malpractice cases, which includes hospital/doctor mistakes, and nursing home abuse and neglect. Check out our case results to see for yourself. Though not every case meets our criteria, we offer free, initial consultations so give us a call at 1-800-752-0042. If you can’t get through due to high call volume, please leave a message and we will return your call promptly. Also be sure to check out our free special reports on the Top 10 Tips from a Medical Malpractice Insider and the top 5 surgical errors you must know about. Our primary office in based in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA) and we also have a North Carolina (NC) law office.  Our lawyers hold licenses in NC, SC, WV, KY, FL and DC. Our injury attorneys also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube . Furthermore, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard and Norfolk Injuryboard as a pro bono public information service.