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“Health Insurance” Not Necessarily Good For Patients’ Health

Posted by Andrew J. Barovick | Nov 19, 2014 | 0 Comments

According to the Hippocratic Oath, a doctor must first do no harm.  But the influence of health insurance companies on modern doctors raises the question of exactly who doctors are bent on not harming: their patients, or their corporate benefactors.  This subject was the topic of a recent, disturbing op-ed piece in the NY Times, which is entitled “How Medical Care Is Being Corrupted.”  The authors, both Harvard physicians, warn that:”Insurers, hospital networks and regulatory groups have put in place both rewards and punishments that can powerfully influence your doctor's decisions”. And their warning is about doctors' decisions that negatively impact patient care.

Moving to the courtroom setting, TortsProf Blog reports on a trend in medical malpractice trials in which informed consent is not included among the plaintiff's claims. As Professor Chris Robinette points out, plaintiff's lawyers are concerned that injecting the consent form into the trial when it is not an issue can prejudice a jury against their clients, if defense lawyers suggest that consent to the procedure equals consent to risks caused by negligence.  To date, seven jurisdictions have adopted a ban on evidence of informed consent in medical malpractice trials that do not include informed consent claims, according to Professor Robinette. His home territory of Pennsylvania may become the eighth.

And Dr. Willy Burgdorfer, who found the bacteria that causes Lyme disease , has died at age 89.

About the Author

Andrew J. Barovick

Mr. Barovick is a graduate of Columbia College and Cardozo School of Law. He began his legal career at the Queens District Attorney’s Office, where he tried over 20 felonies to verdict, and argued an equal number of appeals before the Appellate Division, Second Department, the New York Court of Appeals and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

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REPRESENTATIVE VERDICTS & SETTLEMENTS:

$7.9 million dollars for infant client who suffered severe brain injuries due to post- delivery medical malpractice.

$500,000 wrongful death/medical malpractice settlement on behalf of patient brought to hospital emergency room with serious injuries who suffered complications while unmonitored and died.

$425,000 wrongful death/medical malpractice settlement during trial on behalf of senior hospital patient whose surgeon failed to timely address her worsening symptoms, resulting in her death.

$250,000 to young man whose physician failed to diagnose an impending torsion testicle, causing the loss of the affected testicle.

$200,000 to young mother whose OB/GYN failed to timely diagnose and treat her ectopic pregnancy, resulting in excruciating, long-term pain and the need for surgery to address the ectopic pregnancy once it was diagnosed.

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