Medical Malpractice the Vicious Circle of Attorneys, Gov Agencies, and Risk Management
Remember Why They Get Paid
Dealing With Risk Management
If you or a loved one have ever tried or are dealing with a negligence or medical malpractice claim on your own, this article is a MUST READ as to what you may encounter. I promise it will make your head spin!
Dealing With Risk Management
Most of us are aware that the federal government is to not only trying to limit medical malpractice claims but show health practitioners that settling claims in a timely manner before a suit is filed by a lawyer, that it will benefit them monetarily and prevent disciplinary actions from the medical board and DOH (Dept. of Health). This was made very apparent when they gave 3 million dollars, that’s right $3,000,000.00, to three New York hospitals to help research and training to do this. Just a thought but how about seeing where the most negligence is being made and train them not to do that. Although I can’t help but think of the vaccinations for children and health care so desperately needed for others who don’t qualify for government funding, as to how far that 3 mill would have gone, I try to understand their mission, ( not an easy task).
So one would assume that Risk Management for health facilities and practitioners would begin trying to pursue this venue. I assure you that is not the case at all. To the contrary I think it has pretty much turned into a blame game for all concerned. The doctors blame it on the hospital, the hospital blames it on the doctors, and bingo they all decide that they’re in the right. Even if you should have one who states, “In retrospect I can see” (can’t go on due to legal issues) I assure you that handing out any funds to correct the error is probably not going to happen. Then if you ask for a letter with them stating why they feel they are not at fault you probably won’t get that either. AAAAHHHHHH! Remember they get paid NOT to give you money and try to find a reason or excuse they are not at fault. So beware when they want that “meeting to see if we can help you”, it’s a fact mission before you’ve gotten legal advice. NEVER GO ALONE if you do go.
We All Make Mistakes Some Just Affect Us More Than Others
If YouThink Filing A Complaint With The DOH or ACHA In Your State Will Be Quick And Easy Think Again.
First off according to the Florida Dept of Health here are just a few things you will need “according to their list” abbreviated, and the cost of those items.
1) A signed written complaint/report using their form if you choose providing dates and details (ok that’s pretty easy especially if you’re a detail/date type individual)
2) Be specific and include copies of pertinent medical records, correspondence, contracts, and any other documents that will help support your complaint. (Alright my complaint was against 5 doctors, and another practitioner. If I had not had a little medical background so I knew what portion of the records I needed, the hospital records alone would have been over $200.00. Most people especially in this economy and dealing with a med mal claim don’t have that kind of money! This doesn‘t include office visits etc.) The sad portion of this is if they think there is negligence they are going to send for ALL THE PERTINENT records anyway
3) A medical release form notarized to be able to obtain these records. (Another $5-20 dollars)
There is more but you get my point. The average person who has no medical background is not going to know specifics, they are just going to know that something went wrong!
This Is Where The Spin Begins
This is the part that will make your HEAD SPIN. Being well over 50, this is the second time unfortunately that I have had to deal with the Fl DOH Once for my dad over seven years ago and again recently within the last year.
Here is what happened then and so far in the investigation now.
2003 - I filed 3 complaints in reference to a doctor and health practitioners that had taken care of my dad. (To read the full story go to A Tribute) The first 2 contained no copies of records just details of what had happened. Both times they sent me a letter stating nothing had happened that was negligent or that was in their eyes a lack of a “standard of care”. The third complaint I sent records, copies of PDR’s, copies of books required by colleges for different medical degrees, etc. They returned with 17 pages of violations and later found the doctor guilty of failure to document and provide a standard of care. I felt peace for the first time in ages. Then 7 years later they found paperwork after another complaint was filed against the same doctor, (which according to them had gone UNNOTICED FOR SEVEN YEARS in the investigative office) the case went back in front of the board and they found him not guilty of both actions. WOW
2011-OK so you can see why I would probably be a little leery of doing this process again but needed to continue my mission at this point. So I did all my homework got all my documentation, was specific, and sent it all to Tallahassee. First it went to one investigator, who sent it to a consultant, who then sent it to a field investigator. Well somehow one of the complaints against the doctors was not on the computer (which I was ok with) because they had put them all together even though they had separate actions.
THEN the investigation was at a point where they send me a letter stating there is an investigation in progress. So I go to the mailbox grab the letter that is addressed to me, stating CONFIDENTIAL, PERSONNEL, TO BE OPENED BY ADDRESSEE ONLY all over it, to low and behold open it and find it is from a different investigator, about a person I have no knowledge of, and a doctor he has filed a complaint about that I have not ever seen and is located in a county not even close to me. SO where is my letter I asked and all the PERSONNEL, CONFIDENTIAL information in reference to my complaint. That I guess I will never know for sure and now I’m being asked to sign a confidentiality agreement so as not to divulge any information from the other letter
So if after all of this your having a few indecisive moments, I assure you it’s ok, and even with all of this I would still recommend filing a complaint HOWEVER do yourself a favor and consult with someone with a medical or legal background first!
Keep Your Money In Your Pocket and Get Some Help
Hiring An Attorney/Lawyer Easy Right OOOOPS Wrong Again
One would think that hiring a lawyer would be an easy thing to do considering most personnel injury and medical malpractice attorneys have the same contingency fees, costs, etc., but that is far from the case.
Do your homework unfortunately I have friends who and I have dealt with some attorneys (well not really the attorney because you rarely if ever talk to them) that I would never recommend or refer in my lifetime. One that a friend of mine hired held on to her case for a year, after pictures statements, etc. only to drop the case! She hired someone else and did fine, but you get the point Google complaints and if your still interested call them and ask them “Hey what about this?” If you think they are honest and up front go for it, if you think they are full of hog wash (lack of a better term) then find someone else. I actually did that and found one that I think is one of the best.
There are 2 in Florida (well 3 but one doesn’t deal with these cases) that I would stand behind 200% and if you ever should have a problem let me know because I will be on the phone and as you can probably tell by now I always speak my mind and never beat around the bush.
#1) Mr. Doug Burnetti of Burnetti PA
Lakeland, Tampa Fl
This firm along with it’s staff was there when I needed them the most and never let me down. I was a basket case and the support they gave will stay with me a lifetime. Thanks again for everything
#2) Mr. Anthony Fantauzzi III of John Bales Attorney
Lakeland, Tampa Fl
It takes a special kind of lawyer to listen to me vent when I’m so frustrated I want to throw in the towel, yet he listened to me for almost an hour never complaining or trying to make an excuse to get off the phone. Juanita and Frank you guys are the bomb and I have yet to be put through to voice mail!! (Even when I said voice mail is ok) That’s like a wow factor all in itself
Get Some Help This Is Your Life, Money, and Families Future Your Dealing With
In these trying times it is hard enough just to keep your head a float, let alone deal with all the medical and legal documents, jargon, and people who will make you think they have your best interest at heart, but are all the while just waiting for those few simple words they can turn around on you to make it a $0 claim for them.
So do your homework and beware of the 1-800 call Bubba commercials You need someone you can trust and confide in, not just someone who is willing to pay a bigger referral fee.
Good Luck in whatever you decide and have an incredible journey.