Saturday, February 6, 2016

Legal Loophole the size of Kansas

For decades Healthcare records has been one of the only documents who do not bear the burden of "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth".
By federal and state law, these documents are entered into court as evidence as the exception to the hear-say rule. In a nutshell .."If it is not documented, it did not happen,.... If it is documented, it did happen"  all while offering no mechanization to prove either is true. 

Omissions of material fact are commonplace, editing, altering, deleting of records are not uncommon. Is it any wonder botched medical care has become the number three cause of death in America, and many more left crippled for life, . Today less than 1/2 of 1% of victims are ever compensated for pain and suffering, providers are rarely  reprimanded and nothing is learned to keep the same harm from happening to others. The cycle of patient abuse continues over and over.

Informed? Consent?

Today, informed consent is only a passing conversation in many medical schools, often it is simply called "consent the patient", meaning get the signature. Many times that signature is the day of surgery, long after the patient has mentally accepted risks never mentioned.

    For truly informed consent, here are a few things your surgeon would tell you.
    • On average 10% of diagnosis are wrong to start with.
    • Double booking of surgeries is common, meaning your trusted surgeon may not even be in the operating room with you.
    • On average 1 out of 4 patients will experience botched medical care, half of those serious including death.
    • Surgeons are not required to document when they enter or exit your operating room, or if they even did.
    • The odds of any surgeon being held accountable for patient harm or death is near zero.
    • Hospital associations continue to fight patient's requests for elective audio/video of surgery to ensure patients get what they consented to.

    Next week: Altering electronic medical records. 

      Monday, January 12, 2015


      1-12-2015 CMS is terminating its Medicare agreement

      Cameras in operating rooms insure protocols followed    ...NOT IGNORED.
      Citing dozens of deficiencies,  with Yorkville Endoscopy, the surgery center where Joan Rivers stopped breathing. (LINK)

      In a Jan. 9 letter to the surgery center, CMS has determined Yorkville Endoscopy "no longer meets the Conditions for Coverage (CFC) for a supplier of Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) services. Therefore, CMS is terminating the Medicare Health Benefits Agreement between Yorkville Endoscopy and the Secretary, effective January 31, 2015. As of January 31, 2015 Yorkville Endoscopy will no longer be eligible to receive federal funds for services provided to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries." Yorkville has 60 days to appeal the decision.

      In 3 statements of deficiencies (here, here and here), CMS details numerous shortcomings, including failures to

      ensure that post-anesthesia evaluations for all patients are completed and documented by the anesthesiologist before patients are discharged;
      develop and carry out a quality-improvement program;
      ensure that all equipment is maintained and operated according to manufacturers' recommendations and federal guidelines;
      post a written notice of patient rights in a conspicuous place and make patient rights clear to non-English speaking patients;
      adequately investigate and address patient grievances; and
      adequately protect patient confidentiality.

      CMS also cited the clinic for inadequate fire protection and alarms, and improper oxygen tank storage.

      Sunday, January 11, 2015


      Radiology technician qualifications state by state.  Vary from, fogging mirror with your breath, to strict certifications... 

       No way for the public to know, and they are certainly not told.American Association of Radiology Technologists

      Misdiagnosis is Pervasive in Healthcare and Radiology is Part of the Problem 
      Imaging touches nearly every patient and disease category at hospitals today and is a big part of the diagnostic process. And despite its critical role in the patient care continuum, radiology lags substantially behind other healthcare practices in terms of quality standards 

      2013 North Carolina is one of five states with no radiologic technologist licensure requirements, but Brenda Greenberg, RT(R)(CT), chair of the North Carolina Society of Radiologic Technologists (NCSRT) board of directors, intends to make a change.

      Most of the larger North Carolina teaching hospitals have registered technologists on staff, a situation that Greenberg says is mostly due to reimbursement requirements
      “However, if you go to specialty clinics such as chiropractic, podiatry, or even dental offices, you don’t know if that person has a consistent educational background, or any clinical competencies whatsoever,” she says. “In many places, they have secretaries taking these images.” 

      2015, diagnosis huge problem, radiology huge problem... hodgepodge of qualifications for radiology healthcare providers~?
      This is just intentional stupidity 

      Saturday, January 10, 2015


      We all remember the 60 Minutes scandal over falsified cancer research dubbed "The largest scandal ever". But now there is more to the story.. a high ranking cover-up

      Jan 9 2005  link to story Duke Officials Silenced Med Student  Who Reported Trouble in Anil Potti's Lab

      Documents obtained by The Cancer Letter show that Duke’s deans were warned about Potti’s misconduct in late March and early April 2008, at the time when clinical trials of the now discredited Duke genomic technology were getting started.

      The three-page document was penned by Bradford Perez, then a third-year medical student and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute scholar.
      The Perez memo and internal emails that are being published here for the first time directly contradict the claims made by Duke officials that they had received no whistleblower reports.

      Duke officials said they were blindsided by the events that reached a crescendo in 2010, more than two years after the Perez memo, following The Cancer Letter’s reporting that Potti had misrepresented his credentials, claiming, among other things, to have been a Rhodes Scholar (The Cancer Letter, July 16, 2010).

      The medical student’s memo, titled Research Concerns, is a key element in a lawsuit filed on behalf of the patients who were enrolled in the three Duke clinical trials testing the discoveries from the program run by Nevins and Potti. Altogether, 117 patients were enrolled in the trials.

      In addition to claiming harm, the patients’ lawsuit alleges that Duke officials engaged in a civil conspiracy. The case is expected to go to trial at the Durham County Superior Court on Jan. 26..

      Tuesday, January 6, 2015

      Misdiagnosis, don't document it, it never happened right?

      Millions of people are subjected to hospital infections and dangerous procedures for conditions they don't even have. But always pay for.. sometimes with their lives.
      If physicians' diagnostic accuracy were like air travel, one in 20 planes would not land when or where it should, and one in 40 flights would put passengers at risk of significant harm, or even crash.
       Diagnostic errors. In addition to the severe issues they cause patients, diagnostic errors are the most common....Frank Seidelmann, DO, co-founder, chairman and CMO of Radisphere, a national radiology practice, says diagnostic errors are largely an issue in radiology due to substandard operating models. "To date, there is still no established set of standard best practices that radiologists, patients, health systems and payers can use to gauge the quality of radiology services," Dr. Seidelmann says. "What is needed, at the very least, is a better clinical operating system that ensures routing of images to the right subspecialty and a consistent practice of blinded peer reviews. This will significantly increase quality of care, reduce costs and enable radiologists to practice at the top of their license."
      Cheating on radiology exams: For years, doctors around the country taking an exam to become board certified in radiology have cheated by memorizing test questions, creating sophisticated banks of what are known as "recalls," a CNN investigation has found.

      Those are estimations from an April 2014 report from Houston Veterans Affairs and Baylor College of Medicine researcher Hardeep Singh, MD, and colleagues who say that 12 million U.S. outpatient adults may be given incorrect or delayed diagnoses every year. Singh says reducing misdiagnosis must be a major quality focus for 2015 because providers and patients should not tolerate error rates this high.

      This casts a huge problem for the integrity (admissibility in court) of operative records (legal business records), especially when harm or death is the outcome

      Ghost Surgeries the common deception

      Some patients painstakingly vet their surgeons to find a highly skilled professional to perform their operation, only to discover later that they didn't get the person they wanted or expected.

      A different physician can step in for many reasons, not all good..
      It's not clear how often such "ghost surgeries" occur, because they are not tracked or studied. But lawsuits provide a glimpse into the allegations of unhappy patients who had bad outcomes, started to look into what went wrong, and learned they were mistaken about which doctor performed the procedure.

      Ghost Surgery Legal Definition: "To have another physician operate on one's patient without the patient's knowledge and consent is a deceit. The patient is entitled to choose his own physician and he should be permitted to acquiesce in or refuse to accept the substitution. The surgeon's obligation to the patient requires him to perform the surgical operation: (see more)

      "We can go into the operating room, be sedated and have a different person we know nothing about cut into our bodies," said Dr. Julia Hallisy, a dentist who is president of The Empowered Patient Coalition, based in San Francisco. "It's alarming and disconcerting on so many levels, not just from a medical or legal standpoint, but from a trust and ethical standpoint."

      1996 Journal of Health Law. Surgery by an Unauthorized Surgeon as a Battery Thomas Lundmark

      House Bill 742 Introduced by Honorable Leuis R. Villafuerte Ghost Surgeries.
      This practice has become prevalent in many hospitals .. the grave consequences of this unethical practice are addressed in this bill.

      Monday, January 5, 2015

      We don't count screw-ups so we cant report them ...right?

      Don't document mistakes of any kind.. they never happened!

      2012 Propublica article points to a review of medical records by the U.S. Health and Human Services Department’s inspector general found that in a single month one in seven Medicare patients was harmed in the hospital, or roughly 134,000 people.
      “An estimated 1.5 percent of Medicare beneficiaries experienced an event that contributed to their deaths,” the IG found, “which projects to 15,000 patients in a single month.”
      “You really can’t improve what you don’t measure,” said Dr. Julia Hallisy, president of the Empowered Patient Coalition. “How do you know where to focus your improvement efforts if you haven’t measured what’s happening in the first place?”