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Many Republications believe a malpractice crisis is threatening health care in the United States.  However, experts say this is not the case and that there has been no such “crisis” in more than 10 years.  “It’s a wonderful time for doctors looking for coverage and it’s never been better for insurers,” said Michael Matray, editor of Medical Liability Monitor, a trade publication. Doctors are, in fact, paying less for malpractice insurance than they did in 2001 — without any inflation adjustment and the rate of claims has dropped by half since 2003.

Despite these facts, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Rep. Tom Price, the incoming Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, want to boldly reform the malpractice system, saying hundreds of billions are wasted on “lawsuit abuse” and defensive medicine.

As top Republicans see it, frivolous lawsuits are driving up malpractice insurance premiums and forcing physicians out of business.  They claim doctors and hospitals live in fear of litigation, ordering excessive tests and treatments that make health care unaffordable for Americans.  In order to lower insurance premiums and costs, proponents of Tort Reform want to set caps on the amount an injured patient is able to recover if they are successful in a medical malpractice case.  This means that no matter how badly a patient is hurt, or even if the patient dies because of medical malpractice, the plaintiff could only recover a limited amount of money, which in many cases does not fully compensate them for their injuries.TR-stethscope-300x207

More than 30 states across America have some form of cap on damages in malpractice lawsuits to control litigation and awards with helping to contain costs.

As we wrote here last July, “(Here in Indiana) Governor Pence signed a bill approving an increase to the state’s cap on medical malpractice damages.  The new law would raise the cap to $1.65 million in 2017 and $1.8 million in 2019. Indiana’s new law continues to cover both economic and non-economic damages.”

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If you have had heart surgery between 2010 to 2016, you may be at risk of a life-threatening infection linked to a medical device used during your procedure.  The device is the Stockert 3T heater-cooler which is commonly used to heat and cool a patient’s blood during the operation.

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Before you panic, government health officials say the risk of infection is generally very low and is not contagious.

Still, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Centers for Disease Control have received at least 91 reports of patients who developed a nontuberculous mycobacterium (NTM) infection linked to the heater-coolers. Worldwide, the infections have resulted in at least 12 patient deaths, according to the FDA.  A total of about 600,000 patients in the United States who have had heart operations involving the machines are at risk.

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You think you’re doing the right thing.  You head for the emergency room after your son twists his leg badly while playing football.  You want to find out the extent of the damage.  You checked and found out that this hospital facility is within your health insurance network and are convinced you will have coverage.

Later you are surprised when you get a bill for close to $1,000 and you find out that the doctor who treated your son wasn’t in the network.

busy hospitalA new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine finds that, across the country, 22 percent of people visiting in-network emergency rooms have to deal with bills from out-of-network doctors.

“It’s crazy,” Zach Cooper, assistant professor of public health and of economics at Yale University, who led the study, told NBC News.

“You, as the patient, have absolutely done the right thing. You’ve gone to an in-network hospital, and a doctor who you didn’t choose, who you couldn’t avoid, ends up not being a member of your network and weeks later sends you a bill for tens of thousands of dollars that you’re on the hook to pay.”

“We believe the best solution would be for states to require hospitals to sell a bundled [ER] care package that includes both facility and professional fees,” Cooper writes in his report, published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Continue reading →

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TakataSince February of this year (2016) we have written several articles about the faulty Takata airbags.   The inflators in these Takata airbags are in danger of rupture and around 69 million of them have been recalled worldwide.  Takata airbags have now killed 16 people internationally and 11 in the United States. Thousands more have been injured. We wonder how many people will have to die before this crisis is fully resolved. 

 

With the most recent death being a California woman in early November (2016), reports say that owners of more than 300,000 Hondas have yet to get their airbags repaired, despite warnings from the automaker and regulators that the inflators have an extremely high chance of rupturing and causing injury or even death.

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In an article published here on September 12th, we reported on a claim that Indianapolis Fertility Doctor may have used his own sperm to impregnate patients.

On November 22 WTHR Channel 13 in Indianapolis has broadcast a follow-up report.  The following transcript of the report is courtesy of WTHR News.

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) – Three Indianapolis area mothers and their children are speaking out as a unified front about their fertility doctor’s alleged betrayal.

“It’s devastating. It’s changed my entire life. I’ve cried every day for the past two months,” Julie Manes said. Manes is one of a dozen people who are named in court documents as being the biological child of Indianapolis fertility doctor Donald Cline.tr dr cline

Manes received her DNA test results in mid-October. She has since met others who claim the same.

“To know that a doctor took advantage of that situation is unimaginable,” said Cline’s reported biological son, Matt White. “It’s wrong on so many different levels.” White also recently discovered his connection to Cline.

Another one of Cline’s biological daughters is Jacoba Ballard. It’s been an emotional roller coaster for her entire family, too.

“I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy,” Ballard said. “Never. Never.”

 

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With winter snow and ice now in season, accident rates go up.  Second only to motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall accidents account for 15% of all accidental deaths in the United States.    

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Some of these accidents just happen.  It goes with the season.  Frankly, you just have to be careful.  Far too many others are caused by negligence  on both commercial and residential property.  This results in sprains and broken bones but slip and fall accidents are also one of the leading causes of concussion.   You can be liable whether you are a homeowner or have a business if you don’t take the proper steps to keep your property free of snow, ice and wet floors.

 

 

If you are a victim of a fall that you believe was caused by the irresponsibility of another, contact Theodoros & Rooth.  We will carefully listen to your circumstances, and advise you on whether or not we believe you have a case.  If so, we will aggressively go after those who caused your injury and seek the fair compensation you deserve. 

 

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According to an article in the AARP Bulletin, there are 12 different ways the health care system may be hurting you.

We’ve mentioned this statistic in a previous article here:  A study earlier this year by Johns Hopkins University found that more than 250,000 deaths per year by the health system in America.  That makes it the 3rd leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer.  Everyone agrees, this is a serious problem.

This AARP article discusses what it calls “the dirty dozen: 12 sources of harm that plague the American Health System.”

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You would think that having a dangerous job would almost be worth it because the pay would certainly be commensurate with the risks involved.  Wrong. The employment site known as  CareerCast recently compiled the 2016 list of the safest and most dangerous jobs out there.  Actually, the average salary for a position on the safest list is $69,408, while annual pay for those jobs on the most dangerous list is $45,273.

We can understand if you’re thinking, something’s wrong with this picture. 

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Here are some details on some of the most dangerous jobs out there, according to the study. Some of these will come as no surprise.

 

 

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On Friday, October 7th and Saturday, October 8th, the attorneys at Theodoros & Rooth, spent time meeting with clients who have been affected by the lead contamination in the West Calumet neighborhood in East Chicago. Theodoros & Rooth, Cohen & Malad and The Pardieck Law Firm partnered with Bishop Grant at the Greater First Church in East Chicago to provide clients with a convenient local meeting place, an opportunity to meet with their attorneys and to have their children’s blood lead levels checked by a venous blood draw performed by a third party non-governmental health service.

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All residents of the West Calumet neighborhood are being forced to move. You can help the residents in the West Calumet neighborhood by collecting moving supplies, including: boxes, garbage bags, bubble wrap, newspaper and packing tape. Supplies can be dropped off at Theodoros & Rooth.