Articles Posted in Medical Resources

On June 15, 2010 I reported that SVMIC, the bedpan mutual that insures the vast majority of Tennessee doctors,  reduced its rates by 23.1% .  I also reported that  the company declared a $20,000,000 dividend.  The net effect of the dividend means that policyholders with a history of no paid claims will receive another 8% reduction (or so) in rates effective May 15, 2010.

How can SVMIC cut rates so dramatically while paying the highest dividend it has paid in years?   There are two reasons.   First, as a result of the tort reform passed effective October 1, 2008 (revised effective July 1, 2009) claims have decreased substantially.   Fewer claims means reduced claims handling costs, defense fees, court reporter and other litigation fees, and claims payments.  Since the law permits insurers to "write off" reserves as they are established, fewer claims means that reserves are lower than these would have otherwise been had there been more claims.   A decrease in the need to set aside money in reserves for these "absent" claims increases net income.

And how it has increased.   In 2009, SVMIC had a net income (after taxes) of a whopping  $71, 968,000, an increase of over 100% from a year earlier.  

"Pressure Ulcers in the Surgical Patient" is a 38-page study guide prepared for health care providers prepared on behalf of Kimberly-Clark Health Care Education.  Although the article focuses on pressure sores and burns that arise in the care of treatment of surgical patients, the information will be helpful to anyone who is handling a pressure ulcer case.

Today’s Wall Street Journal has a fascinating article about a California program that helps determine if physicians who have been disciplined can start practicing again.  The goal of PACE (Physician Assessment and Clinical Education Program) is "

to evaluate the competence of troubled doctors whose infractions range from serious medical error and negligence to sloppy record keeping and anger management. Using a mix of computer-based simulations, multiple-choice exams, cognitive-function screenings and hands-on observation, PACE faculty and staff tests doctors’ knowledge, skills and judgment, providing remedial courses and a weeklong mini-residency supervised by UCSD medical faculty.

The article also states that

Two common conditions caused by hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) killed 48,000 people and ramped up health care costs by $8.1 billion in 2006 alone, according to a study released yesterday in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Here is an excerpt from a summary of the study as reported at www.extendingthecure.com: 

The researchers looked at infections that developed after hospitalization. They zeroed in on infections that are often preventable, like a serious bloodstream infection that occurs because of a lapse in sterile technique during surgery, and discovered that the cost of such infections can be quite high: For example, people who developed sepsis after surgery stayed in the hospital 11 days longer and the infections cost an extra $33,000 to treat per person.

Here is a list of medical sites created by  from Exposing Deceptive Defense Doctors by Dorothy Sims as posted here.

 

*www.nlm.nih.gov/

This is the National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health, with a great search site.

A publication of The Doctors Company ("We were founded by doctors, for doctors.") lists 39 ways  for doctors to get sued for for not diagnosing breast cancer or not properly treating it when it has been diagnosed.    Here it is.

An excerpt:

Ways to Get Sued for Breast Cancer Involving the History and Physical Examination

IME.   Independent Medical Exam.  And just how independent is the so-called IME?  The New York Times has looked behind the curtain in New York, and it doesn’t like what it saw.

Here is an excerpt:  "’If you did a truly pure report,” [the IME doctor] said later in an interview, “you’d be out on your ears and the insurers wouldn’t pay for it. You have to give them what they want, or you’re in Florida. That’s the game, baby.’”

Here is the article.

Many Americans are frustrated by the our health care system but quickly declare it to be the best in the world. 

A new study challenges that belief, pointing out that "the U.S. spends twice per capita what other major industrialized countries spend on health care, and costs continue to rise faster than income" and yet "the U.S. achieves an overall score of 65 out of a possible 100 when comparing national averages with U.S. and international performance benchmarks."

This is  an excerpt from the executive summary of the report in the issue of quality: