It’s truly no secret that hospitals often overcharge for trivial items (such as tissue paper). Ponzi and I have heard that from a few people we know inside the medical industry (then again, on the radio last week). Plus, some doctors pay less attention to Medicare patients because they won’t bring in as much money as a patient who, say, isn’t on Medicare. This system, too, is broken.
But what happens when your doctor does something wrong? What else can you do insetaed from suiing for malpractice?
That depends entirely upon what “wrong” is and how negligent the establishment has been. Many hospitals and private doctors are also for-profit businesses so you can talk to the Better Business Bureau or your State’s Attorney General. If this issue is with a specific physician you may write a letter to whatever relevant licensing boards are involved including the AMA.
Depending on the deed, you could also report them to the regulatory agency that governs licensing of medical practices and doctors.
I agree with both of the previous answers. More detail is needed in your question. If you are referring to the behavior of a specific physician in a hospital or practice, you could approach the controlling parties (assuming they are separate) or any internal oversight department within that establishment with your grievance and try to work it out there. If your grievance is not addressed there to your satisfaction, you could then seek out regulatory and licensing authorities in your state and seek disciplinary measures against the offending party. In the event proper measures were not taken by any management or internal oversight authority at the establishment level, you could then tack the potentially negligent establishment into your grievance. . You could also look into filing a complaint about the establishment with any state, regional, or peer agencies that perform recurring inspection or accreditation of the establishment, and any other third party agencies (e.g. the Better Business Bureau or a medical advocacy group) that could attempt to facilitate a resolution on your behalf. Your first step should be to seek the advice of a competent malpractice attorney or at the very minimum, an experienced advocate on medical issues, to get a full assessment of your situation before endeavoring to do any of the above on your own. Best wishes in obtaining a satisfactory resolution.
Great advice so far . . . At the risk of sounding like a whiner, my advice is to complain. Complain to the doctor(s), their supervisor/manager, and go all the way up if necessary. If the medical establishment is a large hospital, take it to the office of the CEO. Document all of your communications–written, or verbal–be sure to include who you spoke to, their title, and the date. Also, you can take your complaint to the BBB or to your state’s Attorney General. I’ve got a great document laying around here somewhere on how to “stop whining and start complaining.” Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll get you a copy.
- Contact the board that licenses the establishment
- Contact local newspaper and TV
- If narcotic drugs were evolved, contact DEA
- Contact the accreditation organization. For hospitals it is the Joint Commission on Accreditation Hospitals.
However do not expect much.
What is your intent and motives? If it is retribution, many of the existing comments are fine. If your intent is to help the establishment, and help ensure the problem is fixed, a lawsuit might help, but probably isn’t the best answer.
I met an acquaintance whose son was given the wrong medication, and it almost cost his son’s life. After his son recovered, he used the threat of a lawsuit to force a discussion with the hospital about what could have been done to prevent this from happening. From the discussions, the hospital decided to invest in a bar-coding system that prevented future mistakes.
The cost of the lawsuit, versus the cost of the preventative measure was probably about the same, but I don’t think a lawsuit would have had the same long lasting effect, or prevented as many future mistakes.
“Sue, sue – yeah, I’m gonna sue! Sue, sue – yeah, that’s what I’m gonna do!”