Mom's not a fan of government healthcare. Too bad nobody told her....

Discussion in 'Politics' started by asterism, Mar 31, 2011.

  1. asterism
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    asterism Congress != Progress

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    So my mom went to what she was told was "the premiere cancer center in Florida" by her oncologist. It was the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. Long story short, this new "robotic surgery" was said to be low risk and excellent for her cancer. It turns out that wasn't the case for her. The surgeon missed the point of entry and given no direct sight nor direct control of the scalpel nicked her stomach and punctured her diaphragm. That set in a cataclysmic state of events which almost killed her.

    Her stomach was sucked into her thoracic cavity which allowed the toxic bile to not only infect her abdomen but also her lungs and heart. As a result, she was septic for about 3 months and spent another 4 months still in the ICU recovering. A year later, the cancer is back but she's still so weak from the first ordeal that it's automatically terminal.

    Obviously, a lawyer or two have been called. Sometime last February we were informed that Moffitt is a government hostpital, subject to a certain special clause called "sovereign immunity."

    Section 768.28, Florida Statutes 2009

    Basically it says that malpractice liability is limited to a low amount, and then the insurance provider (Medicare) gets to recoup their costs first in the event of a settlement. The surgeon has no liability. The company that developed the robotic surgery technique and equipment has no liability. This was not considered "experimental," it was recommended by 5 different entities as the "safest option." It wasn't until this month that Moffitt actually acknowledged that they are indeed a government hospital (Mom and Dad still had to pay the co-pays and deductibles). They claimed they were a non-profit until this month.


    So here's the summary:

    Surgeons aren't liable for mistakes.
    You still have to pay for crappy care.
    The government has no liability.
    Hospitals don't have to tell you that they are government hospitals.

    Wonderful.
     
  2. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    I'm so sorry for your mom and your family. That's awful. I do hope she recovers fully, but I know how hard that would be.

    I'm very grateful that my parents had back up for Medicare, they both lived into their 80's. While the supplemental insurance was expensive, whenever there was a need for getting to the best hospitals and doctors, money wasn't an issue. None of them covered 'home care' which was what my folks chose for my mom. That cost nearly $700k over the 3+ years she was at home, but still would have been less than if in nursing home for the same period. Many of the things we had to pay for would have been covered if we'd 'put her in home.'
     
  3. The Rabbi
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    The Rabbi Diamond Member

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    Remember the phrase "Accidents do happen"? Well it happened. An accident is not a jackpot drawing on the lottery. Your mom signed about a million waivers and disclosures before the procedure.
    Despite best efforts, sometimes operations don't go just right and/or the patient just doesnt do well. That's life. Nothing is guaranteed.
     
  4. asterism
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    asterism Congress != Progress

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    It wasn't a million, it was five. None of them limited liability. We've had a year and plenty of attorneys to go over this.

    Mom never signed a waiver limiting liability, which was why she got an official letter declaring "sovereign immunity." Up until then, the path and points were directed along the "non-profit" route. There's now a case (according to the lawyer, if Dad decides to pursue it) about how nowhere in any of the paperwork was any disclosure about the fact that Moffitt Cancer Center is indeed a government hospital. A settlement is now being considered according to their attorneys, they don't want the public to hear about his case and hear about how paying to go to Moffitt ends up being the same thing as a "government hospital." They really want to hide this.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2011
  5. asterism
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    asterism Congress != Progress

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    Mom and Dad had a backup also, and that's why they chose Moffitt over Shands (an actual government hospital).
     
  6. Bill Angel
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    Bill Angel Gold Member

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