It’s All Excessive Medical Care In Hindsight « The Central Line

It’s All Excessive Medical Care In Hindsight « The Central Line

Wow.  Very nice rant from Graham.  Another ED basher gets is head handed to him.


  1. I love guys like that.

    I wouldn’t roll into his office and give him a ration of sh*t about the colonoscopy he perfed… yet he’s going to whip out the ERs-waste-so-much-money-it’s-pathetic canard? When every single post-colonoscopy-pain that rolls in the door gets a CT at the GI docs’ near-universal insistence?

    Seems to me that defensive medicine knife cuts both ways.

  2. It shouldn’t matter where Grunt is in Texas. Since they got tort reform, they don’t practice any defensive medicine anymore. Same with California and Missouri and some other states. This is really only an issue in non-caps states.

  3. Is that not one of the reasons stated that we need “reform”? So we can save hundreds of millions, if not billions, in defensive medicine? Surely you read your own lobbyists press releases.

    After several years and even decades of “reform”, health care in Texas and California and other states that let lobbyists decide the value of cases regardless of merit is much cheaper since the physicians no longer practice defensive medicine. Isn’t it? I mean, other than in McAllen? Plus, those states are at the top of the list for physicians per capita, aren’t they?

    Please don’t tell me you lied to the public. I would be SHOCKED!

  4. Never failing to amuse, Matt.

  5. It’s not really funny for the victims of malpractice, though. But the insurers laugh all the way to the bank, so that’s good.

  6. Aah, but you’re leaving out a crucial part of your righteous indignation: you only really care about malpractice cases where you can win a big fortune (which hasn’t changed since before tort reform passed). So, spare me your holier than thou shtick. It hasn’t flown here before, and won’t again.

    But thanks for the chuckles.

  7. “you only really care about malpractice cases where you can win a big fortune (which hasn’t changed since before tort reform passed).”

    Still making stuff up to justify working for the insurers, eh? In fact, if you’re not a wage earner, and have the misfortune of being an elderly person or a child and the victim of malpractice, you really don’t have a financially viable case with a noneconomic cap of $250,000. What incentive do you as the victim have to pursue it? Financially, it makes no sense – you’re better off to just let us taxpayers pay your tab going forward. So the costs of malpractice are not on the responsible party or their insurer, they’re on the public.

    Ironically, of the two malpractice cases I’ve handled, one of them only settled for $40,000. Yes, HUGE money!

    The truth is, and you know this, that all your claims about the benefit of tort reform were untrue. There are no savings for the consumer. There aren’t more physicians (Texas is still in the bottom 20% per capita, Mississippi is next to last still). It sounds good, but it’s just marketing BS. But I will admit, it’s a hell of a well funded marketing campaign. Of course, funded by the tobacco industry and the insurance industry, it’s bound to be good advertising. You’re in good hands with Allstate, after all.

    It’s not holier than thou, it’s just unjust to arbitrarily cap the value of a case without regard to the evidence or merit. You can disagree though. Hey, maybe you even think that’s funny. Either way, single payer will render this all moot. In fact, it will render almost all personal injury cases for those who don’t have economic damages moot.

    Physicians will still be sanctioned for malpractice though, and probably with greater frequency. It just will be some federal agency doing it. I wonder if they’ll be as forgiving as a jury?

    Back to your original post, though. How much cheaper is healthcare in Texas since you’ve had tort reform. I take it you’ve stopped doing all those CYA tests you were doing before because you were scared of lawsuits?

  8. I work for myself. You’re the one preoccupied with insurers.

    And because you settled for 40K, doesn’t mean you thought that’s all you’d get, does it? (And how much did the aggrieved get out that?). More smoke for your mirrors.

    Texas has more docs, BTW. Remember all the stories of the backlogs of apps? They’re moving in, not out.

    The rest you’ve said before. Apparently it’s therapeutic for you to say it over and over. My contribution to you then, a place for your therapy.

  9. You may work for yourself, but your tort reform lobbying only benefits your insurers.

    Actually, the case was never worth more than $50K. Painful injury but not lasting. Had a cringe factor. The aggrieved got 2/3 of the recovery.

    Saying “Texas has more docs” doesn’t mean much if they don’t keep up with the pace of inflation. Anyplace that has more people is going to get more docs. Texas has fewer docs per capita than states without caps. Ironically, of the docs that have moved into Texas since that time, the second most popular state they come from is California which has tort reform. And Mississippi still being last per capita despite tort reform? Those objective facts, as opposed to lobbyist claims, really weaken your argument, don’t they? In fact, some might correctly determine they eviscerate it. But again, one would have had to believe tort reform resulted in more doctors, more savings, etc. in the first place.

    I’m not repeating it for your benefit. Your belief in tort reform is immune to logic or facts. Jesus would be lucky to have such adherents as you to tort reform. I’m saying it for the benefit of those readers who may think you know what you’re talking about.

    By the way, you didn’t say – how much less testing do you do now that you have tort reform and don’t have to worry about CYA?

  10. By the way, if you docs don’t get your stuff together and start focusing on stopping single payer, pretty soon you’ll be working for the taxpayer. You already do 50% of the time now as it is. That number ain’t gonna shrink.

    But maybe you’ll get to unionize since you’ll be a federal employee!

  11. Yes, Texas has more doctors. That was a direct refutation to your statement that Texas doesn’t have more doctors since tort reform. You were wrong, and I corrected you.

    Texas was losing doctors before Tort reform, and is now gaining.

    Lots of people are leaving California (it’s been in the news). That some would choose to come to Texas may or may not be related to Texas’ new medmal climate, I don’t know. Your could ask them. (I have no idea why anyone lives in Mississippi, but that’s just me; I’ve never been there and have no reason to go).

    I don’t really know if I test a lot less now or not (I didn’t keep actual score); I do know that I order fewer CYA tests. That’s good for everyone, right?

    Just as your implacable hatred for tort reform is unbending, mine is supported by facts: Texas is getting more doctors, which was one of the main arguments for it.

    …relaxes on couch, waits for therapy to continue…

  12. Texas was losing doctors? In what years? I would imagine Texas goes up and down but mostly trends up with population growth. However, the fact is that Texas trails numerous noncapped states in physicians per capita. And of course Texas isn’t the only state with caps. California has them too, as does Mississippi. Yet with similar caps Cali actually loses docs to Texas? Again, how does this make your case? Short answer is it doesn’t. Again, Texas is sill per capita declining in physicians. It’s not difficult math.

    You don’t know how many but you’re quite sure you do order less tests? That my friend made me laugh out loud. Do you pinkie swear? I guess the docs in McAllen didn’t get the memo, eh?

  13. Hey, I understand your willingness to ignore facts. Deep down you know you only further screwed over some of the weaker members of society. You know the claims of cheaper healthcare and billions in savings and specialists in every rural town are nonsense. You’re a smart guy and you know after 30 years of caps that it’s just lobbying BS. You can spot it coming out of ATLA’s “statistics” and you know it’s coming out of the tobacco funded “reform” groups.

    But I understand you have to justify it to yourself somehow because you’re fundamentally someone who is a good person. So lie to yourself if you must. But don’t think anyone is buying it. Because deep down you don’t either.

  14. I don’t practice in McAllen, and have no idea what they’re doing. Whatever they’re doing, though, I’m certain you’ll be able to blame tort reform on, one way or another. I would love to comment more on tests, but your colleagues would dearly love me to write about testing so I can read it aloud in court someday, so no thanks.

    Are you so out of it that you’re unaware California is having a Texas-sized financial crisis? Homes plummeting in value, etc? So, if you’re a doc and going to leave Cal, Texas is a favorable place to go. (I knowm you only have the tort-reform hammer, so everything has to be a tort-reform nail…).

    Prove your assertion that Texas is declining in numbers of doctors. Let’s see the link, and we’ll have a look at the data, too.

    We’re going to have a breakthrough in your therapy soon, but it’ll take some self-awareness on your part. Help me help you.

  15. Sorry, I would have thought you would have read the recent story comparing the cost of healthcare in McAllen which was ridiculously high, primarily due to physicians running up the bill.

    You can’t comment on your alleged lack of testing because it’s BS and you know it. If for no other reason than it makes no sense unless you’re just cutting back on tests on kids and old people. A person earning even $40,000 a year will likely have a million in economic damages if you kill them.

    If I asserted Texas was losing doctors, I misspoke. Texas is not increasing doctors per capita. Texas population has been growing quite a bit. I’m not sure why you think that would have no affect on the number of doctors. You can google doctors per capita by state and get several quick results. You can even determine which ones are the capped and non-capped states.

    California is having problems – but you said tort reform was the only reason for the increase in doctors in Texas. If that’s the key to doctor movement, why is Mississippi next to last in doctors per capita? Why is New York near the top? You know as well as I tort reform has next to nothing to do with it. Rural areas with lots of poor people don’t pay well, and they’ll never have a lot of docs. Places like Dallas, Houston, etc. will always have plenty.

    I know you think this is funny. And since you can tell a good doctor from a bad doctor, it’s probably no skin off your nose. Hell, you can even pay for your own healthcare because you’re relatively well off. But if you’re poor and you take your kid to a doc who doesn’t know what he/she is doing and seriously injures your kid, and you find out that for the rest of your kid’s life, no matter how bad he’s hurt, what he misses out on, it’s only worth what that doctor made in one year, and all the rest of your award just goes back to the medical establishment, you probably won’t find it so funny.

    But like I said, single payer makes you a government employee and puts malpractice lawyers pretty much out of business, so you’ve got only a few more years to really screw these people.

  16. TheNewGuy says:

    Ahahahahah! *snort*

    My God, Matt… where did you learn to be such an all-knowing, sanctimonious ass? Seriously… is it a God-given gift? Do they give a class on that in law school?

  17. Attack me all you like. At the end of the day facts is facts.