July 15, 2002
Doctors busier than usual as center reopens
By Ed Koch
LAS VEGAS SUN
Doctors in the reopened University Medical Center Trauma Center were busy this weekend, tending to 17 injured people, including a 2-year-old who was brought in Sunday after a television set fell on his head.
All survived. A 41-year-old motorcyclist injured in an accident Sunday was in critical condition in the trauma center's intensive care unit today.
"It was busier than a normal weekend," said UMC spokesman Rick Plummer, noting that it also was busy this morning.
"We have a gunshot victim from Lake Mead and victims from a high-speed rollover coming in by helicopters right now."
The 2-year-old boy who suffered head trauma from the TV set was listed in good condition this morning in the children's unit, which is located above the trauma center, which reopened Saturday.
In the days since the July 3 closing of the city's only Level 1 trauma center, critically injured patients were taken to the closest emergency room for medical attention.
The center in the county-operated hospital had shut its doors after private orthopedic surgeons refused to work there unless Nevada lawmakers capped soaring medical malpractice awards.
An accord was reached Friday, when the doctors were made temporary employees of the system, and thus received insurance coverage of state doctors that caps potential malpractice awards awards at $50,000.
The doctors returned to work Saturday.
Among their first patients was a 35-year-old man who survived a 40-foot fall. He currently is in a regular room at the hospital recovering from non-life-threatening injuries, Plummer said.
Also that day a 24-year-old man injured in a Jet Ski accident was brought to the trauma center and treated, Plummer said.
Jul 17, '02
<The doctors decide that Medicare reimbursement is not worth their time and to push the agenda to raise reimbursement they stop taking grandma's and grandpa's?>
Dont laugh. It happened last year in Los Angeles. The news articles were posted here. Maybe can still find them with a search. The gist is that whole hospitals stopped accepting pts
that were insured by Blue Cross because the company wasnt reimbursing the doctors & hospitals enough. They basically said "sorry - we'd like to continue providing care to these pts but their insurance company isnt paying us enough, so sayonara". St Johns was one. The hospitals move forced a continuation in negotiations with the insurance companies to pay higher reimbursment rates. So in effect, the hospitals went on strike against the insuance companies - refused to care for hundreds of thousands of pts in those plans - caused public panic amongst that population - and turned them away - until it got more money.
<<jt, I see what you mean. The docs closed up shop over money. Not patient safety or better working conditions, just money. They have demonstrated more interest in lining their pockets than providing medical care to patients. Let the lawyers at 'em!>>
<<<Now with tort reform, the cap for punitive damages will be $50,000.00. That's all you get for your pain and suffering. You will still receive lifetime medical care, but good luck trying to keep that going after the case is closed. With tort reform, the insurance companies will lower their rates back to the level the physicians were comfortable with.>>>
And they get to keep their Lexus, yacht, & home in the Hamptons, no matter what damage they cause. And they try to stop the lawyers from doing the same by capping their fees?? lol
<< It's one thing to be working in an environment where you can make the determination that patient care is at stake, staffing ratios are unreasonable, and compensation is inadequate, but calling off and shutting down a Trauma Center to push a political agenda that endangers the public is a totally different ball game.>>
Yes & its hard to believe that they actually did it. And got away with it...so far. And that the state bowed to their demands instead of throwing them in jail for creating a public menace.
Last edit by -jt on Jul 17, '02