Posts Tagged ‘EMTALA’

Medical roundup

  • More on effort to blame federal budget cuts for Ebola [Chris Edwards chart at Cato; Nick Gillespie, Reason; Michael Tanner, earlier] How Firestone, rare multinational firm with a large presence in Liberia, fought the disease [NPR] More: Heck of a job, Nicole: administration already has Ebola czar [Mollie Hemingway]
  • Train wreck postponed: “Administration Delays Home-Care Worker Minimum-Wage, Overtime Protections” [Kaiser Health News, earlier here, here, etc.; California will not delay]
  • “Should it be OK to fire employee for using medical marijuana?” [Debra Saunders, San Francisco Chronicle/syndicated, and thanks for quote; Jacob Sullum on Colorado “any lawful activity” statute]
  • Venture capital interest dwindles in cardiac and orthopedic medical device sectors amid concerns over regulatory hassle, tax, reimbursement problems [WSJ (also Avalon), Arnold Kling]
  • Billing code for “repeat doctor visit after being sucked into jet engine” probably little-used [Lowering the Bar, and surprise sequel]
  • British ambulance workers’ strike will hit scheduled patient visits rather than emergencies, so that’s okay [BBC]
  • Does Takings Clause, in combination with unconstitutional-conditions doctrine, require feds to compensate hospitals for EMTALA emergency-treatment mandate? [Haavi Morreim, Regulation, PDF] EMTALA, disability discrimination, and claimed “dumping” of psychiatric patients [Alison Somin on Gail Heriot dissent]

May 24 roundup

  • Souter’s middle-of-the-road views on litigation didn’t fit conventional patterns [Copland, PoL]
  • Champerty and maintenance watch: new fund invests in commercial litigation for a share of the payouts [Fortune mag via Zywicki]
  • Report: distributor of “Religulous” film “has served a written settlement proposal” to preacher depicted onscreen [OnPoint News, earlier]
  • U.K.: “Homeowner Suit May Stop Village Cricket” [Telegraph via Never Yet Melted]
  • Overlawyered sparks a discussion across usual lines on EMTALA, the federal law on emergency medicine [Kennerly]
  • Federal Circuit: think twice before proceeding with frivolous appeals [David Bennett,]
  • Father-son duo who have served as key expert witnesses in litigation alleging autism-vaccine link push risky and questionable therapy for the condition [Chicago Tribune and second article and PDF graphic via Orac; Kathleen Seidel]. Waste and harm that go on in the name of treating autism should give pause to many sides in health care debate [Tyler Cowen]
  • One “deadbeat dad’s” story [Amy Alkon]. Forthcoming Lifetime reality show sounds like it will showcase harassment of fathers in child support arrears [Fathers and Families via Instapundit]

February 12 roundup

  • Driving through town of Tenaha, Texas? Might be better to get accosted by the robbers and not the cops [San Antonio Express-News via Balko, Hit and Run]
  • Location-tracking Google Latitude application could pose liability problems for unwary employers [PoL]
  • EMTALA law obliges hospital ERs to treat many patients. OK, so how about ELRALA next, for lawyers? [White Coat Rants]
  • New Jersey judge dismisses defamation suit by three women whose picture appeared in book “Hot Chicks with D-Bags” [Smoking Gun, earlier here and, relatedly, here] More: Taranto, WSJ “Best of the Web”, scroll.
  • Myrhvold, often assailed as patent troll, sponsors quote/unquote neutral Stanford study of patent litigation [MarketWatch]
  • Some thoughts on much-publicized tussle between Associated Press and Shepard Fairey over Obamacon photo [Plagiarism Today]
  • Creative uses of immigration law: get that little homewrecker deported [Obscure Store]
  • More than a few real estate lawyers were “hip-deep in mortgage fraud”. Will they tiptoe away? [Scott Greenfield]
  • Roundup on the awful Employee Free Choice Act [PoL]

Medical liability roundup

  • “The accusatory legal document begins with several remarks defaming the skills, education, ability, integrity, and honesty of the physician being charged.” [Donald May, State Policy Blog] But hey, don’t take it personally, lawyers say [Mark Crane, Medical Economics] Good luck with that [Chiaramonte/Examiner, KevinMD, more]
  • Law throwing open Florida doctors’ peer review to lawyers was bad enough, but now state high court has applied it retroactively to records created before law was enacted [KevinMD guest post; background at PoL here, here, and here]
  • Even the New York Times hails as “sensible” laws encouraging medical apologies by making them inadmissible as evidence of wrongdoing [editorial]; but see counterexample to the usual reportage [Berlin/Am. Journal of Roentgenology via Buckeye Surgeon]
  • A med-mal defense attorney says plaintiffs would win more often in proposed “health courts” than they do in the cases he handles [Medical Economics, more, and similarly]
  • More evidence, this time from study of orthopedists, that docs rated as cold or callous attract far more than their proportionate share of suits [Orthopedics Today]
  • EMTALA, the law forcing emergency rooms to take all comers, “has created the very conditions it sought to avoid” [Edwin Leap, M.D.O.D.] Watch for “free-standing” ERs that dodge mandate by refusing federal dollars [Scalpel or Sword?, Health Care BS] Semi-defense of law [Over My Med Body]
  • Besieged state of dispersed emergency rooms and specialists is one reason for use of those risky helicopters that fly patients to the big city [Williams/Health Business Blog, M.D.O.D.]
  • Docs should stand up to family members demanding futile or inappropriate end-of-life care [Musings of a Dinosaur] Relatedly, daughter on dying father: “if you give him any more morphine, I will sue you.” [Fat Doctor]

(Most links via the highly recommended one-stop shop for medical blogging, KevinMD, e.g. this post and this one on EMTALA.)

July 6 roundup

  • Beck and Herrmann fisk a NEJM anti-preemption editorial. [Beck/Herrmann; NEJM]
  • Lessons of the Grasso case. [Hodak]
  • You think BigLaw has it bad? Plaintiffs’ attorney who invented the benefit-of-the-bargain theory for pharmaceutical class actions where no one has suffered any cognizable injury, has made his firm tens of millions, but still hasn’t made partner. “Zigler said he never meets most of the people he represents in these high-profile cases.” [St.L. Post-Dispatch; related analysis from Beck/Herrmann]
  • Speaking of harmless lawsuits, “an atrocity in Arkansas,” as Arkansas Supreme Court ignores basic principles of due process and civil procedure to certify an extortionate pre-CAFA class action from MIller County. [Hmm, that’s Beck/Herrmann again; General Motors v. Bryant; related from Greve]
  • Speedo competitor: unfair competition to say your innovative swimsuit has an advantage just because 38 out of the last 42 world records (as of June 30) were broken in the suit. [Am Law Daily]
  • Background on bogus shower curtain scare story (earlier). [NYT; related AEI event]
  • EMTALA-orama: don’t discuss payment in the emergency room if you don’t want to get sued. [ER Stories]

January 23 roundup

  • Trial lawyers look for Democrats to punish. [Point of Law; Investors’ Business Daily]
  • Point of Law Vioxx trial updates: California, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
  • Men seeking laws freeing them from child support when DNA proves they’re not the father. Earlier: May 10 and Feb. 3, 2004. [Time]
  • Latest creative defense to a murder charge: Asperger’s syndrome. [Boston Globe]
  • A complicated medmal case is trumped by the sympathy factor [Cortlandt Forum via Kevin MD]
  • Cost of EMTALA (Sep. 2, 2005) in LA County alone: $1.6 billion. LA Times doesn’t mention the law by name or consider the obvious conclusion. [LA Times]
  • Why the painfully obvious explanations on painfully obvious objects? [comments at Obscure Store; New York Sun; new Mike Judge movie Idiocracy]
  • Lessig: stop me before I regulate again! [Hit & Run]
  • Right-wingers take on Dinesh D’Souza [roundup of links at Postrel]
  • The meaningless and counterproductive Democratic House bill on student loans. [Novak @ WaPo]
  • Do big law firms really care about attrition? One theory. [Ivey Files]
  • My girlfriend thinks I spend too much time arguing with idiots. Relatedly, Eugene Volokh responds to Anisa Abd el Fattah about the First Amendment and Jews. [Volokh]

Letter from Louisiana: triage and EMTALA

Longtime reader C.G. Moore, a 3L at Tulane Law who lives in St. Tammany Parish outside New Orleans, writes in to say:

My wife, 4 mo. old son, and I survived [Hurricane Katrina] (we live in St. Tammany parish, about 10 miles from lake Pontchartrain). I noticed you had a link to WWL television’s plea for medical personnel to assist the victims. I was in a unique position during the storm and afterward: my wife is an ER doctor, and we sheltered at the hospital where she works.

The doctors and nurses were incredible. They worked non-stop, under incredibly stressful conditions. Many didn’t know where their loved ones were, or whether they had survived, and there was no way to contact the outside world. Many lost everything to the flood waters, tornadoes, and fallen trees. And still, they worked 12-hour shifts (sometimes longer).

But one of the first hurdles they had to contend with was the effects of EMTALA in a disaster situation. [EMTALA is a federal law under which hospitals can be sued if they turn away patients needing emergency medical treatment. — ed.] Under EMTALA, ER physicians are cautious to the point of absurdity. But as the hospital quickly filled to capacity with seriously ill and injured patients, the ER was able to attend to life-or-death situations only. Strict triage procedures were needed to separate the “worried well” from the dying. Medical care really was a limited commodity. Although the magnitude of the catastrophe was clear to all, some patients and their families couldn’t understand that minor boo-boos didn’t merit immediate care (much less admission to the hospital, where it was air-conditioned and they could get a hot meal).

So, my concern is this: once the rubble is cleared and the power restored, the plaintiffs’ lawyers will ooze back into the scene — that this was a disaster situation won’t matter one iota — and they’ll use EMTALA to file lawsuit after lawsuit.

I really hope I’m wrong. But only time will tell.