Most claims against doctors, nurses and hospitals here in Oregon and around the country are based on the errors that were allegedly made by them. A medical malpractice claim filed by a family against a group of doctors and a hospital includes an unusual allegation, in addition to negligence. The family claims that the death of their loved one was due in part to monetary issues between the cardiology group and the hospital that attended to him.
For those who are not in the medical industry, many people view hospitals and other medical facilities as being there to service them. However, the majority of medical facilities, doctors and other medical professionals are also in business. This means that they need to turn a profit in order to stay in business. It is the quest for profits that the family of the deceased says contributed to his death.
The Florida man's surviving family members say that the procedure that ultimately led to his death was unnecessary and that a mistake during it killed him. Even though state and federal laws prohibit doctors from accepting "financial incentives" from hospitals in order to raise patient and procedure numbers, which raises profits, the hospital claims that it provided monetary incentives to the cardiology group only to find a new specialist. It asserts that this falls under the "safe harbor" exception of the law.
The outcome of this medical malpractice case could have wider reaching implications that could impact similar cases in Oregon at some point. Regardless of the court's ruling regarding the alleged financial motivation surrounding the man's death, whether his standard of care fell below acceptable standards will still need to be proved to the court. If successful, the family could be awarded the damages they seek.
Source: health.wusf.usf.edu, "Malpractice Case against St. Pete Hospital Questions 'Business Of Medicine'", Carol Gentry, July 28, 2016