Hats Off to Doctor John Hall in Mississippi. The Man is Simply a Modern-day, Healthcare Hero

“No doctor should ever look at a patient as ‘prey’.” (Dr John Hall)

University of Mississippi Medical Center physician shines a much-needed light on wimpy discipline of physician sexual predators. Mississippi ranks 51st in patient protection.

Last April a Consumer Reports investigation found that the state of Mississippi ranked dead-last, among all medical boards nationwide, when it comes to physician discipline of sexual misbehavior. And now, Doctor John Hall, Mississippi Medical Board’s Executive Director, has a plan to change that ugly reality. He is working with state legislators to make any and all sexual behavior with a patient, by a physician, a felony.

“The goal here is to include this in the Mississippi Criminal Code. As a felony penalty, this would include permanent revocation of the medical license, which is not possible by current medical practice statutes, The plan is for a conviction to include mandatory restitution and possibly a prison term.”

Hall’s aggressive tact matches an investigation done by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which found that Mississippi ranked 51st, including Washington DC, in protecting patients from sexual predator doctors.

Hall, who is also an attorney, takes the position that mutual consent between a physician and a patient is impossible, because of the “insurmountable power barrier.”

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation, “only 11 states have laws requiring medical authorities to report to police suspected sexual crimes on adults.”

Hall said that the state of Washington has an excellent program in place, and one that would be proper and effective for Mississippi.

Doctor Lee Voulters, Mississippi State Medical Association President, says, “We all agree that a physician should not have sexual relations with a patient. They are in a position of power and influence. It’s unethical, it’s immoral and it shouldn’t happen. Our number one goal is patient safety,” Voulters said. “My only hesitation is, what should the punishment be?”

He observed that attitudes toward physician misbehavior have changed. “Fifteen years ago, we didn’t even talk about disruptive physicians.”

 

Ever Ask a Nurse About Daffy Doc Behavior? We Don’t Have to Ask. They Tell us Every Day

Patients rarely are the direct targets of a physician’s disruptive behavior. When doctors hurl insults or instruments, they’re usually aiming at nurses. ‘How to Handle Disruptive Physician Behaviors’ – Rick Gessler, RN; Alan Rosenstein, MD; Liz Ferron, MSW

shouting doctor

“Just the other day, one of our private docs went into a tizzy while seeing one of his patients. He threw our blood pressure cuff against the wall because he couldn’t figure out how to use it. When the patient explained to him that her nurse had been using it all night, and it seemed to work just fine, the frustrated doctor said, “Well I didn’t go to nursing school!”

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“LOL. I had a doc come find me one day because he wanted to turn off his patient’s IV fluids. So he walked all the way down our loooonnng hallway (seriously it’s really long) to find me and ask me if we could stop the patient’s fluids. I said ‘sure, just switch the pump off.’ He stared at me like I was speaking another language. So I had to walk all the way down the corridor to show him how to press the OFF button!”

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“Years ago we admitted a lovely baby to our special care nursery for some respiratory observation. As one of the docs began his exam, he said sadly that, ‘this poor baby has Down’s Syndrome. Look at his eyes’. We looked at the baby and then at the parents at the window, and asked this idiot if he had met the parents yet – they were Asian, for God sakes! The baby was fine; the dumb doc was as embarrassed as he should have been, and the nursing staff was in stitches for a week.”

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“One of my coworkers had a patient whose heart stopped beating at 2:00 a.m. After the code team arrived, the nurse called the patient’s primary physician to tell him. She said ‘Doctor, your patient is in heart failure and we’re trying to revive him. Doctor: “What happened?” (I think this question is pretty self explanatory. The guy’s heart stopped) Then the doctor goes on to say that he doesn’t believe it and we are trying to kid him. Sure, that’s what nurses do: we call doctors at 2:00 in the morning to kid about CPR. Ughhhhhhhh!!!”

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“I’m sure we’ve all been there. Sometimes docs just say and do the craziest things. My example: at my last long term care facility, I had one doctor seriously outright fight giving pain meds (for patients who really, really needed them and were dying) According to him, ‘prescribing narcotics leads to methadone and crack usage.’

These poor patients have been here for years. This twit thinks these sad, dying folks are going to get better, jump out of bed, and dash out to buy crack cocaine? WHAAAA!!!!!”

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“I was working med-surg my first year as a nurse. A doc wrote an order for a med my patient was allergic to. I brought it up and asked for a new order. The doc started yelling at me to ‘stay in my lane’. I started walking down the hallway to the nurse manager’s office when he heaved the patient’s chart at me, which bounced off the back of my head. The nurse manager told me that this particular doc, ‘often made mistakes like that.’

When I realize now, years later, how badly nurses allow themselves to be abused by these egotistical bastards, and how easily hospitals let it happen, I cringe.”

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“We had a doc who was known to be a complete ass. One day I was working at the computer screen and suddenly felt something on my neck. I glanced back and saw what I thought was a little stuffed animal wrapped in plastic. I kept working. The doc was laughing behind me. It turned out the stuffed animal was a dead rat in a Zip Loc bag. Cannot imagine why three wives divorced this mental case.”

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“Hate to say this, but at our nurses station, our favorite stories are the tons of clueless MDs who show up in shopping malls and restaurants while a full code on the floor suddenly happens  – and they have not the slightest idea how to run a basic CPR case. ACLS might as well be a Martian alien concept. You should hear the unbelievable stories the medics report to us about doctors on emergency scenes.”

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“We have a female doc whose ego gets her into trouble at least once a month. Last week she came down to pronounce the death of a patient we had called her on. But this twit stopped listening to me halfway through the phone call, so when she got here she went into the wrong room and assessed the wrong patient. Then she came out told us that we didn’t know what the hell we were doing – the patient was still alive. Oh, it gets worse. She continued her refuse-to-listen-to-nurses routine. She went out and told the family that their mom was still alive. It took us an hour to comfort the family about the death that really did happen, and to convince them the doctor was not a total fruit-loop. We can’t wait for her next wacko escapade.”

 

Jihadist Survivors: ‘Doctors Are Denying Critical Follow-up Care and Medications’

It was almost one year ago – December 2, 2015 – when 14 people were killed at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino California, the result of a mass shooting and a failed bombing assault. The murderers were Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, a terrorist couple living below the radar of law enforcement in the city of Redlands. The Islamic jihadists chose a particularly repugnant event to carry out their jihad –  a health department Christmas party for 80 coworkers of Farook.

But what many of us forget is that 22 other innocent citizens were seriously injured, and now, some of them are reporting that the Workers Compensation system is blocking them from receiving much needed follow-up healthcare.

One of the survivors, for example, is Julie Swann Paez. This poor woman – a professional health inspector – was shot twice during the attack, and has had part of her pelvis surgically removed. She told CBS News that she found herself stranded in the hospital when San Bernardino County workers compensation division delayed approvals for her discharge medications. She has also, she says, been forced to get by with less than the full complement of physical therapy .

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Julie Swann Paez, receiving Employee of the Year Award minutes before those in the photo were shot by Islamic terrorists at the San Bernardino health center.

Osama Megalla is the husband of another survivor, Hanan Megalla, who was shot four times. He says the workers’ compensation treatment denials reached the point where he has written letters of complaint to county CEO Greg Devereaux, and even Governor Jerry Brown. He is begging for authorities to intervene, saying, “The utilization review doctors are hired to reject the claims for the poor injured workers.”

He says the bureaucracy is breaking his wife’s spirit. “She’s always scared that she may not get her next prescription approval. She feels hopeless.”

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Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik. Sometimes the monsters live right next door.

 

San Bernardino County reports they are not denying medical treatment to survivors. A spokes woman says what is happening is not a financial issue, but the county must follow state utilization protocols.

The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to discuss survivors’ complaints in their next Meeting on Monday.

 

How Safe Are Hospitals That Train Doctors? Many are Downright Scary

Here at Medical Miscreants we help save lives by exposing the ugly realities of U.S. healthcare that typically go under-reported. And one of the absolutely ugliest realities is this:

A stunning number of American hospitals routinely expose citizens to lethal germs for no good reason. And a recent study underscores the seriousness of this medical scourge. It reveals the results of a 5-year evaluation of 2,000 hospitals – specifically, how well do they prevent Central  Line infections?

The analysis by Consumer Reports reveals an almost jaw-dropping fact: 31 teaching hospitals made their worst performance list. These findings were surprisingly bad, according to Doctor Doris Peter, Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center Director. She reports that very little progress at teaching hospitals has occurred over the last 5 years, even though the hospitals say they have what they need to improve in infection control. She called it a major concern, because teaching hospitals are responsible for training the next generation of doctors.

Deadly Infections Can be Almost Totally Eliminated

dr-wash-hands

Not a lot of rocket science in hospital germ control

Central Line Infections not only cost more than $45,000 to treat per patient, but in any given year, they kill 1 out of every 4 patients who contract them. In fact, hospital-acquired infections are one of the primary causes of death in the United States.

These infections are nearly 100% preventable, when an evidence-based protocol checklist is followed, according to Doctor Peter Pronovost, Director of the Armstrong Institute. Although these infections account for only a small number of overall hospital infections nationwide, he says the high death rate is all the reason hospitals should need to aggressively go after the deadly situation.

The report profiled 2 hospitals – Shore Medical Center in New Jersey and St. Luke’s-Roosevelt in New York – which handled central line infections successfully.

The Worst Scoring Teaching Hospitals (in alphabetic order)

  • Atlanta Medical Center, Georgia
  • Banner-University Medical Center, Tucson
  • Brooklyn Hospital Center, New York
  • Community Regional Medical Center, Fresno
  • Cooper University Health Care, New Jersey
  • Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon New Hampshire
  • Emory University Hospital, Atlanta
  • Eskenazi Health, Indianapolis
  • George Washington University Hospital, District of Columbia
  • Grady Memorial Hospital, Atlanta
  • Holy Cross Hospital, Maryland
  • Howard University Hospital, District of Columbia
  • Hurley Medical Center, Flint, Michigan
  • Indiana University Health, Indianapolis
  • Interim LSU Public Hospital, New Orleans
  • Long Beach Memorial, California
  • MacNeal Hospital, Berwyn Illinois
  • Maine Medical Center, Portland Maine
  • Maricopa Integrated Health, Phoenix
  • Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha
  • Palmetto Health Richland, South Carolina
  • Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles
  • SUNY Downstate University Hospital, New York          
  • Truman Medical Center-Hospital Hill, Kansas City
  • Tulane Medical Center, New Orleans
  • UC San Diego Health, California
  • UF Health Jacksonville, Florida
  • University Hospital Newark, New Jersey
  • University Medical Center of El Paso, Texas
  • University of Iowa Hospitals, Iowa

A word to the wise: Not all hospitals are safe.

Here’s how to check yours:

http://www.consumerreports.org/health/doctors-hospitals/hospital-ratings/ratings/search-results.htm?state=CA

U.S. Drug-Makers’ Pull Scam After Scam; Get Fined; Keep Right on Scamming. How Stupid Can we be?

(We thank Health Reporter Jessica Huseman for the following important investigation)

Illinois’ Attorney General has filed a lawsuit against Insys Therapeutics, accusing the controversial pharmaceutical company of using deceptive marketing practices — including paying an indicted doctor thousands of dollars for “sham” speaking events — to sell its signature pain medication.

It’s not unusual for drug makers to pay doctors who have histories of misconduct for consulting or speaking about their products. A recent ProPublica analysis found that more than 2,300 doctors with records of discipline in five states had received payments from drug and medical device companies since 2013.

Insys was one of more than 400 companies that made payments to such doctors, but its activities have received far more attention than those of its peers.

According to investigations in several states, Insys’ business model relied on funneling substantial payments to the doctors who most frequently prescribed its drugs, even if they had troubling disciplinary records or even criminal histories. These payments were mostly for services related to Subsys, a fentanyl-based medication approved by the FDA to treat patients suffering from cancer pain resistant to other types of opioid drugs.

Insys’ activities have been the subject of 2014 and 2015 reports by CNBC and The New York Times. In June 2015, a nurse in Connecticut pleaded guilty to receiving kickbacks in connection to speaking payments she received from Insys while she was the top prescriber of Subsys to Medicaid patients in the state. In February of this year, a sales representative in Alabama pleaded guilty to fraud charges and in April, a district manager and a sales representative pleaded not guilty in New York, all in relation to kickbacks to doctors involved in speaking programs.

The most recent civil suit, filed Thursday by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan in Cook County Circuit Court, seeks to impose financial penalties and bar the company from selling its products in the state. Madigan contends Insys routinely marketed the drug for off-label uses, including treatment for chronic migraines. Rather than forging relationships with doctors who treated cancer patients, “Insys instead directed its promotion and marketing in Illinois to high-volume opioid prescribers who are not oncologists or pain specialists who treat cancer,” the lawsuit says.

The company’s highest volume prescriber was Dr. Paul Madison, who prescribed 58% of Subsys prescriptions in the state despite treating “few, if any, cancer patients.” Madison was indicted in December 2012 on federal false claims charges for billing insurers for non-existent procedures. Insys sales representatives were aware of this indictment, and were also aware of Madison’s troubling prescribing habits, the lawsuit alleges.

The lawsuit says that in an August 2012 email sent to the company’s then CEO, Michael Babich, a sales representative said Madison ran “a very shady pill mill and only accepts cash,” and that he “basically just shows up to sign his name on the prescription pad, if he shows up at all.” That October, the same representative sent another email saying Madison had “called me personally” to say his office was “really under the eye of the DEA, and that he planned on getting patients started on Subsys in Indiana.”

Babich, unconcerned, replied he was “very confident that Dr. Madison will be your ‘go to physician.’ Stick with him.” Under pressure over negative publicity and growing numbers of investigations, Babich stepped down in November 2015.

Insys paid Madison more than $87,000 for speaking, travel and food from 2013 through 2015. Madison could not be reached for comment.

The lawsuit alleges the speaking events “functioned more as social gatherings,” and physicians in attendance hardly mentioned the drug at all, instead ordering as much food and drink as they liked. Most events referenced by the lawsuit took place in an upscale restaurant in Chicago. Madison’s speeches were titled, “Advancements in the Treatment of Breakthrough Pain in Cancer Patients,” despite his almost complete lack of experience treating cancer patients.

Beyond Madison, Insys had financial ties to an array of doctors with troubling records. ProPublica’s analysis – which included payments for things like speaking, consulting, travel, education and gifts, but excluded those for meals – found the company had paid Florida physician Paul Wand more than $93,000 since 2013 for services related to Subsys. In 2010, the Florida Board of Medicine filed an administrative complaint against Wand after a review of his records found he was “inappropriately and excessively” prescribing controlled substances to patients “without medical justification.” Earlier this year, he reached a settlement with the board under which he gave up his authority to prescribe controlled substances.

Insys has also paid Texas physician Fernando Avila $170,000 since 2013. Avila has had multiple disciplinary issues, dating as far back as 2003. In 2009, he was found to have improperly prescribed pain medication, and in 2011 he was disciplined after a patient was left with brain damage from a procedure in which Avila improperly administered anesthesia.

The New York Times also found Insys had made large payments to a Michigan neurologist who was charged criminally for defrauding Medicare and a Rhode Island psychiatrist sanctioned by his state medical board. Both were accused of inappropriately prescribing Subsys.

Here’s more:

Illinois Sues Controversial Drug Maker over Deceptive Marketing Practices

Doctors Disciplined for Misconduct Remain on Industry Payroll as Consultants and Speakers

Drug Firm Hired Doctors with Troubling Track Records to Promote Powerful Painkiller

Girlfriend Confesses to Plotting to Murder Foot Doctor’s Wife

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Kelly Gribeluk

The mistress of a New York physician, arrested in a murder conspiracy, admitted to plotting to have her podiatrist boyfriend’s wife killed, and pleaded guilty in September.

Kelly Gribeluk, along with Doctor Ira Bernstein, of Ramapo, was arrested in June for conspiring to pay a killer $100,000 to run over Bernstein’s wife and make it look like an accident.

Gribeluk, age 35, had been held in jail on $600,000 bail since her arrest, while Bernstein is out on on bond. She confessed to 3 counts of Conspiracy, for making 3 payments to have Susan Bernstein killed. The murder plot was discovered through investigator wiretaps and the doctor’s wife was not hurt.

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Dr Ira Bernstein

Doctor Ira  Bernstein, age 42, and Kelly Gribeluk, were arrested on the the same Conspiracy indictment, but their cases are being tried separately. Assistant District Attorney Richard K Moran has not announced if Gribeluk will testify against the doctor in his upcoming trial.

Here’s more:

http://www.lohud.com/story/news/crime/2016/05/05/ira-bernstein-bail-hearing/83964148/

 

 

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Dr Ira Bernstein; Atty Ken Gribitz