medical malpractice

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pages: 304 words: 22,886

Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Richard H. Thaler, Cass R. Sunstein

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Al Roth, Albert Einstein, asset allocation, availability heuristic, call centre, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, continuous integration, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, desegregation, diversification, diversified portfolio, endowment effect, equity premium, feminist movement, framing effect, full employment, George Akerlof, index fund, invisible hand, late fees, libertarian paternalism, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, Mason jar, medical malpractice, medical residency, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, pension reform, presumed consent, profit maximization, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Saturday Night Live, school choice, school vouchers, transaction costs, Vanguard fund, Zipcar

Waivers of the right to sue for intentional wrongdoing— such as assault and battery—raise special considerations that we do not discuss here. MEDICAL LOTTERY TICKETS offer a patient a lower price for health care. Some patients would choose to take the lower price and assume the risk themselves. Others would prefer to waive medical malpractice liability and instead buy private disability or injury insurance. But these arrangements aren’t available to patients, because courts have long held that waivers of medical malpractice liability are unenforceable as “against public policy.” These rulings are the opposite of libertarian; they deny people the freedom to make contracts as they see fit. For patients, these legal rulings might sound great, a nice form of protection, and we will soon return to the question of protection.

Would you be interested in saving $50 per haircut to give up the right to sue if you got a bad one? Would you be angry if you were prevented from doing so? We know, we know, the analogy isn’t perfect, but consider this fact: both health care customers and taxpayers are now forced to help pay for the eighty-five thousand medical malpractice lawsuits that are filed each year.1 These lawsuits cost a lot of money—estimates range from $11 billion to $29 billion per year.2 Exposure to medical malpractice liability has been estimated to account for 5 to 9 percent of hospital expenditures—which means that litigation costs are a contributor to the expense of the health care system.3 Of course these particular figures are controversial and may be exaggerated, but no one doubts that many billions of dollars must be paid each year to buy insurance and to fend off liability.

So even if the risk of liability for negligence actually does reduce the frequency of injuries caused by doctors, these gains could easily be offset by the losses of those who are unable to afford treatment at all.6 Another problem with the current system is that jury awards for the pain and suffering that may be associated with a medical malpractice claim are highly erratic.7 It is difficult to predict, from the facts of the case, whether a plaintiff will get a lot or a little. In medical malpractice cases, people are sometimes awarded “punitive damages,” too, in order to punish the wrongdoer. But punitive damage awards also have a lot of variability.8 So patients are effectively forced to buy a kind of lottery ticket, one that might 211 212 FREEDOM be worth anything from millions of dollars to nothing, but that is, on average, worth no more than 60 cents for every dollar spent (the rest going to lawyers).

 

Everybody's Guide to Small Claims Court by Ralph E. Warner

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estate planning, medical malpractice, rent control

When a contract to pay in installments is involved, start with the day each payment was missed. (See “Tricky Rules for Installment Contracts,” below.) How the Discovery Rule Works With some types of cases, such as medical malpractice, the limitations period starts from the date the harm was discovered or reasonably should have been discovered. This rule protects people who don’t know they have a problem until well after it has occurred. Example: During an operation, a doctor leaves a small clamp in your abdomen. It isn’t until a year later that you experience extreme pain and see a different doctor, who orders an X-ray that shows the clamp. In most states, the statute of limitations for suits based on medical malpractice (often three years) begins from the date you learn of the problem, not the date of the original operation. However, if you walked around in pain for several years before seeing a second doctor and getting an X-ray, chances are a court would rule that the limitations period would start before actual discovery, based on the theory that you should have discovered the problem sooner.

Even better, if he has a witness who heard the salesperson’s overly optimistic promises, he should ask this person to testify in court or at least write a letter stating what happened. 46 everybody’s guide to small claims court Unfortunately, if Alan has no convincing evidence as to the salesman’s statements, the small claims hearing is likely to come down to his word against the salesperson’s, with the judge left to decide who appears to be telling the truth. H. How to Approach a Professional Malpractice Case An increasing number of small claims cases are being filed against doctors, lawyers, accountants, and other professionals. The main reason is that it can be difficult or impossible to get lawyers to represent you in a formal court action. (Lawyers accept only one in 20 medical malpractice cases, according to one study.) As a result, the injured person must decide to either file without a lawyer in formal court or scale down the dollar amount of her claim to fit into small claims court. To succeed with a malpractice claim, you must establish all of the following facts: • Duty. The lawyer, doctor, dentist, or other professional owed you a duty of care. This is automatic as long as you were a patient or a client. • Carelessness.

Statute of Limitations Periods Following is a chart of statutes of limitation periods for four of the most common types of lawsuits. But you will probably need to do further legal research. Even the time limits specified in the following chart can be affected by things like the “Discovery Rule”—see “How the Discovery Rule Works,” below. Also, the time limits in the chart may not cover every situation. For example, claims involving medical malpractice, eviction, child or spousal support, fraud, product liability, consumer sales contracts, or faulty work by builders may all have different statutes of limitations. And, some states distinguish between different types of property (usually real and personal property) when establishing statutes of limitations. You can find your state’s laws online at www.nolo.com/statute/state/cfm and on your state’s Internet home page, and you will find a printed set at a law library or a large public library.

 

pages: 264 words: 90,379

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell

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affirmative action, airport security, Albert Einstein, complexity theory, David Brooks, East Village, haute couture, Kevin Kelly, medical malpractice, medical residency, Menlo Park, new economy, pattern recognition, phenotype, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Stephen Hawking, theory of mind, young professional

They came at the question sideways, using the indirect evidence of the students’ dorm rooms, and their decision-making process was simplified: they weren’t distracted at all by the kind of confusing, irrelevant information that comes from a face-to-face encounter. They thin-sliced. And what happened? The same thing that happened with Gottman: those people with the clipboards were really good at making predictions. 5. Listening to Doctors Let’s take the concept of thin-slicing one step further. Imagine you work for an insurance company that sells doctors medical malpractice protection. Your boss asks you to figure out for accounting reasons who, among all the physicians covered by the company, is most likely to be sued. Once again, you are given two choices. The first is to examine the physicians’ training and credentials and then analyze their records to see how many errors they’ve made over the past few years. The other option is to listen in on very brief snippets of conversation between each doctor and his or her patients.

Patients file lawsuits because they’ve been harmed by shoddy medical care and something else happens to them. What is that something else? It’s how they were treated, on a personal level, by their doctor. What comes up again and again in malpractice cases is that patients say they were rushed or ignored or treated poorly. “People just don’t sue doctors they like,” is how Alice Burkin, a leading medical malpractice lawyer, puts it. “In all the years I’ve been in this business, I’ve never had a potential client walk in and say, ‘I really like this doctor, and I feel terrible about doing it, but I want to sue him.’ We’ve had people come in saying they want to sue some specialist, and we’ll say, ‘We don’t think that doctor was negligent. We think it’s your primary care doctor who was at fault.’ And the client will say, ‘I don’t care what she did.

In fact, the core of the book is research from a very new and quite extraordinary field in psychology that hasn’t really been written about yet for a general audience. But those ideas are illustrated using stories from every corner of society. In just the first four chapters, I discuss, among other things, marriage, World War II code breaking, ancient Greek sculpture, New Jersey’s best car dealer, Tom Hanks, speed-dating, medical malpractice, how to hit a topspin forehand, and what you can learn from someone by looking around their bedroom. So what does that make Blink? Fun, I hope. What do you want people to take away from Blink? I guess I just want to get people to take rapid cognition seriously. When it comes to something like dating, we all readily admit to the importance of what happens in the first instant when two people meet.

 

pages: 283 words: 81,163

How Capitalism Saved America: The Untold History of Our Country, From the Pilgrims to the Present by Thomas J. Dilorenzo

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banking crisis, British Empire, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, financial deregulation, Fractional reserve banking, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, laissez-faire capitalism, means of production, medical malpractice, Menlo Park, minimum wage unemployment, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, profit maximization, profit motive, Ralph Nader, rent control, rent-seeking, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, statistical model, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, working poor, Works Progress Administration

Many other medical products, such as heart valve replacements, are unavailable because of liability concerns. The medical profession itself is in jeopardy, for insurers are increasingly unwilling to offer medical liability insurance, even at astronomical rates. In January of 2003, thirty-nine West Virginia surgeons went on strike to protest rising medical malpractice insurance and the fact that most insurers in the state, recognizing the excessive risk that so many frivolous lawsuits create, do not even offer medical malpractice insurance.16 Liability insurance is not just a problem for the medical profession, however; day-care centers and many other industries find such insurance to be more and more difficult to secure. The “liability crisis” has also stifled innovation in numerous industries, since newer products carry with them more risk of lawsuits than do old, tried-and-true products.

 

pages: 268 words: 112,708

Culture works: the political economy of culture by Richard Maxwell

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1960s counterculture, AltaVista, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, business process, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global village, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, informal economy, intermodal, late capitalism, Marshall McLuhan, medical malpractice, Network effects, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, refrigerator car, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, structural adjustment programs, talking drums, telemarketer, the built environment, Thorstein Veblen, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban renewal, Victor Gruen, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce

But it’s also weirdly democratic, multicultural, utopian, quixotic and more welcoming of difference and diversity than much of the audience that sits down to watch it with a surly agnosticism about reality itself. It has been overwhelmingly pro-gun control and anti-death penalty; sympathetic to the homeless and the ecosystem; alert to child abuse, spousebattering, alcoholism, sexual discrimination and/or harassment, date-rape and medical malpractice . . . And television may be the only American institution outside public school to still believe in and celebrate the integration of the races, at least on camera.4 What is not on Leonard’s list is telling: TV tackles medical malpractice but not the systemic inequalities in access to health care; overt racial discrimination, but not structural racism or discrimination according to wealth and social class; individual suffering, but not the social policies that contribute to it. The focus tends to be on the individual, not the structural; the specific manifestations of suffering, not the broad social conditions underlying them (with the significant exception of ecological issues).

 

pages: 320 words: 97,509

Doctored: The Disillusionment of an American Physician by Sandeep Jauhar

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, delayed gratification, illegal immigration, income inequality, medical malpractice, moral hazard, obamacare, profit motive, randomized controlled trial, stem cell, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Yogi Berra

“All I want to talk about is how we can make this happen.” I was infuriated, not only by the precarious position in which we now found ourselves but also because I was sure that the unfounded fear of a lawsuit was at least partially driving the anesthesiologist’s decision. Nearly half of all anesthesiologists, and almost 100 percent of physicians in high-risk specialties such as neurosurgery, cardiology, and obstetrics, will face a medical malpractice claim at some point in their careers. Malpractice litigation is often the most stressful experience in a doctor’s professional life. Most doctors do not discuss it with colleagues or even with family members; it is a hidden shame. And though I might have sympathized with the anesthesiologist if I’d been on the other side of the doctor-patient dyad, none of this mattered to me as my pregnant wife lay on a gurney.

However, in most cases of medical futility, doctors have been allowed to exercise conscientious objection. In part because of my own experience with Sonia and the baby, I have come to believe that doctors should deny treatment requests judiciously—and rarely. A surgeon might understandably refuse to operate on someone whose religious beliefs proscribe blood transfusions on the ground that he would not want to be forced into medical malpractice. But in cases with reasonable differences of opinion, in which the competing risks are at least debatable, it seems unfair and unwise to me to deny a patient’s choice. (If patient autonomy means anything, then patients have the right to make bad decisions, too.) Was Sonia’s anesthesiologist being virtuous or knavish? I’m still not sure. Professional integrity can indeed be a double-edged sword.

 

Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America by Matt Taibbi

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affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Bernie Sanders, Bretton Woods, carried interest, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, David Brooks, desegregation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, financial innovation, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, illegal immigration, interest rate swap, laissez-faire capitalism, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market bubble, medical malpractice, moral hazard, mortgage debt, obamacare, passive investing, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, quantitative easing, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Sergey Aleynikov, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Y2K, Yom Kippur War

The heads of both the House and the Senate Judiciary committees—John Conyers in the House and Pat Leahy in the Senate—decided to introduce amendments to the various health care bills (which did not address the issue originally) that would have repealed one tiny little slice of McCarran-Ferguson. “Both amendments only pertained to the health insurance industry and the medical malpractice insurance industry,” says Erica Chabot, an aide to Senator Leahy. “And not only that,” says Martin. “Not only did they not repeal the exemption for all other types of insurance, but they also included a provision that said, basically, that this repeal only applies to price-fixing, bid-rigging, and market allocation. Anything that didn’t fall into those categories, those were still legal.” So, really, Leahy and Conyers were trying to score one small victory: instead of establishing primacy over the entire insurance industry, they merely wanted to pass laws making it illegal for health or medical malpractice insurers to fix prices, rig bids for contracts, or divide up markets among themselves.

 

pages: 554 words: 167,247

Money, Politics, Back-Room Deals, and the Fight to Fix Our Broken Healthcare System by Steven Brill

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, business process, call centre, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, crony capitalism, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, employer provided health coverage, medical malpractice, Menlo Park, Nate Silver, obamacare, Potemkin village, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, the payments system, young professional

In New York, twenty-six thousand individual policies would be sold statewide in 2010. Ignagni and her members feared that the country might soon be beset with New York–style “reform.” So in June 2008, Ignagni convinced her members to put together a more detailed reform proposal than the one AHIP had first espoused about six months earlier. Along with cost-cutting initiatives, such as electronic medical records and tort reform to curb medical malpractice suits that were thought to encourage doctors to practice expensive defensive medicine, Ignagni’s plan called for universal coverage that would include “limits” on excluding people with preexisting conditions, accompanied by a mandate that everyone had to buy insurance. Moreover, federally financed subsidies would be offered to people who needed help paying the premiums. In other words, there would be universal coverage, with taxpayers helping people pay their insurance bills.

DeParle had included a half page describing three of Zeke Emanuel and Bob Kocher’s cost-cutting ideas, such as promoting the “efficient use of technology” by, among other things, analyzing the cost-effectiveness of new medical technology, and data “registries” for all devices and drugs that would track the results they produced in one database in order to weed out those whose results did not justify their costs. That was the most far reaching—and, given the lobbying clout that would be arrayed against it—the most far-fetched idea that DeParle included. However, DeParle had left out what the economic team considered to be some of the more important game changers, but ones that more left-of-center reformers had always been wary of: medical malpractice reform, tough penalties for hospitals with high patient readmission rates, and a push to allow hospitals and doctors to consolidate their services into “bundled payments.” Emanuel and Kocher also wanted to add estimates of the savings that could come with each. DeParle and Lambrew refused. Following frantic efforts by Emanuel and Kocher to get their edits into the memo, which, except for a few changes of words and phrases, were rebuffed by the domestic policy people, the revised seven-pager was sent to the president by the eight o’clock deadline.

In short, CBO was an only-in-Washington institution—an independent body whose only virtue was its independence. Which meant not only freedom from political influence but also freedom from having to do its job the way people in the real world did. THE DEMOCRATS AND THE TRIAL LAWYERS In the same meeting in which the White House staff decided to take the doc fix out of the bill, they discussed another issue that the doctors cared about: medical malpractice tort reform. Like many healthcare and legal policy analysts, the economic team believed that trial lawyers were abusing the courts by suing doctors too often for bad outcomes rather than bad treatment. Making it harder for doctors to be sued successfully would cut spending because it would lessen the practice of defensive medicine. Doctors would no longer have the reason, or the excuse, to order extra blood tests or MRIs or CT scans as a way of demonstrating in a courtroom that they did everything they could to prevent whatever adverse event they might be sued for.

 

pages: 554 words: 167,247

America's Bitter Pill: Money, Politics, Backroom Deals, and the Fight to Fix Our Broken Healthcare System by Steven Brill

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, business process, call centre, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, crony capitalism, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, employer provided health coverage, medical malpractice, Menlo Park, Nate Silver, obamacare, Potemkin village, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, the payments system, young professional

In New York, twenty-six thousand individual policies would be sold statewide in 2010. Ignagni and her members feared that the country might soon be beset with New York–style “reform.” So in June 2008, Ignagni convinced her members to put together a more detailed reform proposal than the one AHIP had first espoused about six months earlier. Along with cost-cutting initiatives, such as electronic medical records and tort reform to curb medical malpractice suits that were thought to encourage doctors to practice expensive defensive medicine, Ignagni’s plan called for universal coverage that would include “limits” on excluding people with preexisting conditions, accompanied by a mandate that everyone had to buy insurance. Moreover, federally financed subsidies would be offered to people who needed help paying the premiums. In other words, there would be universal coverage, with taxpayers helping people pay their insurance bills.

DeParle had included a half page describing three of Zeke Emanuel and Bob Kocher’s cost-cutting ideas, such as promoting the “efficient use of technology” by, among other things, analyzing the cost-effectiveness of new medical technology, and data “registries” for all devices and drugs that would track the results they produced in one database in order to weed out those whose results did not justify their costs. That was the most far reaching—and, given the lobbying clout that would be arrayed against it—the most far-fetched idea that DeParle included. However, DeParle had left out what the economic team considered to be some of the more important game changers, but ones that more left-of-center reformers had always been wary of: medical malpractice reform, tough penalties for hospitals with high patient readmission rates, and a push to allow hospitals and doctors to consolidate their services into “bundled payments.” Emanuel and Kocher also wanted to add estimates of the savings that could come with each. DeParle and Lambrew refused. Following frantic efforts by Emanuel and Kocher to get their edits into the memo, which, except for a few changes of words and phrases, were rebuffed by the domestic policy people, the revised seven-pager was sent to the president by the eight o’clock deadline.

In short, CBO was an only-in-Washington institution—an independent body whose only virtue was its independence. Which meant not only freedom from political influence but also freedom from having to do its job the way people in the real world did. THE DEMOCRATS AND THE TRIAL LAWYERS In the same meeting in which the White House staff decided to take the doc fix out of the bill, they discussed another issue that the doctors cared about: medical malpractice tort reform. Like many healthcare and legal policy analysts, the economic team believed that trial lawyers were abusing the courts by suing doctors too often for bad outcomes rather than bad treatment. Making it harder for doctors to be sued successfully would cut spending because it would lessen the practice of defensive medicine. Doctors would no longer have the reason, or the excuse, to order extra blood tests or MRIs or CT scans as a way of demonstrating in a courtroom that they did everything they could to prevent whatever adverse event they might be sued for.

 

pages: 309 words: 114,984

The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype, and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine’s Computer Age by Robert Wachter

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, Airbnb, Atul Gawande, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Checklist Manifesto, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, computer age, crowdsourcing, deskilling, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Firefox, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Google Glasses, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, Internet of things, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, medical malpractice, medical residency, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, pets.com, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the payments system, The Wisdom of Crowds, Toyota Production System, Uber for X, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Yogi Berra

.: Oxford University Press, 2014), pp. 121–123. 36 One Boston surgeon, Ernest Codman Reiser, “The Clinical Record. Part 2.” The Martin quote is from A. Donabedian, “The End Results of Health Care: Ernest Codman’s Contribution to Quality Assessment and Beyond,” Milbank Quarterly, 67:245 (1989). 37 The earliest malpractice cases K. A. DeVille, Medical Malpractice in Nineteenth-Century America: Origins and Legacy (New York: New York University Press, 1990). 37 “Even the most egregious Quacks” N. Smith, “Medical Jurisprudence,” lecture notes taken by A. J. Skelton (New Haven, CT: Yale University Medical School, 1827), cited in J. C. Mohr, “American Medical Malpractice Litigation in Historical Perspective,” Journal of the American Medical Association 283:1731–1737 (2000). 37 since malpractice verdicts turned on evidence S. J. Reiser, “Malpractice, Patient Safety, and the Ethical and Scientific Foundations of Medicine,” in P.

 

pages: 436 words: 123,488

Overdosed America: The Broken Promise of American Medicine by John Abramson

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germ theory of disease, Louis Pasteur, medical malpractice, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, p-value, placebo effect, profit maximization, profit motive, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, stem cell, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

This threat may provide some protection to patients and allow recourse for substandard care, but the justice meted out is inconsistent. In a New York Times op-ed piece, Philip K. Howard, author of The Collapse of the Common Good: How America’s Lawsuit Culture Undermines Our Freedom, commented that most of the doctors who do commit malpractice are not sued, and most of the lawsuits brought against doctors are about situations in which malpractice was not committed. Nonetheless, the current medical malpractice system consistently distorts our medical care. Doctors are aware of the risk of a malpractice suit lurking in every patient visit. Three-fifths of doctors in the United States admit that they do more diagnostic testing than is necessary because of the threat of litigation. And why not? The risk of ordering an extra test is nil, but the threat of a lawsuit because of a test not ordered is ever present—even when the likelihood of serious disease is very low and reasonable professional judgment would say the test was not necessary.

Clinical guidelines provide expert review of the research and allow doctors to be confident that their decisions regarding patient care reflect the best available scientific evidence. Guidelines also provide benchmarks by which the quality of a doctor’s care can be evaluated, and (always lurking in the background of a doctor’s thoughts) they are admissible as evidence of the accepted standards of care in medical malpractice cases. A study published in JAMA in 1999 evaluating the quality of the guidelines showed, ironically, that they often fall short of established standards. The following year The Lancet published a report that found that only one out of 20 clinical guidelines examined met established standards of quality for three simple criteria: description of the professionals involved in formulating the guidelines; description of the sources of information used to find the relevant scientific evidence; and grading of the evidence used to support the main recommendations.

 

pages: 194 words: 59,488

Frommer's Memorable Walks in London by Richard Jones

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Alistair Cooke, British Empire, Isaac Newton, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, John Snow's cholera map, Maui Hawaii, medical malpractice

When the Coade Artificial Stone Manufactory was closed in 1840, the secret of the stone’s composition was lost. Walk counterclockwise around the square and pause outside: 23. 35 Bedford Square, the former home of Thomas Wakley (1795–1862), a surgeon and friend of Charles Dickens who founded The Lancet, England’s most prestigious medical journal. Wakley started the periodical in 120 • Memorable Walks in London order to criticize medical malpractice and nepotism, an endeavor that involved him in numerous libel actions. While serving as coroner for the West Middlesex Hospital, Wakley often allowed Dickens to attend his examinations—providing Dickens with plenty of fodder for his novels. As you continue walking around the square, take note of the house at: 24. 42 Bedford Square. From 1903 to 1917, this was the home of writer Sir Anthony Hope Hawkins (1863–1933), who is probably best known for his novel The Prisoner of Zenda.

 

pages: 234 words: 53,078

The Conservative Nanny State: How the Wealthy Use the Government to Stay Rich and Get Richer by Dean Baker

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, Bretton Woods, corporate governance, declining real wages, full employment, index fund, Jeff Bezos, medical malpractice, medical residency, offshore financial centre, price discrimination, risk tolerance

Takings: The Conservative Nanny State Only Gives In recent years nanny state conservatives have made a major issue out of “takings,” laws and regulations that reduce the value of private property. The issue of takings comes up often, but not exclusively, in the context of environmental regulation. For example, if the government prohibits building in a forest because it threatens the habitat of an endangered species, this usually reduces the value of the land. Similarly, in an effort to protect wetlands, the 5 For example, a recent study found that the cost of defending medical malpractice cases in the United States was less than 0.5 percent of total health care spending. This figure was comparable to the costs in England, New Zealand, and Australia, all countries with much lower total health care expenditures, see Anderson et al. (2005). 72 federal government has placed restrictions on the uses of land in some areas. This could also reduce the value of the land. 6 The nanny state conservatives argue that these government actions amount to an unlawful taking of property.

 

pages: 169 words: 43,906

The Website Investor: The Guide to Buying an Online Website Business for Passive Income by Jeff Hunt

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buy low sell high, Donald Trump, frictionless, frictionless market, medical malpractice, passive income, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Skype, software as a service

The website had about fifteen pages of content and attracted about fifteen-hundred visitors per month. On each page of the website, there was an invitation for the reader to enter his or her name and mailing address to be sent a free information packet with more extensive information about the medical condition. The website owner sent out approximately thirty of those information packets per month. He sold those thirty leads to a medical malpractice attorney for $125 each. The attorney was happy to buy 360 leads a year for a few potential cases that could yield millions of dollars in legal fees. Recapping from an earlier story, a magician was selling his website that showcased his talents and invited visitors to schedule him for magic shows at birthday parties and corporate events. He began to receive many more leads for shows than he could possibly perform himself.

 

pages: 268 words: 76,709

Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit by Barry Estabrook

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Bernie Sanders, biofilm, collective bargaining, Columbian Exchange, McMansion, medical malpractice, urban sprawl, women in the workforce

“There was nothing we could do for our little boy,” said Candelario. One of the social workers helping Carlitos’s parents realized that the family faced an insurmountable financial burden and needed legal help. The social worker contacted a local lawyer, who confessed that he would have been completely over his head with such a complex case. He did, however, have a colleague who specialized in catastrophic personal injury, product liability, and medical malpractice litigation. He picked up the telephone and put in a call to Andrew Yaffa, a partner in the firm Grossman Roth, which has offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Sarasota, and Key West. Although they had no way of knowing it, Abraham Candelario, Francisca Herrera, and Carlitos had just caught what might have been the first break they had ever received in their hardscrabble lives. If you are injured in a car accident, hurt on the job, or the victim of a negligent physician, you could do no better than getting Andrew Yaffa to represent you.

 

Attempting Normal by Marc Maron

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back-to-the-land, desegregation, medical malpractice, Saturday Night Live

Coupled with wrong social choices and denial that a radio TV news and newspaper exist, even worldwideweb-only news would be welcome. Again, this is a Mother’s Day card. “Thinking out of the box is a learned process that should be next to godliness in the priorities in what to teach your children. The trick is to recognize when the box, itself, is faulty and deserving change.” Barry Maron while watching and hearing a jury of 12 peers in Oklahoma make a decision in a medical malpractice case against a loser doctor. Shades of the OJ jury nullification. In case you aren’t reading carefully, he just quoted himself in this card. For Mother’s Day, of course. Enjoy the late great United States of America as it morphs into the Socialist USA. Words cannot help if all reasonable actions have failed. The Uzi and Magnum are the must have entities. Own one, learn to use it and carry it.

 

pages: 249 words: 73,731

Car Guys vs. Bean Counters: The Battle for the Soul of American Business by Bob Lutz

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corporate governance, currency manipulation / currency intervention, flex fuel, medical malpractice, Ponzi scheme, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, shareholder value, Steve Jobs, Toyota Production System, transfer pricing, Unsafe at Any Speed, upwardly mobile

But the momentum of the rank and file, their steadfast belief that “more” was a historic right, their conviction that “no way is GM ever going to go broke,” meant that the bleeding couldn’t be stopped. Health care costs grew and grew, accelerated, as always, by America’s unique “contingent fee” legal system, whereby the penniless victim can see justice done by hiring a lawyer who is willing to help “for free” in exchange for a percentage of a possible settlement. Noble intent, but that’s not how it turned out. In a classic example of the law of unintended consequences at work, “medical malpractice” (along with “personal injury” in general) became an ever more powerful branch of the legal profession, with active solicitation—in fact, aggressive searches—for possible new “victims” who could be lucratively “assisted.” Trial lawyers like to point out that all this is untrue, that only a small portion of America’s health care bill is accounted for by settlements, but, while technically true, that misses the point.

 

pages: 327 words: 103,336

Everything Is Obvious: *Once You Know the Answer by Duncan J. Watts

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affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Black Swan, butterfly effect, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, clockwork universe, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, complexity theory, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, discovery of DNA, East Village, easy for humans, difficult for computers, edge city, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, framing effect, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, happiness index / gross national happiness, high batting average, hindsight bias, illegal immigration, interest rate swap, invention of the printing press, invention of the telescope, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, lake wobegon effect, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, medical malpractice, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, oil shock, packet switching, pattern recognition, performance metric, phenotype, planetary scale, prediction markets, pre–internet, RAND corporation, random walk, RFID, school choice, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, supply-chain management, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, Toyota Production System, ultimatum game, urban planning, Vincenzo Peruggia: Mona Lisa, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, X Prize

“Friendship as Social Process: A Substantive and Methodological Analysis.” In Freedom and Control in Modern Society, ed. M. Berger, T. Abel and C. Page. New York: Van Nostrand. Lazear, Edward P. 2000. “Performance Pay and Productivity.” American Economic Review 90 (5):1346–61. Lazer, David, Alex Pentland, Lada Adamic, et al. 2009. “Social Science: Computational Social Science.” Science 323 (5915):721. Leonhardt, David. 2009. “Medical Malpractice System Breeds More Waste.” New York Times, Sept. 22. ———. 2010. “Saving Energy, and Its Cost.” New York Times, June 15. Lerner, Josh. 2009. Boulevard of Broken Dreams: Why Public Efforts to Boost Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Have Failed—and What to Do About It: Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Leskovec, Jure, and Eric Horvitz. 2008. “Planetary-Scale Views on a Large Instant-Messaging Network.” 17th International World Wide Web Conference, April 21–25, 2008, at Beijing, China.

 

pages: 358 words: 106,729

Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy by Raghuram Rajan

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, business climate, Clayton Christensen, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, diversification, Edward Glaeser, financial innovation, floating exchange rates, full employment, global supply chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, illegal immigration, implied volatility, income inequality, index fund, interest rate swap, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, Martin Wolf, medical malpractice, microcredit, moral hazard, new economy, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, open economy, price stability, profit motive, Real Time Gross Settlement, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, The Great Moderation, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, upwardly mobile, Vanguard fund, women in the workforce, World Values Survey

Madoff, Bernard Malaysia: economic growth of export-led growth strategy of investment in managed capitalism: in Asia challenges of export-led growth strategies and investment and success of Mandeville, Bernard, The Fable of the Bees markets. See capitalism; financial markets; housing market; prices; stock market marriage McCarthy, Nolan Medicaid medical care. See health care; physicians medical malpractice Medicare Merrill Lynch Mexico: conditional cash transfers financial crisis of Mian, Atif microcredit middle class migration mobility: economic factors restricting of workers models, economic Mohamad, Mahathir monetary policy: credit expansion and financial stability and housing market and improvements in Japanese Keynesian lags in political influences on reforms of of United States, See also central banks; interest rates money-market funds moral hazard Morgan, J.

 

pages: 364 words: 99,613

Servant Economy: Where America's Elite Is Sending the Middle Class by Jeff Faux

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back-to-the-land, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, centre right, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, full employment, hiring and firing, Howard Zinn, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, informal economy, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, lake wobegon effect, Long Term Capital Management, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, McMansion, medical malpractice, mortgage debt, Naomi Klein, new economy, oil shock, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price mechanism, price stability, private military company, Ralph Nader, reserve currency, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, South China Sea, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trade route, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, working poor, Yogi Berra, Yom Kippur War

Our national bookshelves are piled high with good ideas from abroad, and we know how these ideas are translated into policy. We know that the Germans and the Scandinavians maintain high wages and high productivity through a social contract that gives workers a stake in success. We know that they finance their public investments through higher taxes. We know that they produce better students by investing in high-quality teachers and schools. We know that they avoid the mountain of lawsuits and medical malpractice insurance with government-managed health care and social services that do not require you to hire a lawyer in order to pay your doctor bills and feed your family while you recover. The problem is not that Americans “have resisted this approach” because we are too xenophobic to accept ideas from elsewhere. We happily accept others’ electronics, skilled and wealthy immigrants, and cuisine.

 

pages: 791 words: 85,159

Social Life of Information by John Seely Brown, Paul Duguid

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AltaVista, business process, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, cross-subsidies, disintermediation, double entry bookkeeping, Frank Gehry, frictionless, frictionless market, future of work, George Gilder, global village, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, information retrieval, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, loose coupling, Marshall McLuhan, medical malpractice, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, Productivity paradox, rolodex, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Superbowl ad, Ted Nelson, telepresence, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Y2K

Bots, in contrast to humans, live a wretchedly impoverished social existence.29 Representatives Of course, the view of bots as blindly obedient, ''doing x when y happens," denies them much of the autonomy that is central to their identity as autonomous agents. Consequently, it is more usual to think of bots as having "control over their own actions and their own internal state," as one account puts it.30 While it might solve the problem of blind obedience, this autonomy raises problems of its own. If bots make decisions and give advice autonomously, who takes responsibility for those decisions? Can Eliza be sued for medical malpractice? And if not, should the programmer be sued instead? Can Shallow Red be sued for business malpractice? And if not, who should be sued, the programmer or the company that the chatterbot represents? If the owner of a bot should take responsibility for those actions, then that owner must have some control over and insight into them. Yet for most bot users, the digital technology Page 55 around which bots are built is opaque.

 

pages: 292 words: 94,324

How Doctors Think by Jerome Groopman

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affirmative action, Atul Gawande, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, fear of failure, framing effect, index card, iterative process, medical malpractice, medical residency, Menlo Park, pattern recognition, placebo effect, stem cell, theory of mind

Elmore et al., "Variability in radiologists' interpretations of mammograms," NEJM 331 (1994), pp. 1493–1499; Yulei Jiang et al., "Potential of computer-aided diagnosis to reduce variability in radiologists' interpretations of mammograms depicting microcalcifications," Radiology 220 (2001), pp. 787–794; Daniel B. Kopans, "Mammography screening is saving thousands of lives, but will it survive medical malpractice?," Radiology 230 (2004), pp. 20–24. More detail about Kundel's studies, particularly his seminal work, is found in his article in the Journal of the American College of Radiology cited above, as well as in G. Revesz and H. L. Kundel, "Psychophysical studies of detection errors in chest radiology," Radiology 123 (1977), pp. 559–562. Similarly, Ehsan Samei studied the challenge of detecting lung nodules: Ehsan Samei et al., "Subtle lung nodules: Influence of local anatomic variations on detection," Radiology 228 (2003), pp. 76–84.

 

pages: 294 words: 85,811

The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care by T. R. Reid

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Berlin Wall, British Empire, double helix, employer provided health coverage, fudge factor, medical malpractice, profit maximization, profit motive, single-payer health, South China Sea, the payments system

,“MarketWatch: Illness and Injury As Contributors to Bankruptcy,” Health Affairs Web Exclusive, February 2, 2005, pp.W5-62. 4 Ellen Nolte et al., “Measuring the Health of Nations: Updating an Earlier Analysis,” Health Affairs, January/February 2008, p. 71. 5 The Commonwealth Fund, Multinational Comparisons of Health Systems Data, November 2006. 6 Schoen et al., “U.S. Health System Performance.” 7 Ibid. 8 Patricia Danzon,“Liability for Medical Malpractice,” Handbook of Health Economics, vol. 1B (Burlington, Ma.: Elsevier, 2000), chapter 26. 9 For example, see “UnitedHealth Slashes Forecast,” Wall Street Journal, April 23, 2008, p. B4; PULSE (newsletter), September 2005, p. 1. 10 An ace reporter, Lisa Girion of the Los Angeles Times, has reported in depth on the industry’s selection practices. See, e.g., Lisa Girion, “Insurers Reject Applications of Some Individuals with Minor Ailments,” Los Angeles Times, December 31, 2006. 11 Vanessa Furhmans,“Fights Over Health Claims,” Wall Street Journal, February 14, 2007, p.

 

pages: 378 words: 102,966

Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic by John de Graaf, David Wann, Thomas H Naylor, David Horsey

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big-box store, Community Supported Agriculture, Donald Trump, Exxon Valdez, financial independence, Ford paid five dollars a day, full employment, greed is good, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, McMansion, medical malpractice, new economy, Ralph Nader, Ray Oldenburg, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, single-payer health, The Great Good Place, trade route, upwardly mobile, Yogi Berra, young professional

MASLOW’S HIERARCHY OF NEEDS The question is, has America—weakened by affluenza—slipped down the hierarchy in the last thirty years? It seems the rungs of Maslow’s ladder have become coated with slippery oil, as in a cartoon. According to polls, we’re more fearful now. We’re more insecure about crime, the possible loss of our jobs, and catastrophic illness. More than fifty thousand Americans die every year from medical malpractice, making us all the more insecure about our health. How can we meet intrinsic community needs when sprawl creates distances between people? How can we feel a sense of beauty, security, and balance if beautiful open spaces in our communities are being smothered by new shopping malls and rows of identical houses? (Sometimes the only way to find your new house is to push the “house finder” button on your garage door opener, and watch which door opens.)

 

pages: 597 words: 119,204

Website Optimization by Andrew B. King

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AltaVista, bounce rate, don't be evil, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, information retrieval, iterative process, medical malpractice, Network effects, performance metric, search engine result page, second-price auction, second-price sealed-bid, semantic web, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social graph, Steve Jobs, web application

Create your keywords tag using your master keywords list and the visible words in your page. Although you can separate keywords with a comma or a space, omitting commas will give you more proximity hits between adjacent terms. Use lowercase text to better match search queries and for better compressibility. For example: <meta name="keywords" content="orlando florida personal injury lawyer, central florida personal injury attorneys, florida medical malpractice lawyers, orlando injury attorneys, orange county automobile accident attorney, personal injuries central florida, orlando law firm"> Avoid repeating your keywords in the same form more than three times. It is best to vary your terms using stems, plurals, splits, and misspellings. Warning Avoid using the trademarks and brand names of other companies in your keywords. Legal precedent is on the side of the trademark owner.

 

pages: 590 words: 153,208

Wealth and Poverty: A New Edition for the Twenty-First Century by George Gilder

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affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, capital controls, cleantech, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, equal pay for equal work, floating exchange rates, full employment, George Gilder, Home mortgage interest deduction, Howard Zinn, income inequality, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job-hopping, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, medical malpractice, minimum wage unemployment, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, non-fiction novel, North Sea oil, paradox of thrift, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-industrial society, price stability, Ralph Nader, rent control, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, skunkworks, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, volatility arbitrage, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population, yield curve

Just as a siege of saving, or hoarding of gold, impelled by a fear of economic trouble, may cause depression by greatly reducing consumer demand, so a siege of insurance can bring about some of the dangers that motivate it. Even private insurance firms, under the pressure of government to extend their services, can suffer from a number of serious moral hazards. Arson for some years was among America’s most popular crimes; most of it was induced by fire insurance. Medical malpractice suits have burdened the entire industry and snarled the services of doctors in red tape, largely because juries rush to award huge settlements on the assumption that insurance will pay. Health insurance has so dramatically raised medical costs—by removing any concern with price from the calculations of doctors and patients—that the residual down payments (the deductibles) often exceed the total payments of the past.

 

pages: 390 words: 125,082

Years of the City by Frederik Pohl

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Albert Einstein, Buckminster Fuller, card file, East Village, Maui Hawaii, medical malpractice, pattern recognition

I was frozen fifty-eight years ago due to serious medical problems not curable at that time. Two weeks ago I was revived, treated and discharged. I have since learned that, through an error in record-keeping, I received not only the treatments proper to my case but also an entire series that had been intended for another occupant of the freezer, also revived at that time. As this is a clear example of medical malpractice, resulting in grave physical and mental harm—” “Hold it a minute, chotz,” said Angel, his voice thin and reedy because he was doing several things at once and could manage only a narrow-band communication. “Where’s this other person?” Margov said gravely, “He has disappeared.” “Ah, come on. Nobody disappears.” Margov shrugged. “I think we ought to talk to um,” Angel said. “Not here you don’t,” said Samelweiss, looking at the clock on his data plate.

 

pages: 443 words: 153,085

The Intern Blues: The Timeless Classic About the Making of a Doctor by Robert Marion

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Albert Einstein, medical malpractice, medical residency, place-making

And even those three interns with whom I sat at orientation in June 1986 have only four months left until they say farewell to internship. Like the interns who came before them and like the interns who will follow them, they’re at present trapped in the depths of the February depression. But I’ve told them to take heart. The light for them is beginning to appear at the end of the tunnel. A lot has happened to the public’s conception of internship over the past year. Various cases of suspected medical malpractice caused in at least some small part by the fact that unsupervised, overtired, and overwhelmed interns had allegedly made errors in judgment at critical junctures in the management of patients have received a great deal of publicity. The effect of this media attention has been that the lay public’s eyes finally have been forced open to the fact that young doctors are often required to work over a hundred hours a week in a system that’s antiquated, unnatural, and unhealthy for both the patients and the physicians themselves.

 

pages: 411 words: 136,413

The Voice of Reason: Essays in Objectivist Thought by Ayn Rand, Leonard Peikoff, Peter Schwartz

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affirmative action, Berlin Wall, British Empire, business process, cuban missile crisis, haute cuisine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, laissez-faire capitalism, means of production, medical malpractice, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transcontinental railway, urban renewal, War on Poverty

In the space of a year, state legislatures alone recently enacted almost three hundred pieces of health-cost containment legislation. One hospital in New York now reports to ninety-nine separate regulatory agencies. And I have not yet touched on what is perhaps the worst crisis in the field of medicine today, the one most demoralizing to the doctors: the malpractice crisis. This crisis illustrates dramatically, in yet another form, the lethal effects of government intervention in the field of medicine. Medical malpractice suits have trebled in the past decade. There are now [1985] about sixteen lawsuits for every hundred doctors. In addition, awards to plaintiffs average around $330,000 and are steadily climbing. The effect of this situation on physicians is unspeakable. First, I have been told, there is fear, chronic fear, the terror of the next attorney’s letter in the mail. Then there is the agony of drawn-out legal harassment, including endless depositions and a protracted trial.

 

pages: 2,045 words: 566,714

J.K. Lasser's Your Income Tax by J K Lasser Institute

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, asset allocation, collective bargaining, distributed generation, employer provided health coverage, estate planning, Home mortgage interest deduction, medical malpractice, medical residency, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, passive income, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, rent control, telemarketer, transaction costs, urban renewal, zero-coupon bond

However, if the assignor retained power or control of the property, the assignor could be held liable for the tax according to the 8th Circuit. The IRS allowed an exception for doctors working in a clinic. The doctors were not taxed on fees for treating patients with limited income (teaching cases) where they were required to assign the fees to a foundation. - - - - - - - - - - Court Decision Tax on Assigned Contingent Fee An attorney who took a medical malpractice case on a contingent fee basis agreed to split the net fee with his ex-wife pursuant to their divorce agreement. After a favorable settlement, the attorney’s take was approximately $40,000 after expenses, half of which went to his ex-wife. Each paid tax on his or her share. The attorney argued that his partial assignment of the fee could shift the tax liability because collection was contingent on the outcome of the lawsuit.

The attorney supervised three clerical employees in providing legal support services to the tenant firms, which included client intake, answering phones and taking messages, conducting legal research, typing briefs and memoranda, binding briefs, photocopying, taking dictation, express mailing, process serving, filing documents at the courthouse and state capital, maintaining a file room, law library, and conference facilities, and providing coffee service. Her husband provided consulting services to the attorneys, reviewing medical malpractice cases, serving as an expert medical witness, helping the attorneys prepare for accreditation reviews of health-care organizations, and providing quality assurance trainings. Before the Tax Court, the tenant firms testified that these support services, particularly the legal research, were unique and that they would not have moved into the LLC’s building without them. The Tax Court held that the LLC’s leasing activity was not a rental activity under the extraordinary services exception, but the taxpayers still had to prove that they “materially participated” in the leasing/support activities to avoid passive loss disallowance for the rental losses.

 

pages: 1,157 words: 379,558

Ashes to Ashes: America's Hundred-Year Cigarette War, the Public Health, and the Unabashed Triumph of Philip Morris by Richard Kluger

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air freight, Albert Einstein, California gold rush, cognitive dissonance, desegregation, double entry bookkeeping, family office, feminist movement, full employment, ghettoisation, Indoor air pollution, medical malpractice, Mikhail Gorbachev, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, The Chicago School, the scientific method, Torches of Freedom, trade route, transaction costs, traveling salesman, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, War on Poverty

Finally Gore advised Myers a deal could be struck if the health advocates would agree to language that explicitly barred liability suits against cigarette makers who met the new warning requirements—in short, federal preemption would not only block stronger warnings by any state or local jurisdiction but would also deny smokers the right to sue for damage to their health since they would have been alerted to the possibility by the labels. This was the opposite of the provision in the bill passed by Waxman’s subcommittee. Waxman’s astute aide Ripley Forbes found that there was no great anti-preemption sentiment within the Coalition’s ranks, in all likelihood because its constituent organizations included a great many doctors who bore a professional antipathy to lawyers and lawsuits, in particular those claiming medical malpractice, and were not eager to bolster the rights of litigants in general. Myers told Gore that if dropping the preemption exclusion was what it would take to seal the deal, he would accept it—only to be told soon thereafter that the industry still had another dozen or so “problems”. By this point, Myers was ready to pull out of the negotiations and take his chances on a floor vote—assuming that Dingell ever freed the measure.

 

pages: 1,590 words: 353,834

God's Bankers: A History of Money and Power at the Vatican by Gerald Posner

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Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, banking crisis, Bretton Woods, central bank independence, centralized clearinghouse, credit crunch, dividend-yielding stocks, European colonialism, forensic accounting, Index librorum prohibitorum, medical malpractice, Murano, Venice glass, offshore financial centre, oil shock, operation paperclip, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, WikiLeaks, Yom Kippur War

Constitution’s separation of church and state as a financial shield, saying it prevented any court from interfering with its church-granted powers.84 “Neither the bishop nor the diocese is the owner of parish property under Canon Law,” Nicholas Cafardi, the dean of Duquesne Law School and himself a canon law scholar, said in a sworn statement.85 Notwithstanding all its careful planning to keep a legal moat around the Vatican, in 2003 the church was caught by surprise when a Louisville, Kentucky, gun-slinging medical malpractice attorney, William McMurray, filed a federal class action and named the Holy See. Three Louisville men claimed they were abused by priests for decades and sought damages on behalf of all American victims of clerical abuse. McMurray based his suit on a 1962 document uncovered in the discovery of another case, signed by Pope John XXIII, directing that sex abuse complaints against priests should be “pursued in a most secretive way.”86 Top church officials were furious about the Kentucky suit and moved to dismiss it on well-established grounds that the Pope was immune as a foreign sovereign from civil litigation in U.S. courts.

 

pages: 1,336 words: 415,037

The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder

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affirmative action, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Bonfire of the Vanities, Brownian motion, capital asset pricing model, card file, centralized clearinghouse, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, desegregation, Donald Trump, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, global village, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute cuisine, Honoré de Balzac, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, index fund, indoor plumbing, interest rate swap, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, margin call, market bubble, Marshall McLuhan, medical malpractice, merger arbitrage, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, NetJets, new economy, New Journalism, North Sea oil, paper trading, passive investing, pets.com, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Nader, random walk, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, shareholder value, short selling, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, telemarketer, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, transcontinental railway, Upton Sinclair, War on Poverty, Works Progress Administration, Y2K, zero-coupon bond

He told the New York Times that he liked the way I thought and wrote. In 2003, after I started working on this book, both General Re and Ajit Jain’s Berkshire Re were condemned in a special investigation for selling finite reinsurance that allegedly contributed to the collapse of an Australian insurer, HIH.9 Two years later, General Re was accused of fraud by insurance regulators and policyholders in connection with the failure of a Virginia medical malpractice insurer, the Reciprocal of America. While the Department of Justice investigated the allegations extensively, no charges were brought against Gen Re or any of its employees.10 That same year, Eliot Spitzer’s investigation of the insurance industry prompted an investigation by Berkshire’s law firm, Munger, Tolles & Olson, which discovered that six employees, including General Re’s former CEO, Ron Ferguson, and its former chief financial officer, Elizabeth Monrad, had allegedly conspired with a customer, AIG, to aid and abet an accounting fraud.