Unfortunately for patients, yet another hospital in Texas has been fined by Medicare for its below-standard practices. A report found several deficiencies in the hospital's lab testing procedures, which caused many patients to undergo unnecessary procedures. It was also found that some emergency room patients had to wait up to five hours for their test results.
Perhaps the worst of the hospital's infractions was a surgical error that was found. One patient received an expired surgical implant after being treated for a broken arm. To make matters worse, that same patient had to wait six hours for the botched surgery, all while under anesthesia. The study found no acceptable reason for the delay.
The hospital has since had to close its blood bank and microbiology lab due to Medicare's findings. It has replaced some of its workers, hired an experienced lab director and has outsourced work to other facilities and hospitals in Texas.
It is also alarming that the hospital, which was built just last year, was built with a $167 million government-insured mortgage loan. This means that the for-profit hospital will save $91.2 million in interest thanks to our government. By saving that much money, one would hope the hospital would be able to serve its patients without so many errors.
Even though the hospital was fined and is now taking measures that were mandated by Medicare, the simple fact is that patients were harmed. They deserve to be compensated if it can be shown that their harm was a result of the hospital's negligence. By bringing a medical malpractice lawsuit, the patients who were harmed could obtain damages that could help pay for their recovery, as well as their pain and suffering.
Source: TimesRecordNews, "Central Texas hospital marred by lab deficiencies," April 8, 2013