In a rare move, the State of Florida is targeting a Bay Area hospital that it says put its patients in immediate and ongoing danger. Among the accusations leveled against the hospital, the state says that they never submitted the required reports indicating the quality of their doctors’ care. The state requires hospitals to submit these reports once every six months.
It wasn’t until a St. Petersburg man reported the hospital after his wife died in their care that the state recognized the need to take urgent action. This has led to a broader discussion on what role the state is playing in protecting Floridians from incompetent doctors.
Doctors with Multiple Malpractice Settlements Still Practicing
In most cases, you really have to mess up before the State of Florida will strip you of your medical license. If a doctor is accused of making a terrible blunder, the state generally fines them for pocket change and then requires that they undergo additional training. While this may seem like a slap on the wrist to most, the state considers the matter one for civil courts and not an administrative issue. In some cases, the federal government will step in and threaten to revoke Medicare and Medicaid coverage which forces the hospital into meeting minimum criteria to remain open.
That was the case with Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. However, it took multiple deaths and a pattern of incompetence before major executives resigned in disgrace and doctors who had lost patients were removed from the hospital. It also took a major exposé published by the Tampa Bay Times before the state took action. Once the state stepped in, it threatened to fine All Children’s for failing to report multiple adverse medical events that occurred under their care and resulted in the deaths of their patients. But it never did. Instead, Florida claimed that it was satisfied that the mistakes that were made were being rectified.
Is it Just a Civil Matter?
Florida seems to think so. They allowed one doctor who had racked up over 12 medical malpractice claims, including six wrongful deaths, over the past 20 years to continue practicing medicine in the state. While these matters can be handled in civil court, they are admissions that the regulatory bodies that are supposed to be protecting us have completely lost control of the situation.
For so many families that have lost loved ones to medical negligence, the driving motivation for filing a civil action is to make their loved one’s death mean something and to prevent other families from enduring what they have endured. Nonetheless, the State of Florida has done little to nothing to help in this regard and it continues to be a problem for Floridians.
Talk to a Tampa Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you or your loved one has been injured or lost their lives due to medical negligence, you can sue the doctor and hospital where they were injured to recover damages. This may seem like little compensation, but it remains one of the only ways victims of medical negligence have to hold negligent doctors responsible for their substandard quality of care. Talk to the Tampa medical malpractice attorneys at Palmer | Lopez today to set up an appointment.