Health Insurer Gambles on the Odds

By on 6-10-2015 in Medical Risks

In a surprise move, and contrary to the majority of its competitors, a health insurance company stands fast in continuing to cover the routine use of morcellators despite restrictions by the regulatory body on its use in gynecological surgery.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a succession of warnings regarding the dangers posed by using laparoscopic morcellators for hysterectomies and myomectomies. The FDA went so far as to require manufacturers to add a black box warning to their devices. Large hjealth insurance companies such as UnitedHealth Group Inc. and Aetna Inc. scented danger in the air and restricted or withdrew its cover of morcellation in their policies. Health Care Service Corp. (HCSC), however, decided to hold off on a draft policy that would have made morcellation “not medically necessary.”

Power morcellators have been in use since 1991, and it is a highly efficient and minimally invasive way to perform hysterectomies or myomectomies. This is a good thing for everybody concerned. The devil was in the details.

Laparoscopic morcellation involved cutting up the target tissue into small pieces and extracted through the small incision or throught he vagina canal. Everything would have been fine if the surgeon was able to get everything out, but in most cases small pieces of tissue was left behind in the uterine or abdominal cavity. If the tissue, usually a uterine fibroid mass or the uterus itself, contained hidden cancer cells, the scraps of tissue act like seeds and spreads the cancer. In other words, morcellator use and cancer growth appeared to be linked.

However, this did not scare HCSC into running for the hills. The company is keeping its ears close to the ground, waiting for the first sign of real trouble. They have the support of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which wants the patient to have the freedom to decide on what option to take, provided that the doctor tells the patient about the pros, cons, and options for the procedure.

Business Formation: Is a Limited Liability Company Right for You?

By on 4-30-2015 in Business

Starting your own business will involve a long process that can be hard to accomplish. There are important decisions to make and crucial arrangements to be made. After coming up with a marketable idea, the first step of business formation is usually deciding what type of structure works best with your plans. As the website of Arenson & Maas puts it, every type of business structure has its own advantages and shortcomings. It’s important that you learn the nuances that differentiate each type of structure to learn which one suits the type of business you’re planning to run.

One of the legal structures you can consider is a Limited Liability Company or LLC. According to the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA), an LLC provides a legal structure that allows a business to combine certain characteristics that make partnerships and corporations. In an LLC, business owners (called “members”) have limited liability protection, protecting personal assets from lawsuits and debts. The business can also benefit from tax efficiencies and operational flexibility when there are multiple members involved. With an LLC structure, your business will not be considered a separate tax entity. Instead, all the taxes required by federal law will be passed on to the LLC members as part of their personal income tax.

On the flipside to these advantages, the SBA points out that an LLC often have a limited life. Depending on where your business is registered, you might have to dissolve your LLC once a member steps away from the operations. Members of an LLC are also categorized by law as self-employed and will have to follow appropriate policies about tax contributions and similar payments.

It’s important to note that not all businesses will qualify to register as a Limited Liability Company. As mentioned earlier, the structure you choose will depend on what type of business you’re planning to operate. These qualifications and requirements might differ depending on where you live, so it’s best to consult with an experienced business lawyer in your area.

How to File an SR-22

By on 4-25-2015 in Insurance

The United States Census Bureau reported 10.8 million cases of vehicular accidents in the year 2009. This makes painfully clear the fact that accidents are a common problem in America. For their part, the federal government has taken several measures to mitigate the growing number of these accidents and the severe injuries they typically lead to. Among the safety nets put in place by the law is requiring drivers to have appropriate insurance.

Drivers all over America can be covered by different types of insurance. Since policies differ from state to state, their insurance coverage will depend on where they live. The type of insurance required by law will also depend on different contexts or scenarios. For example, there are particular drivers that will be required to file an SR-22.

Unlike other types of insurance, an SR-22 is specifically meant for drivers that have committed traffic law violations. These drivers are typically referred to as high risk drivers and have been suspended from driving privileges as part of the penalty for their infractions. The only way high risk drivers can regain these privileges is if they file an SR-22 form to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), which will prove that they’ve paid for an insurance package that meets requirements mandated by state law.

As pointed out by the website of Insure on the Spot, an SR-22 is required of drivers who have committed the following violations:

  • Driving under the influence (DUI)
  • Driving while intoxicated (DWI)
  • Driving without insurance
  • Causing an accident without proper insurance
  • Committing 3 or more violations in a single year

To regain your privileges as a driver, you will need to consult with a trusted insurance company and pay for the policy that’s appropriate for your situation. Once you’ve purchased the required insurance policy, you will have to fill up the SR-22 form and submit it to the DMV office in your area. There are insurance companies that can help you with this process and ensure that you get your privileges right away. Make sure you do sufficient research to find the company that’s most equipped to handle your SR-22 insurance.

BP Oil Spill Claims: Information for Affected Louisiana Non-Profits

By on 4-22-2015 in Oil Spill

It’s no surprise to say that the British Petroleum (BP) oil spill in 2010 left devastating effects for the Gulf of Mexico and the nearby Louisiana coast. In fact, much of the consequences are still felt today—about five years down the road. The environmental impacts are enormous, with the National Wildlife Federation reporting that 14 different species continue to live at risk in their natural habitat. On top of that, the local communities in affected areas are also suffering from heavy burdens due to the devastating effects on socioeconomic life.

Many businesses and individuals in Louisiana are still working hard to achieve some financial stability after the BP oil spill. Similarly, non-profit organizations are also struggling to keep their doors open. As pointed out on the website of Williams Kherkher, non-profit organizations mostly rely on donations to sustain their revenue and operations. Because everyone else in the surrounding area is deeply devastated, organizations concerned with wildlife and environmental preservation, historical preservation, disease research, and education are seeing significant decline in the amount of donations they receive. As such, plenty are considered ineligible to apply for compensation from BP.

Non-profit organizations affected by the oil spill are entitled to file for claims based on BP’s settlement agreement. As delineated in the agreement, non-profits can claim for compensation in the amount of “the different between projected and actual revenue” following the 2010 accident. In certain cases, BP will also reward affected non-profit organizations with a so-called “Risk Transfer Premium,” which could amount to an additional 150 to 250 percent.

Non-profit organizations do a lot to help serve the public. As such, these organizations can easily be considered as an integral part to the socioeconomic workings of their local communities. Because of this, it’s important that non-profit organizations receive immediate help in stabilizing their financial issues. After receiving sufficient compensation, non-profits can do a lot to uplift help solve the issues caused by the 2010 oil spill.

From Defective Drugs to Malpractice: Potential Medical Dangers

By on 4-20-2015 in Medical Risks

An effective health care system is an integral part of any community. Medical professionals and pharmaceutical companies play an important role in making sure this system is working well within the quality standards mandated by their profession. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case in real-life scenarios. Sometimes, instances of malpractice and negligence could lead to potential medical dangers and risk the lives of patients expecting the best quality of care.

According to the National Practitioner Data Bank under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a total of 160,619 cases of medical malpractice payments were reported between the years 2003 until 2013. During that time, there were 359,265 recorded medical practitioners in America. In a separate report published by American Nurse Today, researchers estimate that 7,000 people die annually of adverse drug events and medication errors. These alarming statistics only prove that the potential dangers of medical negligence need to be addressed right away.

The community can hold health care professionals to the high standards of their profession by learning more about what goes on behind these devastating scenarios. In this article, we’ll discuss a few of the different situations that could potentially bring harm to patients. These situations vary in contexts. Sometimes, patients are endangered due to carelessness in the part of the doctor. Other times, they could also be hurt by defective drugs and similar pharmaceutical errors.

It is clear from the previously discussed data that medical malpractice is a serious issue in the health care industry. While it may not happen often, it does happen with some notable frequency. Cases of medical malpractice can range from birth injuries, surgical errors, misdiagnosis, and even wrongful death. Basically, any scenario caused by a medical professional’s negligence or carelessness can be considered a case of medical malpractice. Oftentimes, such cases lead to serious consequences.

For example, birth injuries can be caused by a doctor’s negligence any time before or during the delivery. Cerebral palsy is some of the unfortunate outcomes that result from birth injuries. According to the website of the Driscoll Firm, children with cerebral palsy will face long-term problems with movement, communication, and cognition.

In some cases, medical dangers such as birth injuries also result from defective pharmaceuticals. An example of which is the side effects caused by a drug called Depakote. Williams Kherkher reports on its website that the drug, which is intended to treat manic episodes and seizures for patients with bipolar disorder, has led to many cases of babies born with serious defects. The FDA has issued warnings about the links between birth injuries and the drug. In particular, they cited that pregnant women taking Depakote could end up giving birth to children with spina bifida, brain defects, malformation of face or skull, and malformation of the cardiovascular system.

These grave scenarios only touch on a few cases show potential medical dangers. It only goes to show that the health care community should be held accountable for any instances of negligence that could lead to any dangerous outcomes. In turn, the public should play an active role in making sure these outcomes don’t fall through the cracks. Anyone devastated by medical dangers should approach an experienced personal injury lawyer to learn about their legal options.

Common Causes of Car Accidents in America

By on 4-15-2015 in Car Accidents

The United States Census Bureau reports that there was an average of 10.6 million car accidents that happened from 2004 until 2009. This means that for each year, about 10 million incidents are reported to traffic officials. These statistics only prove that car accidents are a common occurrence in America. While some of these reported accidents resulted in minor damages, most of them led to serious injuries and fatalities. As emphasized by the website of the Seegmiller Law Firm, such outcomes can result in long-term consequences that are often very hard to overcome.

For the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are two main suspects for these devastating outcomes. According to data presented in the CDC website, car accidents commonly result from distracted driving and alcohol impaired driving.

What is distracted driving?

According to CDC, distracted driving happens when a person splits their attention between driving and another activity. Such activities can be in the form of visual, manual, or cognitive distractions. Most of the time, distracted driving activities involve a driver using their cellphones to make calls or send texts. However, the simple act of taking your eyes off the road or taking your mind off the act of driving can also lead to accidents and crashes. Distracted driving is said to have caused 3,328 fatalities in the year 2012.

What is alcohol impaired driving?

Alcohol impaired driving is another scenario that typically leads to majority of car accidents in America. The CDC estimates that it leads to about 30 fatalities every day. Because of such alarming statistics, driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI) are considered as some of the most serious traffic law violations that drivers could be charged with. While penalties will differ from state to state, punishment for DUI and DWI are usually very stringent. In Texas, for example, the website of the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter points out that alcohol-related violations could lead to license suspension, paying substantial fines, and even serving time in prison.

Medical Errors that Lead to Wrongful Death

By on 4-12-2015 in Medical Risks, Personal Injury

Working as a medical professional comes with a certain set of responsibilities. When you hold the the life and well-being of other individuals in your hands, there’s very little room to commit any errors. As emphasized on the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, the primary concern of doctors, surgeons, nurses, and other hospital personnel is the health and safety of their patients. When this responsibility is eclipsed by careless and negligent mistakes, these professionals are recognized by law as accountable for damaging consequences that their errors could have caused.

It is an unfortunate reality that the number of medical malpractice cases in the U.S. has been on the rise in recent years. The Civil Justice Resource Group estimates that about 25,000 to 120,000 cases involving medical negligence will lead to patient’s wrongful death. Similarly, the Journal of American Medical Association reports that about 225,000 people die every year due to medical malpractice. In most scenarios, wrongful death is simply due to errors that fall below the standard of care required by the medical profession. A Nashville personal injury lawyer may cite the following as common factors that lead to fatal outcomes:

  • Failure to properly diagnose the patient’s condition
  • Giving a wrong diagnosis
  • Failure to provide proper treatment in a timely manner
  • Errors while providing treatment in the emergency room or during surgery
  • Birth injuries due to errors made during labor and delivery
  • Infections due to unsanitary conditions

Patients who seek treatment from medical professionals expect to receive the best quality of care. It’s important that doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals are held to a standard that matches these expectations. Closer scrutiny of hospitals and other medical institutions can help in this regard. Cases of wrongful death are tragic but avoidable. As law firm Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. says on its website, the families of victims have legal options they can consider to seek out the justice they deserve.