Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Scared, then angry...
Old 05-05-2012, 01:09 AM   #1
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 43
Send a message via ICQ to ARB57
Scared, then angry...

So, here's the deal...

A couple of weeks ago, I discovered a large amount of blood in my urine (not a hint...it was blood red.) I took myself to the emergency room where they ordered blood work, a urine sample and began a saline IV. Upon finding no good reason for my symptoms, the Dr. ordered a CT scan.

Upon reviewing the scan, he told me that they had found a "mass" on my bladder (and indicated such in writing on my release papers.) He said that he didn't believe that it was a cyst, indicating instead that it may be a tumor. Odds that any cancer had spread were low, but he left open the possibilty that the "tumor" was cancerous. He told me to see a urologist immediately.

I left the hospital (at 2am) fearing that, in fact, I had cancer. Fast forward to the next day, when another Dr. from the hospital calls to tell me that they had reviewed the scan and there was, in fact, NO MASS afterall, which has since been confirmed with another expensive test.

While I was obviously thrilled to hear the change in diagnosis, I was and remain angry about the complete misdiagnosis that night. I just got the bill ($3000 after insurance adjustments.) Do I have any legal options here? I'm not excited about sueing anybody...but I really don't think I should be paying the bill...when they, unneccesarily put me through hell with their faulty diagnosis. I've never sued anyone...nor have I ever avoided paying a bill...this time, though, I'm more than a little upset.

What say you?
__________________

__________________
ARB57 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 05-05-2012, 02:39 AM   #2
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,846
What a scare that must have been. Ugh.

My suggestion would be to go ahead and pay what you have to pay, and then to pursue this with your urologist until you are satisfied with his explanation of why you had so much blood in your urine. The hospital did do all of those expensive tests, but the second opinion was quite different from the opinion of the first doctor. So personally I would feel obliged to pay. If there is another facility that you think might provide better emergency services, you might prefer to go there instead next time.

Glad it apparently is not a tumor.
__________________

__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2012, 04:27 AM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: France
Posts: 1,195
Quote:
Originally Posted by ARB57 View Post
While I was obviously thrilled to hear the change in diagnosis, I was and remain angry about the complete misdiagnosis that night. I just got the bill ($3000 after insurance adjustments.) Do I have any legal options here? I'm not excited about sueing anybody...but I really don't think I should be paying the bill...when they, unneccesarily put me through hell with their faulty diagnosis. I've never sued anyone...nor have I ever avoided paying a bill...this time, though, I'm more than a little upset.
Faulty diagnoses are perhaps not the norm, but they are part and parcel of the medical profession. Don't fall for the TV myth that the doctor runs a test and a nice, clear-cut, single-symptom diagnosis emerges; it's still a rather inexact science.

To sue successfully, you would have to demonstrate that they were acting incompetently. Any compensation based on your mental anguish would be based on one day's mental anguish.

You might also ask yourself, sincerely, what your attitude is when you read in the paper about "all these people who sue each other whenever anything goes slightly wrong".

And finally, you probably shouldn't do anything else at all until the blood in your urine has gone away and you have a satisfactory explanation of what was causing it. Maybe both of those have happened, but you didn't report them yet.
__________________
Age 56, retired July 1, 2012; DW is 60 and working for 2 more years. Current portfolio is 2000K split 50 stocks/20 bonds/30 cash. Renting house, no debts.
BigNick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2012, 05:30 AM   #4
Moderator
MichaelB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rocky Inlets
Posts: 24,424
If it were someone in my family I would give them a big hug, tell them how happy I am to know they are in good health, and suggest they turn their attention to something more important. The mistake may have been made in good faith, health care is expensive, and in this situation you had been inconvenienced, not wronged.
__________________
MichaelB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2012, 05:35 AM   #5
Moderator Emeritus
Bestwifeever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 16,373
Glad your tests showed no problems. You could call the hospital and ask nicely that the charges be reduced because you're a senior citizen and on a fixed income. But you did agree to the tests and they're not free unfortunately.

The feeling when a loved one's test results come back negative is just the most joyous feeling.
__________________
“Would you like an adventure now, or would you like to have your tea first?” J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Bestwifeever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2012, 06:13 AM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
donheff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 8,638
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigNick View Post
Faulty diagnoses are perhaps not the norm, but they are part and parcel of the medical profession. Don't fall for the TV myth that the doctor runs a test and a nice, clear-cut, single-symptom diagnosis emerges; it's still a rather inexact science.

To sue successfully, you would have to demonstrate that they were acting incompetently. Any compensation based on your mental anguish would be based on one day's mental anguish.
+1 I think you need more evidence of negligence or incompetence before you pursue this. Errors like this can and do occur with good faith efforts. In any event, the problem was corrected quickly unlike, say, the surgical removal of the wrong organ.

Might be worth pursuing with the hospital to find out why the great disparity in opinions. If it is just one doctor's reading vs another's maybe the first was correct. Or maybe the second review led the first to take another look and see the error. Who knows without more info?
__________________
Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson
donheff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2012, 06:45 AM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 3,697
Perspective!

Consider the alternative.

I'd pay the bill and go have a nice dinner, thanking God for having dodged a bullet.
__________________
Living well is the best revenge!
Retired @ 52 in 2005
marko is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2012, 07:17 AM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Northern Kentucky
Posts: 8,591
Quote:
Originally Posted by ARB57 View Post
He told me to see a urologist immediately.
That was "a couple of weeks ago."

So what has the urologist told you?
__________________
Pas de lieu Rhône que nous.
braumeister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2012, 07:22 AM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 8,616
You wrote "change of diagnosis", but didn't say what it was. For example, you don't have mass in bladder, but you didn't say if you have kidney cancer or a simple kidney stone or something else.

Anyways, you gotta pay for the emergency room visit, the tests, and the doctors. You will be better prepared the next time this happens. And it will.
__________________
LOL! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2012, 07:32 AM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
73ss454's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: LaLa Land
Posts: 4,378
Thank your luck stars and move on.

That's why Dr.s call it "practice".
__________________
Work is something you do to get enough $ so you don't have to....Me.
73ss454 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2012, 07:44 AM   #11
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 637
Sometimes only the radiologist can correctly read the scans. We had a similar but opposite experience 2 years ago. DH was short of breath and saw a doctor. They took scans and said he had a lung infection and gave him some antibiotics. The following day at dinner time, we got a call from the radiologist who said his lung was collapsed and get to the emergency room.

My point being medicine is a science, and not always are all the experts available at the moment we need them.
__________________
bizlady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2012, 08:02 AM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,968
It's frustrating and expensive, but not unusual in our experience. There were many cases with employees over my career with employees and their family members being misdiagnosed, and we had to pay for every mistake. DW had a very serious GI surgery where the recommended course of action post surgery was completely different among three gastroenterologists. More recently she had ankle surgery, she went to a local doctor and he found little. She got a second opinion and it was completely different. We got to pay for all of that too.

Not only is it frustrating and expensive, but how on earth is a patient supposed to figure out who to listen too?

But more importantly in this thread, I'm glad to hear the OP's condition was less serious than originally diagnosed.
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2012, 08:42 AM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 1,207
I'm not a lawyer, but I'll echo the others and say that you do not have any basis to sue. A doctor giving a good-faith, albeit incorrect, diagnosis is not medical malpractice. Had they performed some medical procedure (e.g., surgery) that was unnecessary due to misdiagnosis might be basis for a cause of action.
But in your case apparently all that was done was further tests -- one can easily argue that was good medical practice vs malpractice. I can understand your original fears, but I don't believe that would be enough to claim damages.
__________________
mystang52 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2012, 09:03 AM   #14
gone traveling
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Eastern PA
Posts: 3,851
Quote:
Originally Posted by mystang52 View Post
A doctor giving a good-faith, albeit incorrect, diagnosis is not medical malpractice. Had they performed some medical procedure (e.g., surgery) that was unnecessary due to misdiagnosis might be basis for a cause of action.
IMHO, one of the main reasons that health care in the U.S. is more expensive than it needs to be.

Everybody is looking for "what's in it for me?" and willing to sue at the drop of a hat.

Tort reform is one of the main points to bring down medical costs ...
__________________
rescueme is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2012, 09:09 AM   #15
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,968
Quote:
Originally Posted by rescueme View Post
IMHO, one of the main reasons that health care in the U.S. is more expensive than it needs to be.

Everybody is looking for "what's in it for me?" and willing to sue at the drop of a hat.

Tort reform is one of the main points to bring down medical costs ...
Many people like to believe malpractice is a primary cause, it's just one of many and not one of the biggies. Do your own research of course but...
Quote:
Yes, the malpractice system costs money. Yes, defensive medicine exists. But no, malpractice is not the real reason for the high cost of care in the United States, and no, tort reform won’t fix it.

How much does the malpractice system cost? The most recent estimate published in Health Affairs found that medical liability system costs are about $55.6 billion in 2008 dollars, or about 2.4% of all US health care spending. Most of this, or about $47 billion, is due to defensive medicine. So yes, that is theoretically care that should be reduced. But we have no idea how much of it is actually not beneficial. It’s likely that some good comes from that care. How much? Blaming the massive amount of overspending we’re seeing on this relatively small amount is not going to help.

Moreover, pushing this as the real cause of high costs is misleading because there’s little reason to believe that tort reform will do any good. A recent study showed that tort reform which led to a 10% reduction in malpractice premiums might translate into a health care spending reduction of 0.1%. That’s not going to make any difference. This is confirmed by what we’ve seen tort reform do in Texas. And, it’s confirmed by what we’ve seen tort reform do in California.

Malpractice isn’t the root cause of our cost problem, and tort reform isn’t the solution. I wish it were that easy.
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2012, 10:18 AM   #16
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,197
As Braumeister mentioned, this happened a couple of weeks ago. Be aware that according to the forum rules, you can be sued for not updating the story.
__________________
Al
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2012, 11:25 AM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 3,697
Quote:
Originally Posted by rescueme View Post
IMHO, one of the main reasons that health care in the U.S. is more expensive than it needs to be.

Everybody is looking for "what's in it for me?" and willing to sue at the drop of a hat.

Tort reform is one of the main points to bring down medical costs ...
Agreed 110%!
So, why isn't it a significant part of the Health Care Reform Bill? (maybe they're afraid of getting sued?)
__________________
Living well is the best revenge!
Retired @ 52 in 2005
marko is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2012, 11:34 AM   #18
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
powerplay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,380
I'm sorry you had this scare, but happy that there is no tumor as that is the most important part.
__________________
powerplay is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2012, 12:06 PM   #19
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Brat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 5,913
I have a good friend who is a general surgeon (now retired from surgery). He has all the academic awards one could imagine, practiced in leading hospitals, so I asked why he didn't choose a specialty. He said that when you plan a surgery expecting one problem and discover something different once the patient is open, you must be prepared to address that issue in the moment. Diagnosis is probability, not certainty.

The quality of tests and imaging has made miss-diagnosis less frequent but figuring out a problem can still be a process of elimination. I see the role of emergency room physicians is that of keeping the patient alive and treating immediate problems as possible, sometimes a through investigation of causation happens later.

IMHO having a 'worst case' diagnosis that was subsequently eliminated is better than having a diagnosis of minor problem when a major one was missed.
__________________
Duck bjorn.
Brat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2012, 12:41 PM   #20
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
RunningBum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 5,173
I don't think you have any case whatsoever. Pay the bill, and be thankful it wasn't cancer.

That $3000...was that a deductible, co-pay, or what?
__________________

__________________
RunningBum is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:34 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.