With more than 135 tests and procedures that are possibly overused by doctors, the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation has launched a "Choosing Wisely" initiative designed to cut down on unnecessary or ineffective interventions. Unnecessary testing can lead to medical malpractice cases and can result in negative outcomes for Wisconsin patients.The initiative began by identifying 45 tests, procedures and other interventions that may be unnecessary or even dangerous and are routinely used by doctors. One reason doctors may order these tests is pressure from patients and groups who mistakenly believe that if a doctor denies a procedure, he or she is providing substandard care.
A Wisconsin state law that passed in 2011 changed the way long-term health care providers are required to report their facilities' records for injuries, abuse and deaths. The tort reform law, known as Wisconsin Act 2 of 2011, makes state records related to injuries and death on their property inadmissible in court, including records regarding investigations of these facilities for abuse, medical malpractice and other events. However, these records are still available for the public to view. Furthermore, the law also places an upper limit on the amount of damages that those who pursue a personal injury lawsuit for negligence or wrongful death may obtain from cases against long-term care providers. Prior to this law's passage, there was not a cap on punitive damages in these cases. The law also places a greater burden on the plaintiff who was seeking punitive damages in a personal injury lawsuit; he or she is now required to prove that the provider knew about the actions or behaviors that resulted in the injury.
Here in Wisconsin, when we go to the doctor, we expect that we will get the best care possible. We rightfully expect that the doctors we see will give us accurate information and advice about our health and well-being. If we have a major health concern that requires surgery, those expectations get even higher. We know that doctors are trained to perform procedures accurately and trust them with our lives. Unfortunately, sometimes things go wrong.
Many in Appleton and around Wisconsin may not know that parents of an adult child cannot sue for certain damages in medical malpractice cases, however if their child is killed in a car accident, well that's different. Thanks to a 1990 Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling, only minor children who lose a parent can sue the medical facility and or doctor responsible for loss of companionship and society in a wrongful death case caused by medical malpractice. And only parents can sue for the same, as long as their child is a minor.