Thursday, December 07, 2006

Frightening story...and a call to action for all of us!

I received a copy of the Parents Magazine January issue yesterday in the mail.... Usually I let these types of mags sit for a while before I actually read them, but since I was trying to rest a bit to finally get over the lovely stomach bug Chris decided to share with me, I decided to read through it last night.

Chris: I love you baby....more than you know. But, can you do me the very small favor of giving Daddy the stomach virus next time??? The score card is 3:0 - unfortunately in Mommy's favor!

Anyways... There was a very frightening story in the January issue that all of us - regardless of where we are in our reproductive lives because this trend could go beyond the practice of obstetrics - need to read and take action on.

If you do not get the advance copies of Parents Magazine, the full story is not yet available (link will be available soon for - but, you can go here to get a "taste" for what the article is about:

Losing Your OB-GYN? You Might Be!

Dr. D had mentioned the problem with malpractice insurance coverage skyrocketing a few years ago to us (before I got PG with Chris in August 2003) - and how afraid he was that if the cost of malpractice insurance rose too much for him, he may have to back out of ob practice completely. He said that good ob/gyn's are being forced out of practice (or forced to cut back to gyn practice) because they can't afford the coverage - and med school students are overlooking the ob/gyn practice for that same reason.

Women across the country are loosing fantastic doctors - and NJ/NY/PA are all in the danger zones, with CT close behind (and that is just the tri-state area!). There was a section of the Parent's Magazine article siting that infant mortality rates in Virgina are actually rising> as the number of ob/gyn's in practice fall because of the cost of malpractice insurance coverage! Can that be any more scary for us as we approach 2007???

You can go here for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Red Alert List map. The ACOG also has an article about the issues here on their web site: Women's Access to Health Care Hurt by Medical Liability Crisis.

Dr. D is a fantastic doctor - I can't imagine losing him because ob/gyn malpractice insurance is second only to malpractice insurance for Neurosurgeons! But, he has already told us that if his insurance ups itself into the 6-figures area, then he has to quit ob practice. Where would that leave me?? Dr. D has an amazing passion for what he does - his is a doctor who has been in this profession for 20+ years and is on the Residency Board of the hospital you deliver at, who wells up when he sees that baby moving on an u/s or cries with you when you don't, and is adamant about finding out why you are habitually miscarrying - it is a crying shame to be on the cusp of loosing someone like Dr. D because of rediculous malpractice claims being filed.

That is not to say that some claims are not ligit - my brother and his ex-wife definitely had a legitimate claim after their oldest son was born (which they actually never filed). She had a botched c-section - the stitches opened less than a week after coming home, and she started bleeding and the site got infected. She was quite ill. But, the articles list claims that are being filed that are just not the fault of the doctors - and they are being sued for them anyway.

I am not one to fight on political/social issues....but it scares me very much that I am close to losing my ob/gyn - a doctor who has been through every up and down with us for the past 8 years - over an issue of insurance. Some reform needs to come around in the US....and we have the power to do it.

You can take action, if this in any way affects you, by printing the letter below (linked from the Parents Magazine site) and send it to your senators and state representatives to reverse this growing trend:
I hope all of you can help... I know I will be!

No comments: