Doc in the emergency room takes care of false dismissal
The emergency doctor decides on concerns about staff shortages.
Raymond Brovont, MD, an emergency physician, is set to raise $ 26 million in an illegal dismissal proceeding against EmCare, a medical personnel company. In 2018, Brovont filed a lawsuit alleging he was fired for expressing concern about the company’s occupation of only one doctor on the night shift to two separate areas of the Overland Park Regional Medical Center in Cover Kansas. Brovont’s concerns became more apparent as the hospital doubled in size. EmCare, owned by Envision Physician Services, has more than 1,000 contracts with hospitals in 42 states.
“Given the dangerous understaffing of the Overland Park Regional emergency rooms, the plaintiff was very concerned for the safety of the hospital’s patients,” Brovont’s lawsuit stated, and a jury awarded Brovont $ 29 million – $ 3 million in economic terms in October 2018 Damage, $ 6 million in pain and suffering, and $ 10 million punitive damages against EmCare subsidiaries in Kansas and Missouri.
Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels
Michael Ketchmark, one of Brovont’s attorneys, said at the time: “We proved in court that he was dismissed for raising his voice. I think the jury sent a pretty loud message that if these companies come in and offer managed care, they’ll have to listen to doctors’ complaints about patient safety. “
However, that award was reduced to $ 13 million after a judge imposed a punitive damages cap under Kansas law. Both Brovont and the defendants appealed, with Brovont arguing that Kansas law should not apply to the Missouri facility. The Missouri Court of Appeals ruled in his favor but reduced the payout to $ 26 million and the Missouri Supreme Court declined to review the case.
“We’re delighted, but not surprised by the opinion,” said Ketchmark. “It was a complete victory.” He added, “I think Dr. Brovont is a real hero in that regard. This is just a complete endorsement of everything he’s tried. “
Emergency Medicine Contract Management Groups (CMGs), also known as Physician Practice Management Organizations (PPMOs), provide automated billing services, but “often at the expense of physicians ‘autonomy,” according to the Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association (EMRA). Some have questioned whether they serve the best interests of emergency physicians and their patients, and emergency physicians have argued that the systems are actually affecting patient care.
“The business model of these contract management groups is the same as McDonald’s: use the cheapest labor to produce a mediocre hamburger,” said Mitchell Li, MD, a Chicago ambulance. “Expertise is only seen as a single expense, and patient safety is a minor part of investor profit. Private equity and, frankly, lay property have no place in medicine. Such judgments should empower doctors everywhere to speak out against injustices they regularly suffer. “
When asked whether Overland had changed its personnel policy in the emergency room, spokeswoman Christine Hamele only commented on the hospital’s procedures and patient care as a whole. She said, “Overland Park Regional Medical Center prides itself on providing high quality, compassionate care to patients, especially during their most vulnerable time.”
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