Randi Kaye | Bio
Imagine paying to protect yourself from the very patients you are trying to save and protect. That’s the case for doctors nationwide.
Tonight, on 360, you’ll meet an OB-GYN who practices on Long Island, New York. She’s been in business for 18 years, and has delivered 3000 babies! That’s a lot of babies. She’s never been found at fault for anything, yet she pays nearly $170,000 in malpractice insurance fees to protect herself from patients.
Let’s face it, patients and their families expect perfect babies and when that doesn’t happen, they are inclined to sue. Obstetricians are sued more than any other doctor in the country! Dr. Wendy Fried’s office in North Hills, NY was bustling when our crew was there shooting our story and interviewing her.
She was sued back in 1998 for “unnecessary hysterectomy”. Dr. Fried says the woman’s uterus burst during labor and she had to remove her uterus. Both mom and baby survived, and Dr. Fried was even invited to spend Christmas with the family. But out of nowhere six months later she was hit with a lawsuit!
She told me she felt “betrayed” and that this “blew her away” since afterall she had saved the woman’s life. The lawsuit dragged on for more than three years but eventually the jury found Dr. Fried did nothing wrong. Still, to this day, Dr. Fried calls the lawsuit “a knife in her heart.”
Meanwhile, her insurance is getting more expensive, along with that of other OB-GYN’s.
Dr. Fried’s premiums jumped 14 percent two years ago. She’s had to cut back at home on her children’s extracurricular activities and now she only goes to discount stores, just to afford her liability insurance.
How much should doctors pay to protect themselves? Would President Obama’s suggestion of malpractice reform make a difference? And do doctors have a right to practice “defensive medicine” and order more tests than necessary just to cover themselves, even if they know it drives up healthcare costs?
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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