OHSU, after pilfering $200m of the Tobacco settlement(with state consent–thanks, Neil!) , urban renewal funds, PDX funds, etc, to build the tram, SoWa, etc, finds itself in another crucial bind after the state supreme court ruled the quasi public/private teaching university and research facility does not qualify for the state’s $200K limited liability cap. See Zero story here.
In short: they’ve gotta pay just like every other hospital in America if they’re found liable for a screw up.
Welcome to the terror dome that is the real world of docs in the box.
Yet, what to do when the cold, hard reality of the real world hits the ivory tower??? OHSU has announced 200 layoffs, closure of rural health care clinics, reductions in medical school admissions and tearing out the kitchen sink. Their world had come to an end. Their tram was left dangling in the wind…
But apparently they’ve decided to blame their woes on one case. The case of a baby deprived of oxygen after birth, whose parents have sued. Who knew? Jack Bog’s blog has a treatment of the case here and Steve Duin has some enlightening observations about OHSU’s fiscal accountability (or lack thereof) here in The Zero.
Nowhere, however, does anyone suggest overall tort reform to lessen the liability damages for every doctor and medical facility. Or would that cause too much consternation in their journalati and tort bar circles?
I think people should be compensated for their losses and pain and suffering, don’t get me wrong. It’s the additional huge punitive damages, lawyers fees, and other costs ladled on that bust the system. Welcome to the real world, OHSU.