Americans love a good deal. Whether buying a car or going to a fast food restaurant, we constantly see advertisements that purport an offer of more for less money. One surgical center is offering a total knee and a total hip replacement surgery bundle to patients.
According to a recent article in the Charlotte Observer, hospital officials, who say they are trying to focus healthcare from volume to value, believe that patients will benefit from the new bundled approach to joint replacement surgery.
A patient can receive both a hip and knee replacement with a single bill that will cover preoperative visits, surgery, three months of physical therapy, and a “navigator” to guide the patient through the process. Hospital administrators see this as a future of healthcare in the United States.
Our Boston malpractice attorneys, who handle knee replacement injury, understand why hospitals want to make it more convenient for patients to have both a knee and a hip replacement. Joint replacement is a big business for medical device companies, doctors, and hospitals.
Each year, more and more people undergo total knee replacement procedures that research suggests may be unnecessary. In addition to being unnecessary, for many patients, having a total knee replacement will leave them in a far worse condition than prior to having the implant.
Having a total knee replacement carries significant risks. As we have learned through the discovery process in various defective knee lawsuits, medical device companies that manufacture the artificial joints are aware of problems in design and the risks associated with the procedure and have kept that information from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), doctors, and patients.
One of the major claims in a defective knee lawsuit is for failure to adequately warn of a known danger. The law and medical ethics both require patients be given enough information to make an informed decision. Even if they have a soothing voice on a commercial listing all of the horrible adverse events (side effects) associated with a particular drug or medical device, they need to disclose that information.
If a medical device company knows of a defect or risk, or should have known about the risk through pre- or post-market testing, doctors and patients and the FDA must be warned. However, because drug companies were worried about harming the sales of their products, they have not always disclosed this information.
This failing to warn is a breach of a duty owed to patients and is one of the elements of proving a negligence case. One of the issues that we have seen is that, in these cases, companies will often try to reach confidential settlements with some plaintiffs so that the public does not become aware of the defects in their products.
The problem is that, once it has been established that they know of a potential problem, these companies are still not taking steps to remedy the problem to protect future victims, nor are the companies including any existence of a defect in warnings or reporting the condition to the FDA.
If you are the victim of a defective product in Boston, call Jeffrey Glassman Injury Lawyers for a free and confidential appointment — (617) 777-7777.
OrthoCarolina of Charlotte to bundle knee, hip replacement costs, October 4, 2014, Charlotte Observer
More Blog Entries:
Johnson & Johnson’s Defective Hip Implants Cause Worldwide Problems, June 15, 2014, Boston Products Liability Attorneys Blog