If you were my client, and you read the following headline in our local Central New York Newspaper, the Syracuse Post Standard, what would you do?:
"Central New York Injury Lawyer Worst in Nation".
Or what about this one:
"Auburn Injury Lawyer Charged with Misconduct Agrees to Never Practice Again".
I'll tell you what you would do. You would run down to my office, grab your file, bring it to a good New York personal injury lawyer, and never look back.
Well, the Auburn Memorial Hospital, right here in Auburn New York, has had precisely these kinds of headlines in recent times. In January 2013, a Syracuse Post Standard headline read, "Auburn Hospital Worst in Nation". The article went on to explain how Auburn Memorial was facing the biggest Medicare pay cut of any hospital in the nation under a new Federal payment system that rewarded or penalized hospitals based on how well they cared for their patients.
Then in January of this year another headline ran, "Auburn ER Doc Charged with Misconduct Agrees to Never Practice Again". The article explained that the ER doc had been censured for failing to maintain records, failing to adequately diagnose and treat patients, and failing to admit patients that should have been admitted, and inappropriately discharging others. Note: On the bright side, he did not cut off the wrong leg of any of his patients :)
So now you know why, if I were ever to have a heart attack or stroke here at my personal injury law firm office in Auburn, New York, I would, with my last conscious breath, emit two words: "NOT AUBURN!"
And that's sad because I love Auburn, love working here, love the people here, and think is a great small city. But Auburn Hospital, unfortunately, is suffering the same fate as many small regional hospitals --- tight budgets and red ink tempt them to cut safety corners and to hire docs and other staff from the bottom of the barrel. (Don't get me wrong -- there are lots of great docs and nurses at Auburn Memorial Hospital --- but there are also some very bad ones, as the story about this substandard ER doc demonstrates).
We have a right to better care. Auburn may be the back waters of Syracuse, but it is not the Third World. We're in the United States of American, damn it! If small regional hospitals like Auburn can't deliver medical care at an acceptable level of competence, they have no business being in business. Geez, just Mercy-flight us all to SUNY Upstate. It would be cheaper, and more efficient, than maintaining a substandard hospital in Auburn.
And please, don't go blaming us Central New York medical malpractice lawyers for the problem. No sir, we make no apologies. The medical malpractice lawsuits we file are the the effect, not the cause, of the negligent delivery of medical services at Auburn and other hospitals. Yes, we have sued Auburn Memorial Hospital for its doctors' malpractice. And no, we won't hesitate to do so again should our clients suffer the terrible consequences of the substandard medical care delivered there. The "sting" of our lawsuits spurs hospitals like Auburn to deliver better care, and without the threat of that sting, dangerous cost-cutting would likely cause medical care in Auburn, and elsewhere, to spiral down to Third-World levels of care.
Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org I'd love to hear from you!
Michael G. Bersani, Esq.
Central NY & Syracuse Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Michaels & Smolak, P.C.