Doctors United Demand Integrity in Medicine!
America needs H.R. 2472
Washington- Patient advocacy groups and Doctors groups have joined in an unprecedented cooperation to protect medical quality, safety, cost and efficiency. These groups, including the International Association of Whistleblowers (IAW), Medical Whistleblower Association, Georgians for Justice, Mothers against Medical error, have joined to make passage peer review reform a top priority. H.R. 2472 represents a small, but definite, step forward in providing due process to physicians in peer review.
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Physician and Congressman Joe Heck, D.O. (NV-3) introduced H.R. 2472 and it is co-sponsored by many of the other doctors in Congress, including Tom Price, MD; Ron Paul, MD; Charles Boustany, MD; Michael Burgess, MD; Scott DesJarlais, MD; Phil Gingrey, MD; Andy Harris, MD; Dan Benishek, MD; and Larry Buscon, MD.
The bill is a response to the growing problem of good physicians losing their careers as a result of the disastrous effects of reports to the National Practitioner's Data Bank (NPDB).
Medical whistleblowers have a great deal in common with defense whistleblowers. Defense workers can be stripped of their security clearance without warning and without due process. Doctors can be stripped of hospital privileges and lose their careers without warning.
In addition, the two areas of vast fraud are medicine and the military. Errors and safety in medicine and defense can be deadly. That is why the IAW has started a special "Patient Quality Care Project." All doctors and patients and citizens are urged to join.
"Possibly 100,000 people die from medical error every year, "stated Dr. Helen Salisbury, chair of the panel on medical whistleblowing to be held Sunday Sept. 18 "This is simply unacceptable. Worse, these deaths are the direct result of stonewalling and silence inside of hospital culture. It is high time that doctors and patients band together to make sure our loved ones are as safe as possible in hospitals, and that patients get the care they deserve. We want every possible group to sign on to this campaign- patients, doctors, citizens. We need every local group, every national group. This is the big one."
"If we don't protect the truth tellers, people die," states James Murtagh, MD. "We must pass H.R. 2472. Patient safety and doctors careers are at stake."IAW is recruiting all doctor and patient groups in every community of America to join into this effort. No group is too big, and none is too small. We are all patients, and every American has a stake in the safest and best good faith medical care possible."
Organizers note that medical truth-tellers must be protected so that the public can be confident in the integrity of hospitals. "Without truth tellers like Dr. Patrick Campbell of Redding California, no one would have ever known that Tenet HMO was performing thousands of unnecessary heart surgeries. Tenet put profit before patients." Dr. Salisbury continued. "Healthcare fraud costs this nation billions, and leads to loss of life. As a physician, I find this intolerable. We are committed to protecting medical truth tellers who work in both the federal and private sectors."
Other leaders of the group noted that the federal government is by far the biggest player in healthcare, and federal protections would go far to help doctors even at private hospitals. Virtually every hospital receives important federal funding. No hospital should continue to receive a dime of federal money until they comply with all federal regulations. By cutting fraudsters off from federal money, we can and must protect patient care. People's lives are at stake. No more profit before patients. We urge newspapers everywhere to reprint this article, and for all citizens to join this campaign. We need everyone! No federal dollars without real accountability. Good faith is the essential prerequisite for public support.
The IAW's Patient Quality Care Project urges all citizens to reprint this article everywhere, and to join the fight for better hospital safety. Please contact the following immediately:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
We plan to release further press releases very frequently this week