Carney Hospital is a 159-bed facility in Dorchester, MA. The healthcare provider’s doctors provide services in primary care medicine, critical care, pediatrics, cardiology, neurology surgical specialties, inpatient and outpatient psychiatry, emergency medicine, and ambulatory surgery. Carney Hospital was established in 1863 in South Boston.
Carney Hospital is expecting layoffs in November 2012, according to the Dorchester Reporter. The company’s executives, including President Andy Davis, discussed recently with members of the Service Employees International Union 1199. The union has hundreds of members working at the hospital. Carney Hospital executives and SEIU 1199 representatives met about alternative plans to letting go a number of workers. Carney Hospital is part of the Steward Health Care System.
Hospitals such as Carney Hospital are facing financial challenges with hospital mistakes being more common and such mistakes resulting in lawsuit stress on doctors and hospitals. Most hospitals have malpractice insurance, but in these harsh economic times, many hospitals are partially or completely uninsured for malpractice.
Some hospitals forego insurance because they have cash to cover liabilities. Other hospitals do not have coverage because they used up their malpractice reserves. With hospitals fearing lawsuits, some medical facilities are closing its doors. In New York, a hospital closed its obstetric practice, in part out of fear of lawsuits.
Patients should make note of the news on hospital layoffs. It would be difficult for a patient to recover money from hospitals deep in debt. Insurance experts report in the long run, not having malpractice insurance may be costly to hospital bondholders if judgments force a medical provider into bankruptcy. When a hospital files bankruptcy, its creditors, including malpractice plaintiffs, are normally forced to accept less in settlement than they may get from litigation.
In some states, hospitals are not required to have malpractice insurance to function. For instance, hospitals in New York, Illinois, and Florida do not need to have malpractice insurance. New York hospitals also do not need to tell patients they do not have insurance. Usually, uninsured hospitals, and hospitals not doing well financially, are in areas where juries award big judgments, insurance executives say. There is no central record for consumers to check which hospitals have insurance.
Health care associations rank hospitals based on quality and safety measures. The Joint Commission on Accreditation (JCA), created to help health care organizations improve the safety and quality of care, certifies health care organizations based on compliance with national health care quality and safety standards.
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