September 05, 2005


I've been posting elsewhere on Katrina because I don't want to fall too deeply into the finger pointing blame game. This is a time when we should be pulling together as a nation. For too many of us, this has not happened.

Personally, I'm getting ready to defend the home front for the next few weeks. Tomorrow, we should be getting enough information to figure out whether things are organized enough for my wife to go answer a call for doctors to help with hurricane relief and start the mammoth job of reassembling the patient files of entire US cities. There's a huge spike in medical demand right now just because of the record destruction, not to mention the increase of actual medical problems. Starting from scratch isn't an impossible task, or even a really difficult one. It's just very time consuming. New patient appointments always pay more than returning patients because they are just more work.

We long ago decided that one stays sane and the other can go and try for the brass ring. It's her turn and if JC Nationwide can swing the logistics, she'll push back her medical practice opening in order to take care of some people in trouble on the Gulf Coast. After all, they need doctors more than network administrators.

The logistics of moving doctors in for an operation like this is huge. You normally can't write a prescription for penicillin if you don't have a state license. Federal projects are one of the exceptions for that. The issue of malpractice suits is another worry. People are likely to be in a litigious mood and the "where were you two days ago" attitude is tailor made for trial lawyer exploitation and massive lawsuits. This doesn't even start to cover the issue of how your normal malpractice carrier tends to freak out if you practice "naked" in another state especially if you're not licensed there.

If things go massively wrong and we get hung out to dry on a lawsuit, the extra cost on our malpractice policy during the next three years could sink us. Malpractice rates shoot up when you're sued and shoot up even more if you're found culpable. If things are physically safe enough, I want her to follow her heart and go anyway. That's what we mean by solidarity and the only way to really teach it is to live it. We have three children. We have to teach it.

Posted by TMLutas at September 5, 2005 03:54 PM