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Wrongful Denials of HMO Treatment in New York are Common and are Often Successfully Appealed

Many patients of health maintenance organizations (“HMO”) are unaware of their legal right to appeal a decision denying their requested treatment. The desired treatment is normally denied deemed as”medically unnecessary” or “experimental.” The law also only provides for a mere 45 day deadline in which one can file this appeal.

The ignorance of various patients of their ability to appeal is particularly problematic in light of the fact that, according to the New York State Insurance Department, approximately 42.6 and 49.4 percent of the cases that are appealed are in fact reversed.

Therefore, it is important that patients are made … Read the rest

New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation Publicly Releases Data on Infection and Death Rates

On September 7th, 2007, the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (NYCHHC), the nation’s largest public health system treating 1.3 million patients a year, began publicly releasing data on infection and death rates at its 11 hospitals and 4 nursing homes.

The safety and performance information is posted on the hospital corporation’s Web site, www.nyc.gov/hhc. The Web site allows the public to see the overall death rate, the rate of deaths after heart attacks, preventable bloodstream infections and pneumonia cases, among other measures, at the 11 hospitals.

Information on the Web site also includes what the NYCHHC considers to … Read the rest

“Medical Terrorists” – Body Part Snatchers

There appears to be a growing trend of “body snatching,” which includes illegally removing human tissue from cadavers and selling the tissue to firms that process it for medical facilities and researchers. As a result, the usual safety screening procedures that take place for the donation of body parts are not performed and there is a growing concern that the procured tissue is tainted.

In fact, this black market business has caused many tissue recipients to receive infected and diseased tissue. Both the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are insisting that those who have received tissue … Read the rest

School’s Open – Pedestrian Safety Tips

According to the Federal Highway Administration, 15 percent of kids today travel to school on foot or on a bicycle, compared with 42 percent in 1969. New York has the fourth highest annual pedestrian deaths and injuries in the United States. Fortunately, the fatality rate for children pedestrians has dropped dramatically over the last 30 years or so, decreasing 84 percent since 1975. With schools opening for the year, it seems timely to point out some safety tips for pedestrians:

  1. DON’T assume that obeying “Walk/Don’t Walk” lights decreases your risk of getting hit. Studies show that standard pedestrian signals have
Read the rest

Levine & Slavit Launches Radio Campaign

Following its successful television advertising campaign on New York Mets and Yankees games, Levine & Slavit has begun an advertising campaign on New York City based all-news radio station 1010 WINS.

Set to begin on August 27, 2007, the ad reads: “Many people are not prepared and dont know how to proceed when injured in an accident. The law firm of Levine & Slavit has been representing accident victims for 50 years, located in Manhattan with an additional office on Long Island. We handle cases in New York City and surrounding counties. If you have been injured through the negligence … Read the rest

Scaffold Accident at the former Deutsche Bank Building in NYC Comes Just Days After Fatal Fire

Two firefighters were injured Thursday, August 23rd, 2007, when a forklift fell from scaffolding and crashed into a shed at the former Deutsche Bank building in Manhattan. Both firefighters were taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital. Sources said both of the firefighters sustained serious head injuries.

Fire officials said a tool fell off the scaffold and landed atop a sidewalk shed that the firefighters were standing under. The force of the impact caused a helmet one of the firefighters was wearing to crack. The fire department said that a construction worker entered an elevator at the work site at about 2 … Read the rest

Another Week, Another Recall of Toys

Mattel, the world’s largest toy company and the maker of Barbie dolls and Hot Wheels cars, yesterday announced the biggest recall in its history. The company said it was recalling 436,000 Chinese-made die-cast toy cars depicting the character Sarge from the animated film Cars because they are covered with lead paint.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission advises consumers to immediately take the recalled toys away from children and contact Mattel. Consumers will need to return the product to receive a replacement toy.

At the same time, the toy maker said it was recalling 18.2 million other toys because their … Read the rest

Medicare to Stop Paying Hospitals Extra to Treat Their Preventable Errors

Medicare, in a significant policy change, will no longer pay the extra costs of treating preventable errors, injuries and infections that occur in hospitals, which the government says could save lives and millions of dollars.

Under the new rule, effective October 1, 2007, and applicable to discharges occurring on or after that date, Medicare will not pay hospitals for the costs of treating certain conditions that could reasonably have been prevented. Significantly, under the new rules, the hospital cannot bill the beneficiary for any charges associated with the hospital-acquired complication.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that patients … Read the rest

Damage Found on Throgs Neck Bridge During Inspection Began Before Minneapolis Bridge Collapse

New York State officials announced, on August 9, 2007, that some damage to the Throgs Neck Bridge showing advanced wear and tear was found during a routine biannual inspection that began prior to last week’s Minneapolis bridge collapse. As a result, restrictions to the access to the bridge by over-sized rigs will be increased. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (“MTA”) said the bridge is safe for drivers.

To ease the bridge’s deterioration, the state is rescinding a two-year program that allowed certain trucks weighing 105,000 pounds to travel on the center lanes at 30 mph at any time of day. Those … Read the rest

Mayor Bloomberg Serves Jury Duty

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg reported for jury duty at the New York State Supreme Court, New York County,on August 6th, 2007. He was called for voir dire along with others into a courtroom where attorneys were set to begin picking a jury for a wrongful death lawsuit brought by a woman whose husband had died after years of operating a printing press that attorneys said contained asbestos in its brakes. The Mayor was not selected for that case.

Mayor Bloomberg returned to the Manhattan courthouse the following day where he was considered as a juror in a personal Read the rest