September 20, 2012

In a new book written by a world-renowned Johns Hopkins surgeon named Marty Makary, M.D., the author notes that one in six dollars in the U.S. economy are spent in the health care industry, 20% to 30% of all medical tests and procedures are unnecessary, 30% to 40% of total health care expenditures involve fraud, over-treatment, or unnecessary tests, about one in four hospitalized patients will be subject to medical negligence, 10% to 15% of patients are not advised of all of their options regarding their medical care, surgeons operate on the wrong body part 40 times every week, approximately 100,000 people die from medical malpractice incidents each year, and medical malpractice is either the fifth or sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

The book is entitled Unaccountable: What  Hospitals Won’t Tell You And How Transparency Can Revolutionize Health Care. It’s author is Dr. Martin “Marty” A. Makary. Dr. Makary specializes in advanced laparoscopy, pancreas surgery, gastro-intestinal tumors, and special issues of elderly patients. He is an active surgeon and researcher, serving jointly on the faculty of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and School of Public Health. Dr. Makary serves in leadership roles for the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO), the International Union of Risk Management, and is a regular medical guest on CNN.  He is the author of several books on public health and surgery, patient safety, quality of care, and health policy. His current research interests focus on the delivery of quality care, the science of medical errors and patient safety, international health, and health policy.  He has several ongoing studies including the clinical and public health implications of new technologies in surgery. Source

Dr. Makary argues in Unaccountable that medicine in the United States needs to be more transparent in order for costs to be reduced and medical outcomes to be improved. Doctors and hospitals must be more open regarding their complication rates, the treatment options available to patients, and they must be willing to better police their own who provide bad care. Only through greater transparency can these and other critical issues facing medicine today be properly addressed and solutions found. Until doctors and hospitals make this and other information readily available to patients, it is upon the patient to empower himself or herself with the information necessary to make informative decisions regarding health care alternatives.

“I Don’t Think Medicine Should Be A Secret Business”  (Marty Makary, M.D.)

“There Are A Lot Of Things That Hospitals Do Not Tell You” (Marty Makary, M.D.)

“I’ve Seen People Die Because Of Preventable Medical Mistakes” (Marty Makary, M.D.)

We have not had the opportunity to read Dr. Makary’s new book yet but look forward to obtaining and reading a copy. Courageous doctors who are working within the health care field, such as Dr. Makary, should be applauded for exposing some of the disturbing secrets of the health care industry in the United States and offering thoughtful solutions that may address the short-comings of medical care in the United States. Only through transparency can there be a full and candid discussion regarding the problems and issues facing medicine in the United States today so that we can work toward taking positive steps to enjoy better medical care and reign in unnecessary medical expenditures in the United States.

If you or a loved one were injured as a result of possible medical malpractice committed by a doctor or while you or your loved one were a patient in a hospital or a resident in a nursing home, you should promptly arrange a consultation with a local medical malpractice attorney who may be able to investigate your possible medical malpractice claim for you and advise you of your options with regard to seeking compensation for your injuries and losses.

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