The Tennessean | Tom Wilemon
Sandy Thornton looks at her husband of 35 years with the sad knowledge that the kidney she gave him is dying.
“Vanderbilt has murdered that kidney,” she said.
She blames the pill that a nephrologist from Vanderbilt University Medical Center prescribed. Vanderbilt contends that no medical mistakes occurred in the course of Dan Thornton’s treatment and that it “met or exceeded the standard of care.”
The Thorntons tried to sue, but they ran into barriers. So they went beyond the courts. They filed complaints with Medicare, the United Network for Organ Sharing, the Joint Commission and the Tennessee Department of Health. The Tennessee legislature has passed tort reform laws in recent years that make it more difficult to file malpractice suits.
But complaints like the ones the Thorntons just filed could also put financial penalties on hospitals. The federal government is pushing for transparency and accountability to lower health-care costs. If it determines hospitals make mistakes with Medicare and Medicaid patients, it won’t pay the hospital bills.
“Medicare considers him a million-dollar man,” Sandy Thornton said. “They have paid out nearly $1 million for our transplant and also $400,000 to keep him alive for three months.”
Read more: http://www.tennessean.com/article/20120127/NEWS07/301270075/TN-man-wife-s-kidney-blames-Vanderbilt-organ-decline?odyssey=tab%7Ctopnews%7Ctext%7CFRONTPAGE