As a Houston, Texas medical malpractice attorney, I have spoken with many people wanting to hire a lawyer to look into their concerns about healthcare that occurred at Conroe Regional Medical Center. After investigating these claims, I have filed lawsuits against Conroe Regional Medical Center and doctors on its medical staff a number of times.
About Conroe Regional Medical Center
Conroe Regional Medical Center is located at 504 Medical Center Boulevard, Conroe, TX 77304. It is affiliated with the hospital mega-chain HCA, which is based in Nashville, Tennessee.
It is a 342-bed facility with more than 400 doctors on its medical staff, and 1200 non-physician employees.
Conroe Regional Medical Center describes itself as a regional, tertiary referral center that other hospitals rely on when a higher level of care is necessary. It has a certified Primary Stroke Center, an accredited Chest Pain Center, the only Level II Trauma facility in Montgomery County, and a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (ICU). The hospital offers a number of other medical services, including emergency room, surgical care, a wound care center, and weight loss/bariatric surgery.
In recent years, I have had experience in suing Conroe Regional Medical Center and physicians on its medical staff on behalf of patients who received wound care and had bariatric surgical procedures performed at this facility.
Concerns with quality of care
Any time a patient or family member hires Painter Law Firm to investigate potential medical malpractice at a hospital, we research prior concerns with the quality of care.
Of course, some of this information is readily available to us based on the volume of cases that we review for clients. In addition, though, we also research other medical negligence lawsuits filed against the hospital, as well as information available from government inspections.
In my opinion, the Texas state government and Texas Medical Board conduct minimal oversight activities when it comes to hospitals and physicians. On the other hand, the federal government, through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, sends official surveyors to perform site visits and inspections. Often, these reports are helpful in terms of identifying patterns of poor care provided at the hospital.
Since February 11, 2015, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has issued three citations to Conroe Regional Medical Center for violations.
On November 2, 2016, the Medicare/Medicaid surveyor cited Conroe Regional Medical Center for two violations.
The first violation dealt with medical staff accountability. Many people do not realize that the Texas Corporate Practice of Medicine Doctrine prohibits hospitals from providing medical care. In other words, physicians, not hospitals, provide medical care. I realize that this is confusing, considering the proliferation of billboards all over the Houston area that would make potential patients believe otherwise.
The relationship between hospitals and doctors is established when the hospital credentials a doctor with staff privileges to practice medicine at the hospital’s facility. This due diligence work is done by a hospital credentials committee. The work of the committee includes the initial credentialing of a physician, as well as a regular review, on at least and annual basis, of the physician’s continued competence to practice medicine on the medical staff of the hospital.
My clients are consistently surprised to learn that Texas law provides a virtually impenetrable privilege to the work of hospital credentialing and peer review committees. In almost all instances, it is impossible to know whether a hospital properly exercised its duty to ensure that only competent doctors are allowed on its medical staff. The reason is that Texas legislators have chosen to place the interest of hospitals and doctors above the compelling state interest for patient safety.
Now, back to the first violation that Medicare/Medicaid issued to Conroe Regional Medical Center on November 2, 2016, concerning medical staff accountability. The surveyor found that the hospital received notification concerning a physician’s reported medical condition. According to the surveyor, the hospital violated its own policy by failing to refer the notification and information to the peer review committee.
The standard of care requires hospitals to investigate reports of any type of physician impairment that may interfere with patient safety. Unfortunately, Texas law allows hospitals to perform this function under a cloak of secrecy, far removed from public view. This is why I find information in Medicare/Medicaid violation reports to be useful when we investigate hospitals.
The second violation on November 2, 2016, involved patient safety. The surveyor found that the hospital failed to report a preventable adverse event to the Texas Health Care Safety Network and to complete a root cause analysis for another adverse event.
The Medicare/Medicaid surveyor found an incident where a wrong surgical procedure was performed at Conroe Regional Medical Center, which was not reported to the state government, as required. In addition, the surveyor found that the hospital did not initiate its own root cause analysis to figure out how the wrong surgical procedure occurred in the first place.
As a former hospital administrator, this is another violation that got my attention. Hospitals are required to have continuous quality improvement programs, with the goal of learning from mistakes to improve patient safety.
On February 11, 2015, Conroe Regional Medical Center received a violation from the Medicare/Medicaid surveyor concerning a violation of patient rights. Specifically, the surveyor expressed concerns about the discharge of a patient who fell at home and was transported to the hospital after a call to 911. After some tests were run, the patient was discharged home via a taxi cab, despite the patient’s protest of the discharge and request for further treatment.
As a Houston, Texas medical malpractice lawyer, I have handled a number of cases where premature discharge from the hospital emergency room led to serious patient injuries.
We are here to help
If you have experienced poor health care at Conroe Regional Medical Center, call the experienced medical malpractice lawyers at Painter Law Firm, in Houston, Texas, at 281-580-8800, for a free consultation about your potential case.
Robert Painter is an attorney at Painter Law Firm PLLC, in Houston, Texas. He represents patients and their families in medical malpractice and wrongful death lawsuits against surgeons, doctors, pharmacies, and hospitals, like Conroe Regional Medical Center.