A new fund was recently set up in the 2011-2012 New York State Medical Budget which will have the state, not hospitals, cover all medical costs for families with children suffering from brain injuries that follow birth complications caused by medical error.
According to a person in the know, New York’s newly established neurological fund will cover medical costs for children who have suffered brain or spinal cord injuries “caused by the deprivation of oxygen or mechanical injury in the course of labor, delivery or resuscitation – or by other medical services provided or not provided during delivery.”
New York is slated to contribute $30 million to the fund in its first year and increasing that contribution to $70 million in its second and third years. By its fourth year, the state will be contributing $100 million annually to the fund.
It is important to note that in order for a family to receive a payout from the fund, they must first file a lawsuit and provide proof that a hospital was at fault or committed medical negligence which led to complications. Once a family wins or settles their lawsuit, they will be eligible for the fund, which will then pay for any medical costs associated with the child for the rest of his or her life.
While it may seem the fund would be a widely supported idea, the new fund has instead been met with mixed reactions in places like Westchester County and Staten Island. While the medical community was largely supportive of the initiative, patient advocates worried that medical officials would be let off the hook and be able to hide from criticism of birth injuries they cause – while having the government pay for a hospital’s mistakes.
In an attempt to keep hospitals in check, the health budget also includes a “state obstetrical patient safety workgroup” that will ensure medical professionals are following the standard best practices while in the delivery room.
If you live in the state of New York and have a child that requires medical attention because of a childbirth injury he or she sustained, you may be eligible to receive contributions from the neurological fund.
Speak with a New York Birth Injury Attorney to determine your legal course of action and to initiate a lawsuit to get the money you and your child deserve.