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An inmate sues UConn Health for delaying his cancer diagnosis

A medical investigator working with the Connecticut Department of Corrections (DOC) recently filed a report with administrators expressing concern over the quality of care one state inmate received while locked up.

In his report, he highlights how the inmate, who'd begun his 17-year stay at the facility in 2009, had developed black spots on his body in 2013. He noted that doctors repeatedly diagnosed him with psoriasis over the course of two years. When he finally received the appropriate diagnostic testing necessary to identify his condition, he was diagnosed with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.

This latest lawsuit is one of many that have apparently been filed over the past few months against UConn Health, the medical care facility with which the prison system had an agreement to treat its inmates. The DOC's contract with the hospital has been in place for more than three decades.

The primary job of the nurse who filed this latest lawsuit is to identify cases of inmates receiving substandard case. In his report, he noted that he's aware of at least eight cases where inmates died after not receiving proper medical care at the university hospital's hands.

Now that this has come to light, the $100 million contract between the DOC and UConn is slated to end. When it does, it's expected that a large number of the university's Correctional Managed Healthcare workers will be absorbed into the prison staff.

In the case of the inmate in question, at a deposition held on Jan. 19, the nurse testified that some reasons for the man's delayed diagnosis could be attributed to the the way UConn handled all biopsy orders. They required that they first be passed by their own in-house medical panel for approval before they could be performed. It's likely that this resulted in quite a lot of delayed diagnoses.

Consults by specialists apparently had to be approved by them as well. In this man's case, the reason his psoriasis diagnosis stood uncorrected for so long, the nurse contends, is because his repeated request to be seen by a dermatologist was also denied by the panel.

If your health condition has been misdiagnosed or you received a delayed diagnosis due to improper training or red tape, a New Haven medical malpractice attorney can advise you of your rights in your case.

Source: Hartford Courant, "Prison medical investigator questions care in inmate's cancer case," Josh Kovner, Feb. 02, 2018

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