Home / Healthcare Updates / Healthcare Update — 02-13-2014

Healthcare Update — 02-13-2014

More medical news from around the web on my other blog at EP Monthly.com

The Supreme Court says that prisoners have a right to medical care. The *quality* of that medical care is another issue.
In California’s Stockton prison, a shortage of towels forced prisoners to dry off with dirty socks, a shortage of soap halted showers for some inmates, and incontinent men were put into diapers and received catheters that did not fit, causing them to soil their clothes and beds.
Federal court ordered the prison to improve its conditions, but not much has changed and Governor Jerry Brown has thumbed his nose at the court.
If the federal judges sit back and shrug their shoulders when their reasonable orders aren’t followed then they deserve any ridicule and shame that they receive.

Offensive? I’d say more brave and poignant. Australian woman posts frontal partially nude picture of herself on facebook to demonstrate how breast cancer has affected her. She was BRCA positive and had bilateral mastectomies and a hysterectomy. After her post, more than 100 Facebook “friends” stopped following her.

Rates of gonorrhea and syphilis are rising in the US. Increase in syphilis is “entirely attributable to men” – especially gay and bisexual men. Chlamydia infections have remained fairly constant. CDC recommends yearly screening for the diseases and HIV in homosexual or bisexual men.

Own a small to medium-sized business and want to avoid having to comply with Obamacare mandates? You’ll have to swear to the IRS under penalty of perjury that the Obamacare regulations were not a motivating factor in any decision to decrease your workforce.

Skeptical Scalpel has a first hand account about the trials and tribulations of enrolling in Obamacare … from his own daughter. Premium they were paying with a $10,000 deductible was $550/month. On the ACA web site, they were quoted a premium of $298.61 per month for an Anthem plan with a deductible of $12,600 per month. When they went to pay for the plan, the premiums jumped to $2,480 per month. “AFFORDABLE” Care Act, indeed.

Do you need treatment for “low T”? Supplements may make you stronger, but they also significantly increase your risk of heart disease.

What effect does a hospital’s acquisition of a physician group have on cost of health care? Two health care journalists’ articles on hospital-based billing show a substantial increase in prices. Now a federal court in Idaho has ruled – over hospital objections – that payments to hospitals must be disclosed. Costs for the SAME tests performed in a physician’s office are paid at a rate about 60% higher when performed in a hospital. One example showed that Medicare pays $450 for an echocardogram performed in a hospital while it pays only $180 if the same echocardiogram is performed in a physician’s office.
Remember how Medicare wants to publish only select bits of information about how much money it pays to physicians? These types of disproportionate hospital payments are what the government wants to hide from everyone.
If it is paid for by public funds, the costs should be available to the public.

Need some IV saline for a hypotensive patient? Good luck finding it. There’s a national shortage of IV saline. Number of annual drug shortages tripled between 2007 and 2012. What changed during that time that may have caused the shortages?

Man in Florida, who has an uncanny resemblance to Santa Claus, gets feisty in the back of an ambulance and threatens to blow up the hospital to which he was being transported. Those elves mean bid-ness, beyotch. Police had to respond with bomb sniffing dogs to clear the hospital.

Woman in Brazil is arrested in a murder plot when she puts poison into her hoo-hah and then tries to coax her husband into performing oral sex on her. Husband obliged, then decided to take wife to the hospital emergency department because of the strange odor down there.
End Up in ER
Have you clicked on the link in the Facebook post about how a “Poor Girl Ended Up in The Emergency Room After This“? If so, you may have just been scammed into identity theft.
Alternatively, you could also just try to return a product you just purchased to Best Buy and subject yourself to the same risks.

Why might an attorney refuse to take your case?




  1. FWIW, in CA, a massive part of the problem is that the federal courts have told the BuPrisons to pay for frivolous nonsense like “gender reassignment” medications and surgeries, among other equally ridiculous “needs”, which kind of suck up a lot of budget money for things like towels and catheters.

    It also doesn’t help when the average prison physician is one jump ahead of an ethics board or malpractice suit somewhere, or triple-billing the state for all sorts of nonsense rather than actually rendering care.

    I’m not apologizing for the state’s incompetence on nearly every level, but asinine federal rulings for wild and crazy nonsense have jacked the cost of imprisoning violent felons in this state to three times what it costs in Texas for example, leading to a significant number of cons being warehoused across state lines to save money, and making crooks a cash commodity for states who are cell-rich and prisoner-poor.

    A good first step would be the federal courts admitting they have no earthly idea what constitutes a fair standard of care from state to state, and somebody in D.C. coming up with standards that all 50 states can agree on and sign onto. No agreement, no standards, then the default care should be set no higher than what is provided to the average private in the military by the V.A.

    At that point, most prisoners everywhere would shut the hell up.

    Lawsuits about their care, or alleging its lack, found to be frivolous, should also engender an automatic moratorium on similar suits by plaintiffs for the balance of one’s time in prison, and a mandatory stint in solitary on bread and water to make up the costs of the suit, or simply just tacking another few months onto their minimum time served before parole can be considered. Then they can “pay” for the suits in the only currency they have: time behind bars, which they earned in the first place.

    Currently, they play this game because they aren’t paying for the court costs, we pay for both sides, and they sit back in D Block, eating pudding, watching TV, and laughing their asses off while scores of lawyers, judges, and administrators jump through flaming hoops for their amusement.

    It also wouldn’t hurt to tell 5000 prisoners there are no towels and they’ll have to soil their beds because Jerry in cell B-2057 wants to become Geraldine.
    The problems would self-correct in record time.

  2. It is not just that costs go up when hospitals acquire physician groups, what is happen to outpatient ambulatory surgery centers is worse. With Medicare cutting costs to ASCs more and more are closing or becoming parts of the hospital. The same gallbladder done in a hospital outpatient center is on average 2 times the cost of the same surgery if it is done in the ASC.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *