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Healthcare Update – 04-08-2014

See more healthcare-related news from around the web on my other blog at EPMonthly.com

EmCare sues former emergency department medical director for “hundreds of thousands of dollars” for “incompetent and substandard” work. As a result of the physician’s actions, which were not described, the hospital reportedly discontinued its contract with EmCare.
What is even more interesting in the article is that EmCare alleged that its losses amounted to “hundreds of thousands of dollars per month” – which is millions of dollars per year just from one hospital system.

Why is there this hand print on my butt after I wake up from surgery?
Oh, it’s the new dominator/dominatrix surgical technique.
Federal investigators accuse a New York orthopedist of insulting anesthetized patients and slapping some patients on the buttocks – sometimes so hard that he left hand prints. Now the hospital faces sanctions for his actions.
Interesting that several comments to the news article say that this is a common way that surgeons use to determine whether a patient is under anesthesia.
I personally wouldn’t slap a patient’s buttocks, but then what noxious stimuli is appropriate for determining whether a patient is conscious or not? It would be just as easy to write a damaging article about doctors giving patients sternal rubs (which I have done) or pinching a patient (which I have also done).
Is this issue dragging us down the rabbit hole of political correctness?

Americans hit with sharpest health insurance premiums in years according to Morgan Stanley survey of insurance brokers. This quarter, the average insurance premium increase is 12%.
Anyone want to guess why that is?
Hint: According to the article, the first word ironically begins with “Affordable”.

Welcome to the world’s 20th most populous nation: The country of Medicaid. 72.7 million Americans are on Medicaid, making the number of people on the government program larger than the populations of France, the United Kingdom, and Italy.
Add in the 49.4 million patients on Medicare and the resulting 122.1 million people become the 11th most populous “nation” – ahead of Mexico and just behind Japan’s 126 million people.
We’re sure to crack the top 10 when the new statistics come out after Obamacare enrollments.

With the Unaffordable Insurance Act, you can still see a primary care physician … if you have the right kind of insurance … or you pay cash.
When researchers made calls to primary care physicians posing as new patients, 85% of patients with private insurance were able to book appointments. Only 58% of patients with Medicaid got appointments. If you agreed to pay full cash at the time of the visit, 79% got appointments while only 15% got appointments if they couldn’t pay more than $75 at the time of visit.
There’s a big difference between “insurance” and “access”.

Kings of Leon concert goes viral … literally. Washington State woman contracts measles but treks all over the Seattle area before she becomes symptomatic – including the Pike Place Market and several department stores. Then heads to a Kings of Leon concert. If you’re not vaccinated and have been exposed to the patient (or any of the other unvaccinated individuals who may have caught the disease), you and your family may be in for an unpleasant surprise.
People should be free not to vaccinate themselves or their children, but they should not be immune from the legal and financial consequences that occur when they require medical treatment for the diseases they catch and when they spread the diseases to other people.

Talk about a downward spiral. Moderate to severe depression increases risk of heart failure by 40% … which will make you more depressed … which will make your heart failure worse …

Eli Lilly and Takeda Pharmaceuticals get hit with a $9 BILLION punitive damage award related to allegations it concealed the tendency for the drug Actos to cause bladder cancer. The company vows to appeal the verdict. I would agree with that decision since it doesn’t have much to lose by doing so. Even a 10% reduction in damages would amount to almost $1 billion.

President Obama pushed the idea of medical malpractice reform to “help the AMA stay on board” with the Affordable Care Act. Like so many things in politics, though, once you get an endorsement and you’re no longer needed, the promises made to you somehow seem to be forgotten.
The article also notes that “Since 2006, the trial lawyers’ lobby, the American Association for Justice, has given 96% of its donations — a total of $14.2 million — to Democrats” and “spent another $37 million lobbying Congress over those years.”

Cuba’s state run health care decides to cut more than 109,000 health care jobs. The system is too bloated and redundant. Besides, how will they pay for all of those new legislative positions?
Say … isn’t the US moving toward a state-run health system?

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