Home / Healthcare Updates / Healthcare Update — 05-23-2011

Healthcare Update — 05-23-2011

See also the Satellite Edition of this week’s update at ERStories.net.


How should we manage elderly patients with dementia when they become violent and nursing homes or families can no longer handle them? We better make a plan quickly – the number of elderly patients with mental illness jumped 30% in one year and is expected to skyrocket with the maturing of baby boomers. “Elderly, mentally ill patients who are admitted to the emergency room tend to have much longer stays that other types of patients,” which will only worsen the already dire problem of emergency department overcrowding.

Someone left the tacos out overnight? Sewer backup? Mucomyst spill? Nope. What was that smell that made Southern Maryland Hospital relocate emergency department patients to a different part of the hospital? Probably not something you’d want leaking.

More opinions about Romneycare.

Affordable Health Care Act will provide “nearly all of the 27 million uninsured women will have access to affordable, comprehensive health insurance ….” Finding a medical provider that will give you access to comprehensive health care with the insurance you’ll be getting … now that’s another story.

Patients gone wild. South Carolina man shoves hospital security guard in order to get back to emergency department treatment area. Police called and patient takes off. Later, he was arrested for driving without a license and for having an open bottle of alcohol in the vehicle. This man does not appear to have been involved in the theft of malt liquor from a local Piggly Wiggly that same day – reported in the same article.


More patients gone wild. Emergency department patient sets garbage can on fire in bathroom to “make a statement” after learning that her child would be taken away from her.

Hey – plaintiff attorneys do it. Juror in medical malpractice case sent to prison for seven years after offering to persuade other members of the jury to vote for the plaintiff … in exchange for 5% of the damage award.

More evidence for smoking bans at work. A study in Ireland shows that emergency department visits for respiratory illnesses dropped significantly after a workplace smoking ban was instituted – especially in 20-29 year old patients.

What common disease costs the health care system a half billion dollars each year? Hint – it is more prevalent in Florida and it doesn’t involve firearms.

Indiana’s medical malpractice laws have been both praised and condemned. Here are some pro and con opinions.

Florida’s plan to charge Medicaid patients a $100 fee for emergency department visits: A way to save lives by unclogging emergency departments with unnecessary visits or a way to “punish people for being poor“? I think that $100 is rather steep for patients that have little money to begin with. Kind of like charging families that aren’t indigent $500 for a co-pay. However, I also think that some type of co-pay is necessary to remind people that medical care comes at a cost.

Tort reform made Texas first in the nation in job creation and increased the number of doctors applying for licenses by 60%. Legislators aren’t finished. Now Gov. Rick Perry is pushing “loser pays” legislation.

Looks like he’s going to the emergency department. DC police lift man from wheelchair and slam him to the ground.


  1. you know the urban myth of bed hiding on the floors? Those mentally unstable geriatrics are usually admitted and then lanquish because no nursing home will take anybody with a hint of behavioral issues. It backs the floors up too FYI.

  2. “Tort reform made Texas first in the nation in job creation and increased the number of doctors applying for licenses by 60%.”

    Wow. I also heard it made the sun shine and the rain land just perfectly on the crops. Please tell me you at least smiled to yourself when you wrote the above piece of marketing, WC.

  3. My fiancée is a CNA and provides in-home care for a 92yo male.

    He recently started getting violent when angry, slapping her on the hands, or in one case punching his daughter in the face.

    The incidences have the family looking for nursing home care for him. Except for the violence, he is perfectly capable of remaining in the home. So, they will move him to a nursing home. Protecting themselves, but endangering the nursing home staff. They don’t know what else to do.

    They are going to try some drugs to help him stay calmer and see if they can keep him at home longer.

    It really is a tough situation

  4. I literally LOLed at the “Mucomyst spill?” line.

    After having to drink a full round(17 doses) of this heinous substance, I can tell you that this sh*t tastes at least as revolting as it smells. If you poured Mucomyst into a beaker of activated charcoal and stirred it up, a demon would rise up from the mouth of Hell and ask for his sewage sample back(Satan’s orders, ya know?).

  5. The $100 copay is for “routine care” in the emergency department, according to the article. $100 is not too much per person to use the ER for a family plan ear infection and cough check. If you want to waste taxpayers’ money because you can’t plan a clinic visit, sorry, that’s your problem, not the taxpayers’.

    I personally love the idea.

    • While it’s a good idea, what makes you think they would actually ever pay it? Half of our Medicaid patients come to the ED because they owe their PMD, OB, or specialist money and the doctor won’t see them in the office until they pay their outstanding bill. Which will never happen, so they come to the ED until they can find a new doctor who accepts Medicaid.

      • They can deduct it out of tax refunds, deduct from cash benefits, take $10/month for 10 months, etc.

        Ever watch that reality show that’s about a pawn shop in the ghetto of Detroit? Well, on the “1st of the month”, there’s a line out the door of people wanting to buy electronics with their welfare checks.

  6. Medicaid peeps need to take a page from “beggars can’t be choosers”. If I had my way, there would be no medicaid at all…so the $100 fee isn’t so bad after all.

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