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Healthcare Update – 06-09-2015

Check out other news from around the web on my other blog at EPMonthly.com

Super glue mistaken for sexual lubricant, patients brought in by ambulance – stuck together by their genitals. Or maybe not. Turns out Scott Paulson, a reporter from Examiner.com, was punked by a GomerBlog-like headline. Newswatch 28.com reported the original story, along with other stories about a woman who has been pregnant for two years and how the FDA has approved tranquilizer darts for use in children. He did verify the story on RoastRoom.com, which was surrounded by ads about disturbing photos, gut yeast, and a baby born without a nose. Mr. Paulson’s article turns up as a 404 error now, but the Google Cache from his article is here. A screen capture is here. I know I’ve linked to some questionable articles in these Updates over the years, but this whole episode just struck me as funny.
By the way, did you know that a woman was banned from KFC for breastfeeding her 48 year old son? It’s true. It was reported on Newswatch 28.com.

In 2001, Portugal decriminalized use of all drugs. What effect did this move have on drug deaths? The latest statistics released from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction show that Portugal has the second lowest rate of drug overdose deaths in all of the European Union. Don’t know whether we can equate correlation with causation, but the numbers are still pretty impressive.

Dammit. To think that I just got done making a fresh pot of placenta soup. Despite what you hear on television and despite what other animal species do, there is no convincing evidence that eating a placenta after birth will prevent pain, prevent postpartum depression, boost milk production, or provide any other health benefits. I could be really gross right now, but I’ll just leave it at that.

What do patients want from their insurance programs? A survey by … America’s Health Insurance Plans … says that patients don’t value choices and would accept narrow networks. In addition patient’s reportedly don’t care whether their physician is in network as only 26% said they would leave a network if their doctor stopped participating in it. The thing is that the “Vice President for Medical Transformation” at Highmark said that insurance companies are more than willing to kick doctors out of networks if the doctors don’t “change” by holding down costs. So the doctors in network may be more likely to take the cheapest course of action in treating a patient’s complaint. Fast care, cheap care, quality care. Pick any two.

Loogie in CupCost effective use of DNA analysis – to catch the Chili’s worker who hawked a loogie in your drink. It only took three months for the results to come back, though.The next step toward curbing medication abuse.

Hospitals in Wyoming now forming committees of administrators and doctors to create lists of medication abusers. If a patient’s name is flagged in the system, the hospital will send out certified letter to the patient stating that they will not be prescribed painkillers for anything other than a dire emergency. One New Mexico hospital that took this approach cut down its number of emergency department visits by 5% and saved $500,000 in one year.
Of course then patients will complain about the emergency physicians who refuse to prescribe the pain medications.

This study will be cited liberally in accusing emergency physicians of being the source of opiate addiction. A study in Annals of Emergency Medicine shows that patients who have never used opioids in the past and who receive their first prescription for opioids in the emergency department are almost twice as likely to still be using opioids a year later.
Of course, if we don’t prescribe pain medications, we’re a bunch of heartless creeps, so either way, I’ll just have to live with the abusive comments.

Florida having difficulty paying for safety net hospitals and Jacksonville’s only Level 1 trauma center. CEO proposes creating an additional tax district to raise funds to keep the hospital open.

The Senate is considering a bill to allow nurse practitioners and certified nurse anesthetists to practice independently in any VA facility – regardless of the state laws limiting practice. Such a law would presumably decrease the wait times for veterans to receive medical care. Personally, I think anyone should be able to provide medical care to anyone else. The whole idea of licensing is just a moneymaking scheme. If you know your medicine, you should be able to practice.

Former Congressman wants to sue the US Government because the doctors assigned to provide medical care to Congress and the Supreme Court didn’t follow up on a pancreatic lesion noted on his MRI. Eventually, that lesion turned out to be pancreatic cancer and Ex-Rep. Steven LaTourette is now “seriously ill.”

Doctors fighting an Arizona law that would require a physician performing an abortion to lie to a patient – telling the patient that it may be possible to reverse the effects of a medication-induced abortion if a woman changes her mind.
Idiots. If they check the Newswatch 28.com web site, they should probably also include in the bill that pregnancies can last for 2 years as well.

Antivaxxers rejoice! Unvaccinated child diagnosed with the first case of diphtheria in Spain since 1987. I can only imagine all of the inane arguments blaming the Spanish language, autism, and Jim Carrey for the child’s disease.

Gaza ED Hallway

British patient’s family member takes picture of patients lining Stoke Hospital’s emergency department hallway and posted it online after 94 year old mother waits 12 hours for treatment. Adds caption stating that “It was like Gaza”. But at least the care is free.
Good thing that patients only want narrow networks from insurance companies. Waits in emergency department hallways and emergency department overcrowding will never happen with narrow networks and no physician available to see you for six months.

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