Home / Healthcare Updates / Healthcare Update — 09-12-2011

Healthcare Update — 09-12-2011

See much more health-related news from around the web at the Satellite Edition of this week’s update at ER Stories.net.

Plaintiffs prepare to seize Ohio obstetrician’s assets to collect $9.7 million judgment against her. Personal vehicle and other personal property are all being targeted. Court hearing set to determine how much of doctors wages will be garnished.

Woman dies in emergency department after injecting hot beef fat into her face at home. Actually, a colon rupture caused her death, but hot beef fat under her facial skin? I bet that at least half of you are sitting here right now wondering if it helped her appearance. I’m sure that I won’t be the only one searching the internet to find a picture of what she looked like before her unfortunate demise.

That high risk pool with the new health care plan is good in theory, but when it was implemented in Ohio, the state quickly found that costs were much higher than expected. As a result, enrollment in the pool will be limited to less than half as many patients as initially expected and costs for those enrollees is rising steadily. Some patients have to opt out of the pool because they “just can’t afford the premium.”
Kind of flies in the face of President Obama’s promise that “if you don’t have insurance, you’ll finally be able to afford insurance,” doesn’t it?

New danger for blood tranfusions. Babesiosis transmission increased from 35 cases between 1979 and 2000 to 130 cases between 2000 and 2009. By no means an epidemic, but should blood donors now be screened for the disease?

There is such a shortage of emergency department beds in Australia that doctors are sewing patients up on stretchers in the ambulance bay. Picture proves it.

“Robin Hood” legislation coming to Massachusetts? One legislator wants to require insurance companies to cut payments to most expensive hospitals and use the money to increase payments to the least expensive hospitals. Are bows and arrows included?

I see an EMTALA investigation coming. Ambulance called to hospital to transport seizure patient inside hospital from doctor’s office on one floor to emergency department on the floor below. Hospital “policy” prevents emergency department staff from leaving the ED to get a patient.
I’m betting that policy will be changed rather quickly after the JCAHO clipboard brigade swoops down on this place.

It is apparently OK to attempt to stab police officers and staff in California emergency departments if you are in the throes of severe alcohol withdrawal. Contra Costa County paid $1.475 million to family of man who was trying to stab police and was subsequently shot five times by the officers. The family’s lawsuit alleged that deputies should have consulted with hospital staff members about the patient’s condition (a HIPAA violation) before shooting him. Because they didn’t do so, officers failed to recognize that the patient was “in the throes of severe alcohol withdrawal.” Exactly how does that make a difference if the lives of the officers and staff are at risk?

Family reunions must be miserable. With minimal regulations in place for sperm donors, some donors can have as many as 150 children.
Imagine having a crush on someone who later turns out to be your half-sibling.

Atlanta-area hospitals playing hot potato with unfunded dialysis patients. The patients go to the emergency department for dialysis and hospitals turn many of them away, saying that they “aren’t critical enough.
Later, word of a compromise made for some patients.

Interesting and informative round table discussion about “defensive medicine” – if you believe that it exists.

Very well-written article about how Accountable Care Organizations can increase liability for doctors and the organizations. As liability increases, look for the many unintended consequences to occur as groups and doctors try to avoid liability. Return to your seats and buckle in, folks, the ride is going to get bumpy.

Does “treat-em and street-em” edict from hospital amount to actionable offense? We’ll soon find out. Emergency physician sues hospital after pay structure changed to reward docs on how many patients they see per hour.
Having a heart attack? You’ll just need to wait. I have to see those three kids with stuffy noses and write a few prescriptions to those drug seekers first so that I can make my student loan payments this month.


  1. At least the cops killed the guy. It’s cheaper for a wrongful death suit than a paralysis or vegetable suit. Should have used a taser though. It’s a bit excessive force to bring guns to a knife fight.

    • It has been shown that an attacker with a knife can cover 21 feet (6.4 m) in 1.5 seconds and Tasers don’t always stop the threat. Google “Tueller Drill” if you get a chance.

      • And bullets don’t instantly kill someone unless you’re going for a headshot…which no cop is going to do. So if you want to stop someone quickly a taser is still your best bet. It might not be as 100% effective as a bullet, but when it does work it’s fast acting.

  2. Wow …think there could be just a bit of a conflict of interest if ED docs are paid based on how many patients they see? GEE!

    • Paying emergency docs based on how many patients they see is a way to incentivize us to pick up charts at a reasonable pace. In a salaried system charts stack up since docs get paid to sit. I have worked in essentially every method of reimbursement for EM docs and a totally RVU based system is the best. Docs don’t blow through patients to make $$$, it is self limiting, you can only see so many patients before it is not safe. It is the rare doc who practices in this way.

  3. Hey WC- have you ever seen any doctor surveys about the different ER Companies ?
    I mean like comparisons, pay, benefits, etc……

  4. Dilaudiddistributor

    Wow SeaSpray….think there could be just a bit of a conflict of interest if lawyers were paid by the size of the judgement they receive? GEE!

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