More news at the Satellite Edition of this week’s update over at ER Stories.net.
Admitted drug dealer (who is currently in prison) sues physician (also in prison) for $43 million because the physician prescribed patient the drugs he sold and “caused” patient’s addiction.
Australian patient with shortness of breath and who was “vomiting black stuff” was too big to fit in CT scanner and cannot undergo necessary testing. Later, patient dies from GI hemorrhage.
You have “insurance”? Too bad, you still can’t get care at this hospital, and maybe some others, too. Bayonne Medical Center in New Jersey enters into agreement with Blue Cross Blue Shield that included requirement that it does not accept NJ Health – New Jersey’s Medicaid provider. Agreement may extend to Hoboken University Medical Center once Bayonne group assumes that hospital’s ownership. Meanwhile, if New Jersey hospitals shun Medicaid, state senator Joe Vitale threatens legislation to force all hospitals to take Medicaid.
We should really question the motives of a state or of a state representative who wants to reimburse providers less than the cost of care for providing services and then considers forcing businesses to continue providing those services at a loss. Creating a law that forces companies to engage in an inherently unsustainable business model, Senator? Really?
Same thing is happening in California. Cut payments to Medicaid providers and force the providers to caring for patients at their own cost. This LA Times editorial advocates suing the state to prevent it from cutting payments to providers.
Now get ready for your federal health “insurance”. Notice how no one is talking about providing medical care to the American public? Everyone just focuses on “insurance” which can be limited, reduced, or withdrawn. Then, when governments make insurance payments so pitiful that no reasonable provider would taken them, the governments paint the providers as “greedy.”
Kind of like calling employees “greedy” for wanting to be paid a minimum wage.
Ooops. Portsmouth Regional Hospital in New Hampshire says that it only meant to charge patient $380 for that antibiotic that was inappropriately prescribed to her and that isn’t much better than several antibiotics on WalMart’s $4 list, not the $1900 that it billed her and that it wouldn’t answer her questions about until she contacted a newspaper.
Girlvet demonstrates how to reduce emergency department care to mathematical equations. For example, “Xanax + ETOH + Lexus +75 mph = airborne driver + multiple fractures”.
Any others we need to know about?
Study of 120,000 patients with migraine headaches shows that 20% of patients with migraines and heart problems were inappropriately prescribed triptans such as Imitrex or Maxalt to treat the headaches. The theory is that triptans constrict blood vessels and that in patients who have heart disease, constricting the blood vessels could precipitate an ischemic event. What the study didn’t show is how many patients actually had a bad outcome from receiving triptans. In other words, are the concerns about giving triptans to cardiac patients justified?
The large study was funded by Merck.
Oh, did I mention that during the above study, Merck had been developing a new drug for migraine headaches called telcagepant that was supposed to be an alternative to triptans? Merck discontinued development of the drug a few months ago (after study data had been collected) when it was determined that the drug caused an elevation in liver enzymes.
Walgreens and ExpressScripts fighting over reimbursement. Now Walgreens decides to take its ball and go home. As of January 1, 2012, Walgreens will no longer fill prescriptions for Anthem Blue Cross.
In other news, Anthem Blue Cross plans to assemble armed vigilantes to attack Walgreens stores … since it knows that Walgreens won’t let its employees fight back and won’t support its employees when they try to protect themselves.
Hospital system ordered to pay $25 million verdict after failing to recognize and report child abuse in a child with two broken bones in his arm. Child brought back to the emergency department unconscious 3 months later with skull fracture and permanent brain damage. Jury awards child $20 million and father $5 million.
Chicken or egg? Study shows that “worst” hospitals in nation treat twice as many poor patients and elderly black patients as “best” hospitals in nation. These “good/bad” ratings will soon affect reimbursement, with “bad” hospitals getting cuts in Medicare payments.
My question is: Are “bad” hospitals “bad” because they just have lousy medical staff or are “bad” hospitals “bad” because they accept more patients who can’t afford their medications, who have no medical follow up, and who therefore have more advanced medical disease, thereby skewing their statistics because the patients are more likely to have bad outcomes and require longer hospitalizations to get better?
And I still don’t see any comparisons between care at VA hospitals and care at any other hospital in the nation. Shouldn’t it tell you something when the government is too embarrassed to publish data about how it fares in meeting its own benchmarks?
This is the problem with statistics and how the government is going to slowly cripple health care in this country in order to save money. Pay progressively less to the smaller hospitals who care for poor patients, force them to go bankrupt, then force the poor patients to go to county hospitals which will ration care based on availability. Fewer patients have access to timely care, more sick patients die, less money spent on caring for them.