Home / Healthcare Updates / Healthcare Update — 12-30-2013

Healthcare Update — 12-30-2013

Also see more updates on my other blog at EP Monthly.com

In Australia, a paramedic who was fed up with waiting for beds in the ED got in trouble for publishing a picture of a crowded emergency department hallway – showing just how crowded it was. Seven elderly patients piled up in the hallway with no place for anyone to move. Fire hazard, health hazard and public relations hazard. Lucky he wasn’t in the US or it would be a HIPAA violation as well.
The biggest thing that the government was worried about was whether or not the photo was staged.

In the “your unborn baby doesn’t belong to you if we say so” department … a court in the United Kingdom ordered a pregnant woman to be forcibly sedated so that the state could remove her unborn child by Cesarean section.
Pregnant Italian woman in England on business trip calls police when she has panic attack. Police talk to woman’s mother on phone who stated that she had “bipolar” condition and hadn’t been taking her medications. Police take patient to “hospital” to “make sure that baby is OK” and instead bring patient to psychiatric hospital where she is restrained and admitted against her will. Five weeks later, she is strapped down, forcibly sedated, and she woke up with a surgical wound on her abdomen … and no baby inside.
She then gets sent back to Italy without her child.
The UK is now preparing to put her child up for adoption.
The government that has the power to provide everything to you has the power to take everything away from you.

What are the 8 germiest items in your home? I guessed three of them before clicking the link.

To tie in one of the dirtiest places in the home to a way to fight allergies, consider this study from the National Academy of Sciences showing that exposure to dog-associated household dust is protective against reaction to multiple airway pathogens.
In addition, exposure to dogs had a significant effect on the microbiome in the GI tracts, increasing one type of Lactobacillus which is protective against RSV.
Wild stuff.

Illinois hasn’t even legalized marijuana yet and the state is already threatening to revoke a medical marijuana physician’s license for “unprofessional” behavior.
Turns out that the physician charges $99 registration fee to see patients and confirm that those patients really do have a medicinal need for marijuana. In four months, he has had 25,000 requests for appointments.

What unscrupulous researchers can do with “studies.” Researcher puts human antibodies into blood of rabbits treated with an experimental HIV vaccine to make it appear that the vaccine was working. It wasn’t. No one could replicate the results and the researcher eventually fessed up.
The fraudulent results were one reason that the university where the researcher was working received millions of dollars in federal grants.
Now, instead of going to jail for fraud, Dr. Dong-Pyou Han has agreed not to contract with the US Government or to serve in an advisory capacity to the Public Health Service for three years.
A slap on the wrist for tainting research to get millions of extra dollars in government funding, potentially become known all over the world if you aren’t caught, and putting the lives of millions of people at risk when they trust a vaccine that you know doesn’t work … yeah, that’s about right.

Evidence that we have the most expensive urine on the planet. Taking multivitamins is a waste of money.
Or is it? The studies cited in the comments note that vitamins are used to treat macular degeneration, to prevent recurrent UTIs, to delay the progression of Alzheimers Disease, and to prevent neural tube defects in infants.

And in the Obamacare Chronicles …

Some states that paid to have ObamaCare exchange web sites set up still don’t have a working product. Now they’re getting around to saying “Hey … why are we still paying those goons to create our site?”
CGI Group is the contractor responsible for the web site design in several states and is the same web site designer that bungled the federal site.
It amazes me how the owners of this company aren’t in jail.

Oregon is bending the curve on sign ups through its exchange … the cost curve, that is.
Oregon spent more than $300 million on its exchange and as of December 11 had signed up
[drumroll] 44 people

Going from Unaffordable Insurance to Unavailable Care. Obamacare regulations could force many volunteer ambulance services and volunteer firefighting services to curtail services or close completely. IRS rules classify volunteer EMTs and volunteer firefighters as employees. Fines kick in when an employer … or city … or county has too many full time “employees” under Obamacare.
Maybe they can change the law for like the 8th time since it was enacted so that it will exclude volunteers from its requirements.

Be afraid. Be very afraid. 93% of hospital executives agree that Obamacare will improve quality in their own hospital systems, although there wasn’t a specific explanation of how this was purported to occur, only a suggestion that the improvements would “probably” be a result of the government penalizing institutions for things such as hospital readmissions and medication errors.
91% of hospital executives believe that Obamacare will result in significant cost savings by reducing hospital admissions, readmissions, and emergency department visits.
Hospital readmissions are both costly and a sign of low quality care? Emergency department visits are going to decrease under Obamacare?
These people are deciding how health care is implemented in this country?

Oh yeah, and that whole Obamacare “saving costs” line can use a little tweaking. The Massachusetts healthcare model – upon which Obamacare is based – has the highest per capita healthcare spending in the country. The average amount spent per person was $9,278 which was 36% higher than the national average and more than $900 higher than the next highest state.

One comment

  1. 1) It’s a small hallway. My personal record was 57 patients waiting on gurneys, so Oz is nowhere close to deep ca-ca territory yet.
    2) One would have thought child-stealing in the EU would be against the law ever since Grimm’s fairytales, at least.
    5) I’m betting the state is just peeved because this guy figured out how to rake in $2.5M using his noggin, and naked capitalism, and they have to wait for the taxes.
    8) Friends of Michelle don’t get investigated by the feds.
    10) “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” (Okay, I was lying too.) But you won’t be able to GET to your doctor. (Pure Truth.)
    11) I question the survey percentage, because I think anything that demonstrates that only 93% of administrators have crap for brains is probably fudged to lowball that number.
    12) If you think that’s bad, here’s some fodder for the next update: Having insurance like ImaginaryCare increases ED visits, across all education and income levels, as reported in Science magazine via the NYTimes.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/03/health/access-to-health-care-may-increase-er-visits-study-suggests.html?_r=0
    The only conclusion I draw besides the obvious, is that someone at the NYTimes is getting transferred from the Medical beat to Obituaries in the next few days.
    We can’t be out there reporting what a disaster this boondoggle is with mid-term elections and a new (D) presidential nominee race right around the corner, esp. when the possible front-runner was leading the charge for government healthcare when the current legacy signatory was still organizing housing projects in South Chicago.

    Cheers.

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