Connecticut has passed a law following the lawsuit against Yale for withholding charitable funds that forbids hospitals from using strong arm tactics against people for non-payment of their hospital bill. The interest rate that can be charged has been halved. Separate court orders must be obtained before garnishing wages etc. Top
California has passed a law and it has been signed by the Governor forbidding the sale or purchase of not for profit hospitals which need to be approved by the State Attorney General to be sold if there would be any restrictions on any services offered. Top
In what can be defined as "let's save face" the administration and their puppets have started a new push for smallpox immunizations. This potential lethal procedure for a disease that does not exist should never had been started n the first place. The Unions and nurses who refused the first time should be even more reticent now. In an unbelievable waste of money the CDC is giving $100 million to states to revive the dead program.
The central California counties of Fresno, Madera Kings and Tulare have stopped the smallpox program. They believe the program is dangerous and no one joined the program. Top
The National Board of Medical Examiners next year will begin a new hoop for the medical students to pass. If a medical student wishes to be certified by the Board they will need to take a clinical examination. This will entail going to Philadelphia, Atlanta, Chicago, LA, or Houston to do 15 minute exams on 10 fake patients with fake diseases. This was done in the past but was tossed out in 1964 due to lack of objectivity. It tests the ability of patient questioning and physician attention to answers. The AMA is against the exam since the medical schools already teach the necessary clinical skills.
In a bill now going through the Legislature, the State would license naturopaths who graduate from one of the four schools in the county. This would allow them to order tests, prescribe drugs, perform minor surgery or help in OB. There are now 12 states that have this designation. The largest segment against this are the large amount of "naturopaths" that are now practicing unsupervised in the state. Top
Will the third time do it? The Florida legislature's second special session ended without any malpractice relief. A third one has been called for August 5. Top
The proposed California budget passed by the full legislature will borrow money from future tobacco funds that will need to be repaid with significant interest. It also will cut some services to the Medicaid program. These include a 5% per year reduction for three years to providers. This will assure less physicians taking patients and less hospitals signing contracts. If a hospital doesn't sign a contract and a Medicaid patient shows up, the state has to pay over the contract price and more money is lost to the state already dying under Davis' "leadership."
In a white paper the California Healthcare Foundation has stated a significant problem with the Medi-Cal authorization process and laid out their fixes for the program. They say the authorizations are hindering care due to delay. They recommend a cost-benefit look at all authorizations to eliminate those where there is no benefit. They also recommend standardization of processes for turnaround times, adjudication and computer programs. They also recommend the DRG concept for payment to hospitals so the flow of money can be counted on. Top
The US House of representatives to no one's surprise defeated a bill to stop the persecution and prosecution in certain states for the use of medical marijuana. The surprise was the votes for the legalization of the defense had risen from 94 votes in 1998 to 152 votes now. This shows a trend toward the allowing of medical marijuana.
The California Medical Board has recently stated that for a physician not to be disciplined for recommending medical marijuana, they will need to treat it like any other drug. They will need to justify it in the chart showing the condition, as defined in a history and physical, the pros cons and alternatives. There should also be a treatment plan in place and periodic review. In other words good medical practice. Top
Two members of the House sent a letter to their fellow representatives stating they are supporting the Senate proposition of closing the "whole hospital" exception. The letter states "there has not been a campaign to eliminate boutique hospitals from operating in your communities. The issue at hand is one of reducing conflicts of interest in the practice of medicine by prohibiting the self-referral to boutique hospitals in which a physician has an ownership interest". What this means in English is that the hospitals may put up boutique separate hospitals but not the physicians. Top
Florida is unable to pass malpractice reforms but they can certainly pass other medical laws. In a patient safety issue the legislature passed and the law took effect July1, that all numbers on prescriptions must be printed (not cursive) or done electronically. There includes the month on the prescription date. The penalty for not conforming is to be set be the Florida Medical Board. The physicians will be reported by patients or pharmacists. Washington State has had a similar law for three years with no physician being reported. I wonder why? Top
The Greater Southwest Hospital in Washington D.C. flunked it's JCAHO accreditation but continues to operate. As I have stated in the past, the JCAHO is first and foremost a political organization. Now the District Health Department has cited the hospital for six preventable deaths and recommended its closure. Top
Tennessee has been accused of lightly punishing physicians by Public Citizen, the self appointed watchdog. The group states that physicians who have been disciplined for serious offenses are still allowed to practice. This organization has always failed to realize the goal of disciple either in medicine or the penal system is rehabilitation. It would only do more harm to a greater number of patients to not allow a physician to practice, but under close scrutiny. If the physician is a repeat violator then remove the keys. Tennessee has a web site where a patient may check on a physician for free. Public Citizen is not public but private and charges citizens for accessing their site to look at more than one physician. Top
The VA wants to up the pay of physicians and nurses in the system to make them more competitive with private medicine. What they do not take into consideration is the possibility of dissolving the VA altogether. It is a useless and duplicative organization. All veterans should be folded into either the federal medical system or Medicare. Those who have service connected disability should get their entire premiums and pharmaceuticals paid by the nation. Those who are only using the VA because they were veterans should not get their premiums paid. Most of us veterans have regular insurance and never use the antiquated system. The money this would save is in the multi- billions of dollars. Top
DISCLAIMER: Although this article is updated periodically, it reflects the author's point of view at the time of publication. Nothing in this article constitutes legal advice. Readers should consult with their own legal counsel before acting on any of the information presented.