Florida is debating whether or not to open the physician's discipline to public scrutiny. The one side says yes, but only if they are charged by the Board. the other side says tell everything, a rather bold statement that I truly doubt would want for themselves. The tension here is with office incident reports not being reported to the Board. I did not know there were any states that looked at office errors except for accredited surgical centers, mini-hospitals. Top
California Medicaid (MediCal) is proposing that the sexual partners of those with Chlamydia be allowed to be treated without exams but with a prescription paid for by MediCal. The state already has a law to allow the treatment without seeing the patient. The rationale for this is the huge rise in the disease among sexually active patients. The data for 2001 show about 100,000 reported new cases. If physicians treat only the female and not her sexual partners she has a 25% chance of a re-infection within six months. Some health officials say this is not right, that the partner should be examined before the single dose of antibiotic. The CDC has already done a trial that has showed the treatment of partners decrease versus those that only advised their partners to see a physician. San Francisco declared the disease a public health emergency in 1998 and began giving the medication at that point. The private sector insurers are all for the private physician giving a patient information and even a prescription but Health Net said they are not going to pay for the medicine for a non-subscriber. This means they will continue to pay for the subscriber's revisits. Oh, they're a capitated program. Sorry, I forgot. Top
The People's Republic of Massachusetts is at it again, interfering with private matters. This time the Department of Public Health Commissar has declared that Deaconess Hospital provides essential services and can not close even though they are losing money. Duh! I don't know of too many hospitals that don't provide essential public services. The state can not keep the hospital open but can and is asking for information as to how essential needs are to be met. The hospital is planning to close the ED and send all patients to near-by hospitals. They are also hoping to keep the cancer center open. The land is possibly to be turned over to a non-profit and a developer for housing. The hospital is now under consultation with The Hunter Group, a Florida turn around group. Top
CMS has prepared a list of FAQs on the Administrative
Simplification Compliance Act (ASCA). The questions and answers about the
delay for one year the deadline for rule compliance. The FAQs may be read
Your friends at the Commission are at it again, helping you to monitor more information. Now those all time favorites, the Sentinel Events, will be used to establish national patient safety goals. They will select only six goals each July and only two recommendations per goal. Then you will be surveyed on these recommendations. Isn't this fun and it has nothing to do with the Conditions of Participation. It has to do with the political agenda of JCAHO and their new association as a partner with Leapfrog. This unfunded mandate should only cost you a few hundred man-hours and money.
A new Sentinel Event Alert that all hospitals will be tested on has been released. The newest one is for ventilator related deaths. Read up on it at their web site, it's only three pages long.
Lawnwood Hospital of Fort Pierce, Florida had a JCAHO inspection in June 2001. They did not pass and appealed the decision. After nine months the hospital said no more appeals and were disaccredited. They then had another inspection in February 2002 and received a 93, passed with conditions. This restored their accreditation retroactively.
JCAHO has released their top ten problem list. They are accessing pain in all patients in ambulatory facilities, uniform credential criteria, assessing staff abilities, providing staff training in performance improvement, training and assessing job capabilities during new staff orientation, maintaining quality control programs, granting clinical privileges, reducing risk of nocosomial infection, and providing effective leadership. Top
US Senator Bill Nelson looking for more senior votes met with a dozen seniors upset that their physicians are not their slaves. The physicians have had the audacity to ask for additional payments for non-covered tests and exams if the patients want to stay with these physicians. The good senator doesn't believe his legislation to ban the capitalistic model will pass due to high power lobbyists, not due to a bad bill. Nelson is afraid of two tier medicine. He needs to look at the present two or more tier system. Top
CMS has announce they believe physician reimbursement will continue to fall for the next three years. Now, doesn't that make you feel are warm and fuzzy. Top
CMS has now allowed PET scans to be paid for when used for looking for metastatic disease from breast cancer. It can be used for staging and for following patients with the disease. This test has been shown to be very valuable in lung and head and neck cancers as well as certain lymph tissue cancers. 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.