The 124,000 member American College of Physicians is calling for the easing of restrictions on the testing of medical marijuana by dropping it from the Category I status. Researchers have accused rightly the federal government for only looking at the negative and not looking at any positive potential for the drug. The idiot who is the political hack drug czar used the quote that testing medical marijuana would be 14th century medicine. She is wrong. Her attitude is the world is still flat and testing or exploration would not make it round. Top
CMS has decreed that safety information that is given to the new patient safety organizations (PSOs) are confidential. The PSO is to aggregate and work with the information to make medicine safer. This takes precedent over state based confidentiality for safety information transferred to these organizations. Regulatory Agencies may be PSOs only if their is a "Chinese wall" between the two parts of the organization.
Medicare has added three more "never" events that it will not pay for. This brings the total to 11.
The Administration has instituted a formal request to Congress to delete a portion of the Medicare money that come from the general fund and not payments from the people per se. It is probable that the Democratic Congress will not vote on the measure but they are required to discuss it. The projection is that by 2013, over 45% of Medicare spending will come from the general fund and not the people via payroll taxes and premiums.
CMS has issued in the Federal Register a new rule that instructs its fiscal intermediaries on what they must do regarding physician billings and medical necessity. The intermediary must list all the procedures that must have a prior determination in order to be paid. Top
California's Governor Terminator approved the legislatures budget cuts of $3.2 Billion. Part of the cuts is a one year 10% decrease in payments to providers who take care of Medicaid patients. This will cut treatment by both primary care and specialists for the care of these patients. Also watch out for the demise of some rural hospitals and medical transportation systems. Top
The LA County Board of Stupes has now reversed its ridiculous stance of closing the county healthcare clinics. They finally realized that closing the clinics would not be cost saving as the patients would only go to the EDs and this would cost more. A potential solution would be to privatize the clinics but that would take the pork out of the politicians hands.
In the People's Republic of Massachusetts is continuing with changes to make their foolish universal healthcare solvent. They are continually revising upward the amount of money the program will cost the state. They are considering raising cigarette taxes again. The newest is to raise the co-pays and premiums. The raise was originally to be 5% but now 14% is being considered. The reason the state is being saddled is that the employers figured out quickly that if they drop the employee health insurance they would save money and the State's insurance would be better than what the employers were offering.
The US Senate is looking to stop payments to physicians by medical device companies for consulting. They believe that this encourages operating on people that do not need surgery. The case of the ortho companies paying the physicians to use their devices was the breaking point.
The Senators Baucus and Grassley, who are in the hip pocket of the AHA, are not happy with a story in Forbes that support the specialty hospitals. The Forbes story states the obvious, the community hospitals use every dirty trick in the book to stop the physicians from taking the hospital patients and offering in many instances much better care.
To add insult to injury, 33 first term Democrats who are up for reelection and need money have sent a letter to Pelosi urging another attempt by the Congress to do the bidding of their masters, the AHA and not federally fund the superior physician hospitals. Top
In the latest MedStaff News, a publication of the American Health Lawyers Association, there is an excellent article by Elizabeth Snelson, Esq. of Minneapolis on the righteousness of the new MS 1.20 Standard that has caused a furor with hospital attorneys that want to continue to place medical staffs under the thumb of the hospital. The article discusses the reasons for the medical staff to be a separate entity. Top
The State of Florida has threatened Northside Hospital of St. Petersburg with closure if their safety problems are not fixed. They ordered the immediate cessation of the hospital's dialysis program due to safety problems known about by the hospital and ignored. One of the renal physicians at the hospital had told the hospital of problems but the hospital instead of working on the problems suspended the physician's privileges. The hospital also never notified physicians when mistakes in treatments of their patients were found. The hospital needs new management quickly. 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