March 15, 2011 Recent News




Bronx-Lebanon Hospital in New York City has 13 OBs on staff.  Eight received letters from their insurance carrier that due to their practices they may not have their med mal insurance renewed.  All deal with high risk pregnancies.  This would mean that the surrounding hospitals would need to pick up thousands of deliveries per year.  

Texas physicians are leaving the Medicare program faster than others.  Last year 172 physicians left the program due to the problems with payments.  This is less than 1% of the Texas physicians.  However, an additional 34% have either stopped taking new Medicare patients or are limiting the numbers they accept.

Physicians with perfectly good EMR systems are buying new ones to get the federal money.  Those that can show meaningful use will get $44,000 per physician under Medicare or $64,000 if they are Medicaid providers.  Of course those payments are over five years for Medicare and six for Medicaid.  The major providers of systems have been Nextgen, Allscripts, eClinicalWorks and Epic.        Top


How many men in the US have been saved by using a PSA test to diagnose early prostate cancer?  In England, 66% of men never heard of the PSA test.  The NIH states that men over 50 may ask for the test after a discussion with their physicians.  Of course, if you have never heard of the test you will not ask for it.  A large percentage of the national GPs do not support this stance and will not discuss the test with patients.  It is the most common cancer in British men accounting for 34,000 new cases a year and 10,000 deaths per year.

In an ongoing turf war, radiation therapists are fighting the urologist over their opening of IMRT radiation centers to treat prostate cancer instead of referring the same patient to the hospital radiation therapist for the same treatment. The urologists hire their own radiation therapist so their is no decrease in in the quality of care.  What is wrong is if the patient is not told all his options including surgery and watchful waiting.  It is as good or better than seeds especially when the therapist is not experienced in seed implants as has been found recently at the VA hospitals. 

The People's Republic of Massachusetts has said that state employees will only get a 2.4% increase in healthcare insurance premiums the next year.  This is good news after they had their co-pays raised significantly last year.  This means that the usual percentage of budget for municipalities is just over 10% for health premiums alone.  The article did not say what the pension payments add up to.  Massachusetts wants to join Wisconsin, Indiana and Ohio to strip unions of bargaining rights but the unions are opposed.   

One would think that if all are covered by insurance then the rate of medical causes of bankruptcy would go down.  That is not the case in the People's Republic.  In the years the Republic has had healthcare for all the medical cause of bankruptcy has fallen from 59% to 53%, a statistically insignificant figure.   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.