California has fine four San Diego hospitals for preventable errors. Pomerado Hospital for using a broken anesthesia machine which left patients able to feel the surgery. Sharp Grossmont Hospital failed to turn on a ventilator leading to a patient death. Scripps Green Hospital had a patient slide off the OR table during surgery. Finally Promise Hospital also had errors but are threatening to appeal them. Top
California has passed and the Governor has signed a bill allowing people with less than one year to live to have their physician sign a form called The Physicians Order for Life Sustaining Treatment. All health care providers must comply with the patients end of life wishes as stated on the form. California is the 15th state to enact this program. Top
Indiana, via a paralegal in the state attorney general office, fined Dr. J. B. O'Donnell of Bloomington $1200 for throwing out patient files. The physician also has to post the infraction on his web site for 30 days and sit in a corner for one hour. He also has to notify the attorney general if he is a bad boy again and tosses out more records. I am sorry to make light of the serious physician mistake but to see that the case was handled by a paralegal was slightly galling.
California's Senate has passed a law that snooping into patient medical records is a big no no. The law would set up a new state office to oversee the privacy and have the power to fine individuals up to $250,000. The Assembly still needs to vote on the bill. There is already a bill that has passed both houses that raises fines to hospitals and individual snoops from $50,000 to $250,000 but without the added bureaucracy. Top
In the People's Republic of Massachusetts there is good and bad news. The good news is that about 3/4 of the republic's uninsured is now insured and about 1/2 of them by businesses. This has led to less ED usage and money savings for the state. The bad news is the money savings is not enough to cover the shortfall necessary to run the program. The republic still needs billions from the feds for its medical programs and more money from businesses so the taxpayers don't really know what this is costing.
The stories about the Republic keep coming. In a new story, the public doesn't know when and if they are insured as they must fill out papers yearly and whenever they change jobs. They think they are insured but then find out they need to pay for their care. They end up suing the state. This amounts to tens of thousands of people per year.
In the meantime on the left coast, a judge has blocked California from reducing the payments to healthcare providers by the proposed 10%. This is against the federal rules for the use of Medicaid money and will throw the Democratic legislature into more of a tizzy since they will have to cut spending on other projects. It also means that there will have to be an increase in some state taxes.
Vindictiveness in Orange County? How could that be? When the county Board of Supes were to vote on the budget, the Chair wanted to withhold money from a medical group that requested information from the county's Medicaid program that cut physician spending as it raised salaries for administrators. It just so happens that the Chair also sits on the Board of the Medicaid program and fortunately other supervisors were able to show him up for the idiot that he is. The budget passed with the physician funding.
The HHS has announced that any institution that receives federal money may not retaliate against any person who refuses to participate in abortions. This includes physician offices, hospitals and nursing homes. If there is any retaliation the institution may lose federal money. This comes the day after the California Supreme Court stated that the person's conscience takes a back seat to discrimination in an artificial insemination case on an unmarried woman. Top
California's Attorney General, the prior Governor Moonbeam, Jerry Brown, has issued guidelines for medical marijuana. In an 11 page report he outlined what was legal and illegal under state law. Dispensaries were labeled legal if they were non profit. He urged patients to apply for state sanctioned ID cards. Patients may not use the drug (it is a drug, despite what the politicos at the fed level believe) near schools, at rec centers at work without employer permission. All cannabis taken from legitimate users must be returned. This is a direct slap at the feds and gives other states a roadmap to follow. Top
The Joint Commission has reported that the task force on MS 1.20 is close to consensus. Once this is reached the decision would be subject to a field review and then discussion by the Commission. 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