August 1, 2017 Recent News





All remember the disaster of the Tuskegee airmen who were given syphilis for a study.  The feds offered them $9 million many years ago to compensate them for the wrongs the feds caused.  Now some descendants want any left over money to go to them and has asked a judge overseeing the settlement to delay any decision until they can intervene.  The money is now slated to go to a museum or be returned to the feds.  The amount is small and represents the interest.     

Good on some researchers from England and those at USC for showing that shorter lengths of time to administer antibiotics the better.  They show that the one to two week course usually prescribed is not only not necessary but is detrimental to the person taking the meds.  

Illinois is such a poorly run state. They finally have a budget but they are very slow to pay those who they owe.  They have paid $740 million to Medicaid HMOs but still owe an additional $3.5 Billion.   The state had to be told by a judge to pay the amount of money they did pay.  

Another reason why America will not accept government medicine.  Charlie Gard, the young lad in England with mitochondrial depletion, first was allowed to go into a coma because the government would not allow him to be treated with expensive meds.  Secondly, the government would not allow his parents to take him to the United States for treatment.  The government then would not allow the parents to bring him home and he died at a hospice.  

Health Data Management has an article that I love.  It explains that HIPAA is used as a scapegoat for not telling anybody anything even when it is permissible.  In fact one can transmit information without permission about a person for billing, medical or hospital reasons.     Top


Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne, Indiana, has problems.  It was the center of a failed attempt to purchase the hospital from CHS.  Following the announcement of the deal falling apart, several people were fired including the CEO and the CMO.  Now the medical staff leaders have all resigned along with two independent board members.  This does not bode well for patient confidence.  

In Providence, Rhode Island, the two largest hospitals, Women's and Infants and Rhode Island, are next door to each other.  They have had an arrangement for years that if an adult shows up at Women's with either stroke or cardiac symptoms they could call on Rhode Island physicians to help. Now Rhode Island wants to stop the policy due to legal concerns.  Just before it was to take place the Dept. of Health ordered the arrangement to continue until a resolution. RI Hospital wants a formal agreement where they get paid to provide the services and Women's is in financial trouble.  

How important are some physicians to a hospital?  Memorial Hospital in Springfield, Illinois, has found out.  After the area's largest cardiology group stopped going to the hospital, Memorial is losing about $1 million per month.  This has led Memorial to not fill vacancies but has not yet, after five months, had to start to lay off individuals.  The medical group is owned by the competing hospital and has decided to only practice at their master's hospital.  This will also be a factor in people choosing their primary and cardiology physicians.  

Why is medicine so expensive?  A story in the Chicago Tribune about gunshot victims has part of the answer.  These victims get huge bills, well over $100,000 for their care.  Between 2009 and 2016 hospitals billed over $447 million to treat some 12,000 shooting victims.  About half of the costs are borne by fed med.  These costs do not include follow-up treatment.  The hospitals received about 30% of billed charges.  Since 2009 charges have increased and the length of stay has also increased by about a week.  

Tewksbury Hospital fired an employee at their Massachusetts hospital after the hospital found that for 13 years  the employee was snooping on patient's electronic medical records.  I repeat, after 13 years.  They are now reviewing their policies.  That is 13 years too late.    Top


California has started to publicize names of cardiac surgeons with mortality rates that are over the norm.  Some of them are the ones that now take the tough cases but will think twice about them in the future.  Their mortality rates will become better and the patients will die.        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.