April 1, 2018 Recent News





Great Britain quietly has a program currently in place to allow their citizens to have some surgeries in France.  Great Britain has a huge shortage of beds and medical staff due to years of cheapness.  France believes that surgery needed is surgery that should be done.  Britiain believe surgery needed is surgery that can be postponed.

Would you believe politicians or an article in the New England Journal?  The journal contradicts Senator Warren's claim that 60% of bankruptcies are due to medical reasons.  A Northwestern economist did a study and found the percentages is closer to 4%.  Politicians lie!

Why is healthcare so damn expensive?  A patient went to the nearest ER in Florida after being stung by a bee and not having her EpiPen handy.  The hospital was not in network.  She ended up with a $12,000 bill for her two hours in the ER.  She was seen by two physicians and had blood tests and EKGs.  This is almost medical malpractice in reverse.  Hospitals charge facility fees above what the already marked up charges are.  In some cases that is legitimate such as a trauma hospital where multiple people and equipment needs to be mobilized for an incoming trauma patient.  This is not one of those situations.  

Aetna has joined UnitedHealth in passing to consumers the discounts the insurers are getting.  This could be as much as half a drug's price.  This is so the consumer will know the price increases are due to the pharmaceutical companies and not the insurers.  This also shows the lessening of the middlemen as Aetna is purchased by CVS and Cigna is buying Express Scripts.  

If it is not one thing it is another.  As medical care shifts way form the hospital the claims for urgent care centers has increased by 1725% from 2016 to 2017.  ER claims are only up 225%.  This is good as urgent care is much cheaper than ER care.  

Speaking of expensive, the VA new Cerner EHR system is expected to cost taxpayers $16 BILLION.  This includes infrastructure improvements and contractor program management.  

Walmart is tightening its ties with Humana, possibly even purchasing them.  This is another potential power grab to control all the middlemen involved in the distribution of pharmaceuticals.  This goes along with UnitedHealth and its pharmaceutical arm, Aetna and CVS and Express Scripts and Cigna.        Top


From July 2015 to July 2016 about 5000 physician practices were purchased by hospitals.  From July 2012 to July 2016 hospitals ramped up the number of physician purchased going from about 25% to 42% of physicians.  This included an additional 36,000 practices.  Almost 33% of physician practices are now employed.

Banner Health is being investigated by the OIG for a cyberattack on them which netted almost 21,000 credit card numbers.  The system clearly was not protected well enough.  They are also being sued by the individual affected.  At the same time the system reports a doubling of income.  Why is that not surprising?

Detroit Medical Center owned by Tenet is being accused of violating the terms of the agreement when Tenet purchased the hospital.  They are a victim of Ocare and have only given charity care amounting to $470,000 in 2016 down for $23 million in 2013.  The Michigan Nurses Association doesn't like Ocare since they are protesting the decreased charity care.  There seems to be a discrepancy as to what constitutes charity care.

Baptist Hospital in Kendall, Florida, should be in hot water.  Two days after a baby was born in the hospital they allowed Miccosukee Indian Police to come into the hospital without a court order signed by a judge and take the baby away from the parents.  The baby's grandmother is a high ranking tribal member was awarded custody by the Indian Court to make sure no white would be in the child's life.  Senator Marco Rubio then got involved and shortly after the baby was returned to the parents.

NYC Health and Hospitals has gotten into hot water over the past few years due to not spending money on procuring nurses and physicians.  The new CEO is hoping to reverse that.  He started by firing 35 admin people, a good start.  This freed up $4.9 million to hire new personnel.  The system also hopes to garner $110 million by billing for services rendered.  They also got rid of $16 million in consulting fees.

Atrium Health (formerly Carolina Healthcare) did not renew the contract with its anesthesia group Southwest Anesthesia.  Southwest is starting an ad campaign to attack Atrium stating the move will jeopardize patient safety by using many more nurse anesthetists.  They also attack Atrium's profit motive.  The contract was awarded to one physician for far less money and it is up to him to get others to work at the hospitals.  He states is will keep to the standard of one anesthesiologist per four patients.  I have always believed in one per patient.  The Southwest physicians can not continue to give anesthesia at Atrium for the new entity since they have a non compete clause.    Southwest has also sued Atrium for stealing trade secrets to use with the new contract.

Wills Eye Hospital has its mojo back.  It is now again a hospital allowing it to get higher reimbursement than when it was an outpatient facility.  It can now perform more complex surgeries also.  The hospital sued CMS to get its status as a hospital but lost and then CMS gave them the status.

The worm turned.  Sonoma West Medical Center was taken to task by Anthem for fronting lab tests for an outside laboratory getting hospital and not outpatient rates.  The hospital initially said they were right and would not stop doing the tests.  Now, they have stopped the toxicology tests.  The hospital did the tests to keep afloat.         Top 


Dr. Om Kapoor resigned from Florida's Baptist Hospital after he was charged with masturbating on a patient in the examining room.  He also had his license suspended.        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.