December 1, 2019 Recent News





A large federally funded study suggests that people with non-emergent cardiac problems do at least as well with medical therapy as with angioplasty or cardiac surgery.  This suggests that maybe we have overshot the mark in utilizing invasive cardiology.  All these 5200 people had abnormal treadmill tests and then were divided into being treated with meds only or meds plus invasive therapy.  

Walmart has opened its first health center and is planning on opening several more quickly.  The Dallas center has primary care, labs and dental.  The next one will be in Calhoun, Georgia.  This will hopefully get more people into the store to shop.

Not to be outdone, UnitedHealth is opening member Medicare centers in Walgreens stores.  Fourteen will open in five metro centers starting this January.  They will be able to not only talk abut their benefits but also get an in-store annual wellness exam.

If Medicare for all comes in the physicians will be employees and may then strike.  The senior physicians in Zimbabwe public hospitals are now on strike.  This is in sympathy with the junior physicians who have been on strike over pay for three months.  They have continued to provide emergency care only but that will also cease.  The government is disciplining the striking physicians by firing them.  They will have no physicians to work at their hospitals.  The government has said the fired physicians can come back to work but without the money they went on strike for.  To no one's amazement, the physicians refused the generous offer.         Top


Albany Medical Center does like to do what the rest of the hospitals in the state do, allow people to either get a flu shot or wear a mask.  They have suspended  nurses for not getting the shot.  

The University of Central Florida screwed up big time.  They left out the local hospitals from participating in their teaching hospital so AdventHealth and Orlando Health have stopped participating in the teaching of the third year students.  They participated with HCA Healthcare instead.  This is much further away and has less beds.  The students are complaining which should lead to fewer well qualified applicants.

The famed Walter Reed Hospital screwed up big time.  It has been found that about 1800 CT scans have not been read dating back to 2011.  Most were scans of jaws at the Naval Postgrad Dental School.  

Pennsylvania hospitals Deaconess and Valley, part of CHS, are writing off patient debt for 17,000 as part of a settlement.  They did not keep their word regarding how much charity care they would provide when they were purchased from Empire Health Services.  CHS will also pay $2 million of Empire's legal costs for suing them.

Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco has finally got its Medicare back.  It was removed after it failed an initial inspection due to patient abuse and then also failed a follow-up inspection.  They had to pay over $1 million in penalties and lost an additional $130,000 by admitting patients while they could not bill for Medicare Medicaid services.  They, like other entities controlled by city or county politicians, terrible places to be.

In an expose article The Seattle newspaper exposes how long the Children's Hospital there has known and fought the mold problems that have killed several children.  The first outbreak was back in 2005.  They thought they had cleared the problem and fought a three year med mal fight that the mold was from a air handling system.  They were wrong.  It was the sir system.  They have now said it was the system going back to 2001.  They are now installing HEPA filters in all the ORs.  They were not rigorous in their investigations in the past and are now paying the price as did their patients.        Top


About 15 primary care physicians employed at urgent care sites of Edward-Elmhurst Health is suburban Chicago have been fired to allow cost savings.  Mid -level practitioners will take the place of trained physicians to save money.  The hospital says it is the patients who want the less trained and cheaper people to care for them.  This is only the latest of several physician firings to cut costs.  Last year 27 pediatricians were fired at MD Kids Pediatrics to be cared for by nid-levels.  Also last year Atrium Health in North Carolina let go their 40 year contract with the anesthesiologists to hire more mid-levels to do anesthesia with another group.

A few physicians of UVA Health wrote a letter about their employer going after the low income patients in law suits.  They seem to champion social one payer health.        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.