July 1, 2019 Recent News



Lehigh Valley health Network signed a five year partnership with CVS Health.  They will share EMRs to help the patients buy more meds via CVS.  

The California counties paid the top eight in the state mucho dinero.  They were all physicians or physician managers and all from one county, the middle of the state San Joaquin County.  The top three in the state were tow neurosurgeons and a trauma surgeon who made over $1 million each.  The highest paid outside of this county was a pharmacy chief who made $820,000.  They need to pay so much due to the rural nature and the difficulty to get specialists to staff 24/7 their trauma center.   

The VA apparently still does not get it.  They are a not needed organization that can and should be replaced.  They continue to shoot themselves in the foot or mouth by trying to falsify data and stifle critiics.  The latest is a psychologist who contends testified that the VA falsified ap0pointment lists at a fake clinic in order to fool data on appointment times.   

North Carolina wants to pay hospitals 182% of Medicare  DRGs in their state health plan.  Professional services would be at 160% of Medicare DRG.  The hospitals have turned this down and no hospital has signed the state contract.  Since there are no contracts the poor teachers are stuck in a plan that no one will agree to.  They will need to pay out of network for all services.  Some physicians have agreed to take the contract.          

New Hampshire has begun to provide Suboxone and other drug treatments foo prisoners in select state prisons.   Top


Kaiser is consolidating all their people in Oakland.  They have purchased a site for $900 million.  They have a buyer for the properties they currently own in the city.  They will move in 2023 and this will save them $60 million per year in lease payments.  

The city of San Francisco is supporting a state bill that would require Kaiser to comply with California law on transparency and disclosures.  For some reason it is currently exempt form the state law.  The law wants Kaiser to report pricing information on individual hospitals and how its premiums are developed.  They are both the insurer and the provider so they do not negotiate. 

The University of North Carolina has taken a licking from the Wall Street Journal over their pediatric cardiology program, now suspended.  Finally, under the pressure, they are ceasing doing complex cardiac surgery, releasing the the data on their program, investing in technology, doing the necessary oversight and bringing in new blood.  It is a shame that they had to be forced to do the right thing. 

The medical staff of Erlanger Clinic in Tennessee has given the Board of Trustees a letter saying they have no confidence in the administration.  The MEC spelled out their concerns regarding a chronic understaffing, poor morale, policies that cause overcrowding in the ED and inefficiency.  They say patient safety is at risk.  The administration is saying they have the greatest regard for safety and they are dismayed that someone would lead the private letter to the press.  The Board is going along with the administration at this point but we will see if the problems are not solved quickly enough.  If physicians get upset enough they will stop doing the hospital paper work and this affects the bottom line but not patient care. 

In an interesting case New York hospitals are suing their physicians or other providers for money each side says is theirs.  This stems from a buy out of the med mal company MLMIC.  They buyout of the mutual company states the money must be divvied up state-side by the policyholders.  The hospitals and medical groups say wait a minute.  We paid the premiums so we should get the money.  The courts have split to date on the issue and this will have to resolved at a higher court level.

It turns out the incident that triggered the federal oversight of MD Anderson was a death caused by a contaminated blood transfusion.   The infection is common in hospitals and not in transfusions, Serratia.  When the CMS investigated they found  other violations and so the penalties.     

Hahnemann Hospital is calling it quits after 171 years, originally as a homeopathic medical college.  It can no longer sustain itself.  After being notified by the hospital the state of Pennsylvania has ordered the hospital to delay any steps toward closure until regulators sign off on the 90 day plan.     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.