June 1, 2017 Recent News






A study by the Commonwealth Fund ahs determined that 27% of Medicare recipients pay 20% or more of their income on medical costs including premiums.  The costs paid for by patients include dental, vision and long term care along with prescriptions.  The reporters of the article go on to bad mouth the need to buy secondary insurance.  They do not mention the Medicaid secondary possibility except to imply this is a bad option.  

Headlines of news articles tell the bias of the writers.  The liberal Boston Globe says that 23 million will be uninsured now under the Republican House plan based on the CBO report.  The story does not mention anything about the cost savings under the plan nor the amount of people that will be insured over the next decade.  The non-profit MedPage stated 14 million more uninsured by 2018 and the bill will reduce the deficit by $119 Billion over a decade.  They state the number of uninsured will rise by 23 million by 2018.  

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City has announced they will pull out of Kansas and Missouri next year.  There are over 60,000 now insured via that insurer.  They have lost over $100 million under Ocare.  

The Democratic idiocy in California is mind boggling.  After it was announced to huge fanfare that the idea of having single payer in the state was going to cost $400 Billion (twice the state's budget), the bill was voted out of committee.  The report said the feds would pick up half the cost but the cost to the state's taxpayer would be 15% of earned income.         Top 


Kaiser has done it.  They broke the $1 Billion quarter in net income.  This is a triple of the same quarter last year.  They made money from the acquisition of Group Health in Seattle as well as grew its membership up to almost 12 million.  

Broward Health continues to be in the news for stupidity.  Now the idiots on the Board have fired their long time outside CPA for not agreeing to approve the draft audit since there were major omissions.  The Board said the firing was due to newly required term limits.  

The Broward stupidity goes so far as to appoint one of their own board members to the $1 million job of CEO.  The board member Beverly Capasso even voted for her own job.  Capasso is good friends with the controversial, to say the least, hospital attorney who will negotiate the contract.  This has led to a scathing editorial by the local paper lambasting the Board and the counsel.  This board will not pay heed, it never has.

The Ohio State medical faculty has sent another letter critical of the administration after the criticized, now former, CEO of the Wexner Medical Center stepped down.  The second letter from other faculty agrees with the first letter and goes against the administration characterization against the truthfulness of the first letter.  This is typical of administrators who hope the issue will just go away instead of realizing there really is a problem and addressing it.

The Dayton Children's Hospital CEO issued a statement to the staff about the mishandling of the allegations of sexual abuse against a pediatric gastroenterologist, Dr. Arun Aggarwal who had his license taken away.  She stated that the hospital was trying to determine if the reported situations were true or a misunderstanding regarding a proper exam.  She stated that the hospital did not have the information presented to the medical board.  She states the hospital has instituted a major chaperone policy and will make sure any reports are immediately reported.  

Steward Health in Massachusetts is buying the the Tennessee IASIS Healthcare.  This would make Steward the largest private for-profit hospital in the country with 36 hospitals in 10 states.  

An investigation into Central Virginia Training Center in Lynchburg, Virginia, has revealed at least six patient deaths by urinary tract infections, all preventable.  

For the first time medical devices have been a target of ransomware.  The WannaCry virus hit not only the hospitals EMR but also Bayer devices, specifically a power injector in radiology.  The devices run on Windows.   An interesting stat is that only 47% of healthcare organizations actually test their medical device security. Only 5% test devices yearly. This is in the face of the same organizations believing an attack is likely within a year. Can't wait for the lawsuits to come in.   

Summa Health is trying to back into the norm.  Employees may now stop wearing pantyhose and may have open toe shoes.  The prior administration had mandated the pantyhose and shoes.          Top


Four insurers in Rhode Island have agreed to stop the onerous practice of pre-approval for treatments with opiod addiction.  The addicted patients may now receive their needed prescriptions without waiting.        Top


There is disagreement regarding Trump's budget proposal on med mal reform.  The budget proposed a cap on non-economic damages at $250,000, a 3 year statute of limitations and exclude provider apologies from evidence.  This would save according to the budget $31 billion over ten years.  The conservative AAPS is against it since it would mean more government intrusion.  The PIAA, representing med mal insurers, likes the idea.  

Physicians graduating from Illinois state medical schools are going out of state for further training more than ever in the past.  Only 21% are staying in the state that is the worst in the nation for budget problems.  Of course it is probable that the Illinois institutes are not as good as their neighbors.  The private medical schools are not seeing the same exodus.  Their grads are staying in the state at a much higher percentage.    

Under half of the people making decisions in the ED know the cost of their decisions.  Researchers asked 441 MDs or equivalents the cost of care for a 35 year old female with abdominal pain, a 57 year old male with labored breathing and a 7 year old with a sore throat.  Only 32% to the right price range for the man, 40% got it right for the kid and 43% got the female range correctly.  The results did not vary for geography, experience or level of training.    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.