March 1, 2015 Recent News





The interns and residents at Dignity Health's St. Mary's Hospital in Long Beach, California have voted to unionize with the Committee of Interns and Residents (SEIU).  The hospital supports their decision.

Almost 800 physicians in western Michigan have banded together to form a IPA to improve health care.  This is a clinically integrated network to pass muster of the FTC.  This is the way independent physicians can band together for better health management and pay.        Top


Kaiser Health News reports that Obamacare did not protect against balance billing and this is being seen when people go out of network for their care unless it is at a non in network ED.  When the hospital uses non network physicians such as anesthesia the patient may be billed.  These charges are not part of a cap either.

If someone made more money last year than they expected and got Obamacare subsidies they will be charged on April 15 or whenever they file their tax forms.  If necessary they could be charged the entire subsidy which could be significant.  

I did not know that when states do not meet their target enrollments for Obamacare they lose federal funding.  The San Francisco Business times reports that Covered California will lose $21 million in funding for the next year since it did not meet it's targets.  

Which hospitals won big Medicare bonuses?  The answer is the hospitals that the regular hospitals wanted to quash, small specialty hospitals.  They get the best patient satisfaction scores.

The administration has admitted a major screw-up.  They sent over 800,000 people who registered for Obamacare via the federal exchange the wrong information to use for their IRS reporting.  Almost 50,000 people had already filed and are in error.  All others will not file until they get a corrected report.  

The IRS has then ruled that those who have already filed with erroneous Obamacare information will not have to file an amended report.  They say the error is not significant enough to cause a tax penalty for misfiling.

Since the IRS can not pursue criminal penalties or put liens on property of those who do not pay their Obamacare tax for not having the world's most expensive medical insurance, some taxpayers are not paying the Obamacare tax.  IRS is also understaffed and the chances of audit are low.  The worst thing that can happen is that a future refund is less.

Burwell has her head in the sand.  She testified that there is no back up plan if the Supreme Court tosses the subsidy portion of Obamacare in the

Medical identity theft has jumped by 22% last year with almost 500,000 people commit insurance fraud.  This is caused by electronic medical records and the easier way that cyber criminals steal.  For the victim it takes about 200 hours to resolve a case of stolen medical identity.

UnitedHealth, the largest insurer, is mandating all who schedule laporoscopic or abdominal hysterectomies get prior "mother may I" permission.  They believe based on recommendations from ACOG that vaginal hysterectomies are safer and better than others.  Vag Hysts as outpatients will not have to be pre-approved.        Top


Kaiser California has signed a contract to purchase large amounts of electricity from NextEra Solar in Blythe, California.  

A consumer group that thrives on publicity is calling for immediate hospital audits on the ten hospitals that were recently fined by California.  Not quite sure what they expect to accomplish.  The Joint Commission now regulates them.        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.