May 1, 2019 Recent News




A study in JAMA has shown that workplace wellness is not worth the money.  They do not cut costs for employers, reduce absenteeism or improve health.  The only thing it did doe is improve the workers self evaluation of how they felt.  

Blue Cross Blue Shield in New YOrk state is dropping a large provider of urology and radiation services, Integrated Medical Professionals.  This affects over 7000 patients with an HMO and dual eligibles.  Separately they dropped New York Cancer and Blood specialists with 1300 patients.  Now over 800 patients will need to find different physicians or pay out of pocket.

California has analyzed its maternal deaths and they are getting somethings right.  The maternal death rate for all has decreased significantly but there is still much to large a maternal death rate in black women.  The rate is about 300% higher than white mothers.  The legislators are trying to address this by enacting laws to better tract maternal mortality but also provide information to women on how to file discrimination suits.  Another bill will require every two year instruction on implicit bias training for medical professional, as well as police, court officers which include judges, trial attorneys bailiffs and clerks. 

A recent article is putting the blame for the ligh cost of medicine squarly on the medical trainers.  They believe that overtreatment learning begins in training.  Some programs are now comparing peers in the number and costs of the tests ordered.   

In a terrible expose about the South Florida medical scene USA Today reports on the discount plastic surgery clinics that prey on the women who want to look beautiful and not pay plastic surgery prices.  It talks about a clinic that is owned by felons and where 13 women have died from their surgery.  Legislators in the Sunshine State have not been able to get the votes to legislate who can own a plastic surgery center.  The state does regulate physician owned centers but not non-physician owned ones.  

Kudos to Wichita, Kansas, Pathway Church.  They raised money and worked with RIP Medical Debt to pay off the medical debts of thousands of local people.          Top


San Francisco General has been shamed into changing their billing policies.  They were out of network with all insurers and billed huge amounts for their services.  They billed the patients for the differences between their huge charges and what their insurance companies paid.  The balance billing will be curtailed.  Now the max a patient will need to pay is about $5000.  This will cost the hospital by about $2 million on its $1 billion budget.

Ancora Psychiatric Hospital in Winslow, New Jersey, left a patient prone for eight minutes who was pulseless before turning the patient over to begin CPR.  The employees involved were all placed on leave.  A patient witness to the negligence had problems coping and was placed in restraints, a no no.  Ancora says it did things right but with the witness but its documentation was poor to non existent.  

Indiana University Health wants a local neurosurgical group to become employees but the group is not interested in losing its independence.  The medical group works at multiple hospitals and wants to continue to do so.  Indiana University has cannibalized five pediatric neurosurgeons from another hospital to be their employees and under their control.

MD Anderson Cancer Center has fired three Chinese for allegedly plotting to steal research.  

USC has lost its joint cardiac fellowship with LA County due to problems protecting residents from sexual groping and the like. 

An article is blasting Mount Carmel Health System for renewing Dr. William Husel's credentials after it suspended him.  The system had removed Husel from all patient activities and that did not change with the renewal of his credentials.  They also blasted the system for allowing him to work at the ICU without proper credentials.  He did not have the actual credentials but the system got outside counsel that said his credentials and skills were good enough.  The hospital had siad the ICU docs must be IM but Husel was an anesthesiologist, just as good or maybe better.  He had also completed a critical care fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic.  Husel is under investigation in relation to 35 deaths in the ICU.

Washington AG had sued St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma for failure to make charity care available to low income patients.  Now St. Joseph and seven other CHI Fransican hospitals will forgive as much as $20 million in debt, pay $2.2 million in refunds, pay the AG $2.46 million and rehabilitate the credit of thousands of people they did not give charity care to.          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.