May 15, 2018 Recent News






In what might be the beginning death spiral for Ocare, Maryland insurers are asking for 30% increases as an average for the premiums for next year.  Blue Cross wants a 90% increase on its PPO plans.  This is the first step with compromises coming.  The trend does look ominous.  

President Trump introduced a plan to reduce the cost of pharmaceuticals in country.  He went after the middle men in the process.  It is at least a start where other presidents did nothing at all.

California is at it again.  This time they want about 100,000 illegal aliens to get subsidized health care under Medicaid.  The Democratic majority in the Houses do not care about fiscal responsibility only potential votes from Hispanics voters.  This is also the first step in their push for single payer in the state.  They assume the money will come from the state surplus but forget about the times in the future when there will be no surplus but the mandate will still be there.

The ridiculous USPSTG has modified their stance on PSA screening.  They now say it is OK if requested after consultation with the patient.  

Is this good medicine?  The University of Wisconsin-Madison has decided it is OK to give hormones to transgender students without any medical or psychological evaluation.  Sounds pretty stupid to me.

The Prime Minister of Ireland has apologized for the way their government handled the scandal regarding the country's cervical cancer screening.  The health minister lied when he said he did not know about the problem.  Memos showed they did know.  

Kenya is hiring physicians from Cuba.  The Kenyan Medical Society is not happy about this.  The local society says that there are physicians locally that have not been deployed by the Ministry of Health.  


The Texas Health and Human Services Commission needs to re-look at its HIPAA policies.  The fired a woman after nine years for a HIPAA accusation which she denied.  Then they sent her a box of patient information on hundreds of patients.  

The University of Arkansas fired three employees for a HIPAA breach.  They shared an HIV status of a patient with coworkers.  


The VA West Los Angeles Medical Center has had problems with flies.  The problem has been for the past two years and have forced some OR days be cancelled.  The flies are called Phorid flies and are attracted to open wounds to lay eggs.  The hospital has ignored the problem for the past two years. I remember when I trained at Cook County Hospital we operated on the 7th floor and the windows were open, no air conditioning.  Flies were a part of many surgeries and the nurses would use fly swatters.  

A young woman fainted and hit her head on a table.  She went to Hoboken University Medical Center ED where she was treated with an ice pack and a bandage.  She received a bill for $5,751.  The hospital was out of network and her insurance company paid $862.  The hospital billed her for the remaining money.  The hospital after being asked to comment about the fees for the story in Vox cancelled the bill.

Penn State Hershey has apologized for their stupidity.  They sent letters to 2100 patients with MS being cared for in their neurology department that they lost physicians and the patients need to seek care elsewhere.  They then had to sent new letters apologizing for the first letter and saying the patients sill be cared for at the hospital.  

The University of Arkansas is looking to take over Penn State's stupidity.  They have known for months that one of their cardiac surgeons was going to retire but did nothing to prepare.  They now are closing their cardiac program, which was small to begin with, until a new surgeon is found.  The retiring one was part time there and part time at the VA.  His salary at the University was $195,000.  I believe the University will need to pay a lot more than that to hire a new cardiac surgeon.  

On the other side of the coin is Kaiser.  They, in the first quarter, had operating revenues of just over $20 Billion on operating income on $1.1 Billion and non-operating income of $36 Billion.  They continued to increase membership by over 400,000 a quarter.  

Those who invested in proton radiation are not doing well.  Insurers are balking at coverage and patients are not being referred.  Some, like the San Diego machine, have gone bankrupt.  

The physicians and staff at Oakland, California, Children's Hospital are mad at their big brother the University of California San Francisco.  The bully brother seems to be taking the patients at shipping them to their San Francisco campus instead of treating them in Oakland.  

She wonders why she is unemployable.  Cecilia Guardiola, is a respected compliance expert and a JD.  The problems is she has garnered many millions of dollars from three hospitals for fraud whistleblowing.  She got paid over $6 million of the $33 million in settlements against Banner Health, Christus Health and Renown Health.

A patient at Porter Adventist Hospital in Colorado was to have surgery on his spine.  He woke up to find that the surgery had been started and then cancelled after the surgeon found the instruments were contaminated.  The hospital then covered the wagons, a terrible idea.  The surgery was the same day as the state announced a disease control investigation of the hospital.  

A patient had an ortho procedure on her foot with the insertion of four screws at Oklahoma University..  Her stay was three days and her bill was $115,527 which included $15,000 for the four screws.  Then she received a letter from Blueshield that said they had not approved her hospital stay as it is an outpatient procedure.  She then wanted the part information on the screws and was denied the information from both the hospital and Arthrex.  Arthrex did say they usually charge the hospital between $300 and $1000 per screw.  A huge markup by the hospital.  She was also charged for reusable items at a huge cost such as a drill bit $4265 a tool for cautery.  After receiving more information the insurer covered the bill but the hospital is dtill billing $413 for a denied appeal.  Shame on them.


Dr. Mark Adelman was chief of vascular surgery at NYU School of Medicine when he was forced to resign.  He had been accused of having improper relationships with patients.  The hospital said there is no such thing as a consensual relationship between a physician and a patient.      


 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.