The game of medical funding hot potato continues. Miami hospital system stops providing dialysis for indigent patients due to mounting budget losses. Instead, patients are encouraged to go to the emergency department so that Medicaid will be forced to pay the cost for the visits.
Rather than risk crowding in their hospital emergency departments, three other Miami area hospitals contributed $100,000 to pay for outpatient dialysis for one month while seeking a longer term solution
Boston Medical Center lawsuit accuses Massachusetts of illegally cutting payments to hospital for indigent care and of “financ[ing] its health insurance law, a model for national healthcare overhaul, on the backs of poor residents.”
BMC President Elaine Ullian makes similar comments in a speech to hospital donors. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick gets offended and writes letter to hospital’s board of directors calling Ullian’s comments “wrong” and “unhelpful.”
In other news, Ullian was then seen sneaking around Governor Patrick’s neighborhood at night carrying a carton of eggs and several rolls of toilet paper.
Need to see a mental health counselor? OK, our next open appointment is January 2015. The average wait in Polk County, Iowa is about 14 months for mental health care and can be “up to five years before some people can receive care.” At last count, there were more than 500 people on the waiting list. Cuts in services are being made as the state tries to balance its budget.
Medical malpractice judgments and settlements are now being posted online. The North Carolina Medical Board’s site is here. A story in Fox news about the innovation is here. According to the article, about two dozen licensing boards in several states publish malpractice information.
A number of years ago, there was a public outcry when a group in Texas posted names of plaintiffs who filed malpractice suits against physicians. Everyone seems content when physicians are exposed to public scrutiny.
Also interesting that the President of the NC Board, Donald Jablonski, was reprimanded by the Florida Board of Osteopathic Medicine. Amazing what you can learn on these sites.
It is an emergency department or a hockey rink? Patient punches emergency physician in the face (link from Gladwin, MI now changed to subscription only, so article unavailable). Meanwhile, a different patient punches emergency department nurse in face. Then, a mother threatens to kill ED staff then grabs security guard by throat. I need me a stun gun.
Then I read about a police officer being stabbed in the neck and killed while sitting in his car in an emergency department parking lot.
What is wrong with people?
More budget woes affect medical care. Cook County’s $75 million health care budget shortfall results in even more cuts in medical services. Nine hundred hospital positions were cut last year and an additional 450 positions will be cut this year. A patient notes that a 10 hour wait in the Stroger Hospital emergency department waiting room “isn’t bad” and that the longest wait he’s seen is 30 hours.
Gunshot victim seeks emergency care from naturopath? And the naturopath agrees? Somehow, I don’t think herbal extracts and rolfing are going to cure internal bleeding.
Increasing medical malpractice claims in Tennessee. Out of more than 3000 cases filed in 2007, only 7 went to trial and 492 were settled. The remainder “died on the vine.”
Emergency department staffing company Team Health’s IPO was disappointing, as they only opened at $12 per share rather than the $14 to $16 they were expecting. Even so, Team Health’s net income last year was nearly $2 billion. Talk about “going green” …