Also see more medical news from around the web over at the Satellite Edition of this week’s update at ER Stories.
Whooping cough resurgence in New York. More than double the number of cases than occurred in the next-largest outbreak in 2006.
I renew my assertion that vaccinations should not be mandatory, but that parents who fail to vaccinate their children should be charged with endangering the welfare of a child and should incur civil liability if their children contract preventable communicable diseases or transmit those diseases to others.
Now from the “how else can we justify our existence” department. JCAHO is considering whether to regulate “overuse” of health care treatments, procedures, and tests. That’s right, boys and girls, soon the clipboard brigade will descend upon hospitals and start throwing out citations if too many CT scans or surgeries are performed.
You’ll have to click on the “read more” link at the above site to read about it. I avoided pasting into the story the unique URL that the link generates.
That got me thinking. When is someone going to do a study showing how JCAHO is a threat to patient safety?
Patients gone wild. Illinois man gets a twofer. First he’s arrested for breaking a car door at a bowling alley parking lot. Then he is arrested again after going to the emergency department and attempting to punch out a female emergency physician, hitting her in the ribs.
Who are you freaks and what did you do with Bullwinkle? Flying squirrel gets loose in emergency department, repeatedly jumps from light head-on into glass window.
In other news, PETA is now considering whether to pursue an EMTALA action against the hospital for failing to perform a proper screening exam before releasing the animal into the wild.
And in still other news, JCAHO is considering whether to declare glass windows a threat to patient safety because patients *could* make the same mistake and run head-on into glass, killing or seriously injuring themselves.
Hat tip to hashmd for the story.
Double double toil and trouble. New York woman criminally charged for “self-abortion” after drinking herbal concoction allegedly intended to cause abortion, then aborting her fetus.
Navy SEAL dies in hospital from “preventable causes.” Family awarded $4 million. Overdose of painkillers was suspected, but Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix was able to keep the records secret under Arizona quality assurance law.
The problems with government “insurance.” When federal payments don’t cover the cost of care, states seek to decrease payments to providers … which decreases the number of providers willing to provide medical care at a loss … which decreases access to care.
Arizona hospitals sue to block cuts in Medicaid reimbursement. They argue that the cuts will shift cost of care to insured patients who have to pay more money for their care.
Meanwhile, California is planning to cut Medi-Cal payments to providers by 20%, which will impact the access to medical care for more than 7 million California residents. If the cuts are enacted, “half the state’s hospitals that run skilled-nursing units said they would close them” and “another 35 percent said they would reduce beds or end service to Medi-Cal patients.”
Yet another reason not to practice medicine in Florida — it has three of the top ten “saddest” cities in the US. I’d be sad, too if I could lose my license after three successful malpractice cases, with criminal charges against physicians and pharmacists, with high malpractice rates, if lawyers forced me to sign a contract invalidating statutory contingency fee caps before they took my malpractice case, state investigators cite physicians for failing to save a 13 week old fetus, etc, etc, and so on.
Missouri hospital tries new tactic to shore up bad debt in the emergency department — holding prescriptions hostage. Patients will all be evaluated in the emergency department, but won’t get their prescriptions on discharge until they either pay their insurance co-pay or pay at least a $40 down payment toward the bill for their care. That policy will end as soon as the first asthma patient dies from no steroids and lack of access to a rescue inhaler after an asthma exacerbation.
You think it’s so easy, then YOU try to meet the guidelines. American College of Cardiology recommends that patients with acute MI be transferred to a hospital capable of performing PCI within 30 minutes. Study in the Annals of Internal Medicine shows that the median time to transfer is double that. Heck, just filling out all the paperwork takes 30 minutes. But just think about how safe that government regulations and lawsuit fears are making all of us …
Does this mean Congress should be held as a bunch of “enemy combatants” for passing that health care law? Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said Thursday that America’s health “really is a matter of national security.”
The dog must have been an Al Qaeda operative. Kentucky couple comes to emergency department with runny nose, burning skin, dizziness and headache after coming into contact with stray dog. Soon, hospital staff came down with same symptoms. Then hospital goes on lockdown while Haz-Mat crew investigates.
Finally, a video to get you feeling all kinds of Christmasy in this holiday season, courtesy of the Drudge Report. Homeless woman, when discussing her 15 children and how she isn’t getting enough social services to care for them all states “Somebody needs to pay for all my children,” and “somebody needs to be held accountable.” The video is apparently several years old, but has resurfaced as a “flashback” and now seems to have gone viral. As the great Glenn Reynolds says on Instapundit … “How’s that Hopey Changey thing working out for ya?”
As an update, this video was being discussed on a radio station in our area and one of the callers made a comment “Ma’am, it’s a uterus, not a clown car.” Ouch.