Another bamblance theft from the emergency department. If you don’t know why it’s called a bamblance, you need to listen to the video below (strong language alert). This latest ambulance theft occurred at University of Michigan. Many of the commenters to the article suggested that the patient was going to a different emergency department due to the wait times.
How much will you be charged for your emergency department visit. This study in PLOS-ONE gives you a good idea of what you should be charged. Keep in mind, though, that the numbers are “median” values, meaning half of patients got charged more than those numbers and half of patients were charged less than those numbers. The range of charges was ridiculous. For a UTI, the lowest charge was $50 while the highest charge was $73,002. That doesn’t mean some poor patients actually paid $73,000 for a Bactrim prescription, only that insurance was billed that much (which is still a crime).
Interesting dilemma. A patient in Washington DC called an ambulance at 1:26 AM when he was having trouble breathing. Just so happens that it was New Years Eve and about 25% of the entire DC firefighting force had called off sick that day. An ambulance arrived 30 minutes later and the patient arrived at the hospital exactly one hour after the initial call for help. Unfortunately, the patient’s condition was poor and he later died. There is now a news article about how the family thinks the $780 bill for the ambulance is “appalling and hurtful.” A petition was posted on Change.org to get the DC Fire and EMS Department to drop the bill and 166,000 people have signed it, many stating that the family should sue the Department for damages.
Yet the bill went to the patient’s insurance company and a copy of the bill was sent to the patient’s family – clearly stating that insurance was being billed, so the family isn’t paying for the transport.
Should we not pay for less than desired outcomes? If so, should the lack of payment extend to all aspects of payments? Job performance? Government benefits?
As a follow up to the article about wait times in upstate New York emergency departments, the CEO of one hospital provides a great response … and reiterates that health care insurance doesn’t equal health care access.
“With a severe primary care shortage and some practices without after hours and/or weekend care, people are forced to seek care that is available … [j]ust around the corner, millions of Americans are about to have health coverage. Where will they seek care if we have not expanded access to primary care? In the emergency room.”
Government regulations never seem to get less onerous, do they? HIPAA regulations change again. Now doctors can be held liable if their business associates cause patient privacy breaches, penalties increase, and privacy notices have to be modified.
Cook County, IL pays $20 million settlement to family of child who was “overly sedated” at county hospital then suffered heart attack and stopped breathing when left alone in recovery room after outpatient testicle surgery.
Chinese man runs out of money to pay for dialysis. Government “insurance” only pays half the costs of treatment (keep that in mind, Affordable Care Act supporters). Then human ingenuity kicks in.
The man builds himself a dialysis machine out of used and discarded medical equipment, mixes his own dialysis fluid, and has been dialyzing himself … and it has been keeping him alive for 13 years.
Doctors hearing about his unorthodox methods warned him about the risk of serious infection and “long-term complications” because he wasn’t using sterile water to make his dialysis fluid. Something tells me that if the complications were that likely, they probably would have happened in the past 13 years.
After getting outed in the media, the Chinese government then offered to provide him with assistance to pay for his treatment. He’s reluctant to take the government up on its offer.
I wonder what would happen to this patient if he was in the US.
Hat tip to @MedicalQuack
How do you get chemotherapy, heart surgery, mental health treatment, and a wheelchair when you have no insurance, no home, and no money to pay for your health care? Threaten the life of the president and his family. Homeless Florida man makes habit of threatening sitting presidents when he needs a place to stay or he needs medical care … and it works.
Sad that federal prisoners receive better medical care than many hardworking law-abiding citizens.
Interesting facts about the human body. Did you know that your stomach acid can melt zinc? Your femur is 4 times stronger than concrete? In your life you make enough saliva to fill two swimming pools? More strange facts at the link.
Having sex … in a hospital bed … with other people in the room … after just delivering a baby? Look for pictures on the internet – another patient’s family took the pictures and visitors aren’t subject to HIPAA laws.
New York State creates rules stating that every hospital in New York must adopt aggressive procedures for identifying sepsis in patients and must develop a plan so that parents can “play a meaningful and informed role” in decisions made about care for their children.
This should be interesting. “Mom and dad, it appears that your child has a head cold. Based on New York State directives, we’re going to increase the cost of your visit severalfold by drawing a lactate level, starting IV fluids, and administering antibiotics. Would you prefer ticarcillin or cefotetan as the unnecessary antibiotics for your viral infection?”
In other news, NY Times reporter Jim Dwyer dislocates shoulder patting himself on back for actions taken on his misinformed article used to exact revenge for a family friend. Develops tachycardia and fast respirations from the pain and is taken to the hospital and given antibiotics because he meets sepsis criteria.
Can’t wait to see how the rates of resistant infections rise in New York. (more…)
Colorado Medical Society files suit to prevent chiropractors from administering medications. The Chiropractic Board of Examiners created a rule permitting such actions after chiropractors complete 24 hours of study and a certification exam.
I go against the grain on this one. Let chiropractors prescribe medications. After patients start experiencing bad outcomes because the 24 hour course chiropractors take doesn’t teach them about drug interactions or side effects, patients will learn to appreciate doctors a little more. Then throw a few chiropractors in jail for administering too much pain medication and see how many of them want to continue administering medications.Vermont Supreme Court rules that physicians are liable for the negligence of a physician assistant but not liable for unprofessional conduct of a physician assistant when physician assistant found to be inappropriately prescribing narcotics without physician’s knowledge.
Docs be aware that when you agree to supervise PAs and NPs, there can be significant liability in doing so.
Emergency physician sued for failing to report a child who ingested cologne to the Child Protective Services. New Jersey laws require anyone who believes a child is being abused or neglected to contact Child Protective Services and ingestion of any potential poison creates a question as to whether there was abuse … according to the esteemed appellate court justices.
After all, failing to explain who was supervising the child at every second of every day and failing to explain how a 2-year-old child was able to access and consume cologne obviously could mean that in reality there is wanton and reckless abuse going on in the home. How could the doctor not have known that? And do the justices suggest that if the record did contain such explanations, the allegations of abuse would not be reportable?
Hey. I’m in my office typing this while my kids are in the kitchen. And I actually slept 7 hours last night without watching my children to make sure they didn’t get up and eat 2 dozen raw eggs. What an abusive parent I’m being. Good thing I don’t live in New Jersey.
Anyone ever notice how prosecutors and judges always tell you what could be abuse, but they never seem to tell you what isn’t abuse? Why is that?
Hat tip to Overlawyered.com for the link. (more…)