Archive for the ‘Healthcare Update’ Category
Thursday, October 11th, 2012
Fascinating four-part series about how Dr. Larry Gentilello helped to bring safety measures to Dallas’ Parkland Memorial Hospital and UT Southwestern. In the end he filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the hospital. Then his career suddenly crashed.
On the day that the series was published, the managing editor for the series, Claire St. Amant, received an award for her work reporting a different story. She deserves another award for this series. Well done.
Feds sue Illinois Special Recreation Association because Association refuses to administer rectal Valium to children having seizures.
Of course, if the childrens’ parents later sue the Association for sexual assault or for administering the medication incorrectly, will the DOJ step in and defend the Association?
Intramuscular Valium works just as effectively as rectal Valium and its administration isn’t affected by a rectum full of stool. Since when does the ADA require that patients get to dictate how they receive emergency medications?
Hat tip to Walter Olson over at Overlawyered.com
Because I’m sure that machines full of lettuce leaves and low fat yogurt would be sold out due to high demand, that’s why. Newspaper article wonders why NY hospital has junk food in the emergency department vending machines. And I’d like to check the refrigerators and kitchen pantries of the people who bash the hospital for having such food. I’m sure they’re full of Grape Nuts, rice cakes, and dried fruit.
A trio of absolutely bizarre stories from TheSmokingGun.com.
Thursday, October 4th, 2012
Violating EMTALA to get “a lot of positive press”? More hospitals using the InQuickER service that preferentially triages patients who register for their emergency department visits online.
Florida businessman reportedly had a seizure while driving, rolled his car, and crashed through a fence. When paramedics arrived, the patient was suspended upside down in his car. Paramedics placed a cervical collar and the patient then became combative, got out of the vehicle, and tried to walk away from the scene.
If they let him leave, they’re liable for not stabilizing him.
So paramedics restrained him. When he arrived at the emergency department, he had been hog-tied and was face down with secretions coming from his mouth. He later died.
Prosecutors attempted to file homicide charges against the paramedics, but the grand jury would not indict. Now the paramedics are being sued by the patient’s family.
So how should combative trauma patients be managed in order to avoid being charged with murder?
26 people sickened and 4 people die from fungal meningitis after receiving injections of steroids contaminated by Aspergillus fumigatus. Injections were intended to relieve back pain. The pharmacy that bottled the steroids relinquished its business license. Is the answer to this problem more government regulation?
Another example of inappropriate journalism? Wall Street Journal publishes article titled “How to Stop Hospitals from Killing Us.” Dr. Wes responds with a great post about the Growing Culture of Hostile Dependency Toward Caregivers. If you haven’t read it, go read it. If you have read it, go read it again.
Wednesday, September 26th, 2012
Macabre Monty Python plot? Organ donor network allegedly pressures hospitals to declare severely ill patients as being brain dead – even when the patients showed signs of life. If these allegations are true, should criminal charges be filed? Against whom?
Lindsay Lohan goes to the emergency department for an asthma attack … or a “bad lung infection.” Gets discharged with antibiotics and goes back to her hotel room. Asthma … bad lung infection … one of those ZeePacks and she’ll be back to normal. They cure everything, right? Surprised they haven’t tried Z-Packs for her alcohol problems. It will do about as much for alcohol problems as it will in treating asthma or bronchitis.
Speaking about criminalizing medicine … Conrad Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for providing inappropriate medications that resulted in Michael Jackson’s death. The working theorem was apparently that inappropriately prescribing medications that result in a patient’s death should result in jail time. Let’s say that Lindsay Lohan develops clostridium difficile colitis, becomes septic, and dies after receiving antibiotics for asthma and/or bronchitis – a use of antibiotics which is medically inappropriate. If we follow the logic under which Conrad Murray was convicted, should Lindsay Lohan’s doctors then be charged with involuntary manslaughter? If not, where do we draw the line? I’d like to see what you all think.
“Car surfing” isn’t cool. It kills people.
Monday, September 24th, 2012
Which is exactly why they’re going to cut reimbursement even more … Medicare requires providers to use electronic medical records to avoid being “penalized”. Now they discover that computerized medical records are better at billing and that Medicare had to pay $1 billion more in reimbursements in 2010 than it did five years earlier.
Goodbye toothbrush? Japanese scientists developing tooth “patch” that could prevent decay, whiten teeth. It is made from hydroxyapatite – the same mineral that forms most of the tooth structure.
Still not sure I’d be making out with someone who didn’t brush regularly, though. White teeth with a mouth that smells like tennis shoe insoles isn’t a particularly desirable combination, either.I was a little put off by Mitt Romney’s response to the question recently posed to him on 60 Minutes.
“Does the government have a responsibility to provide health care to the 50 million Americans who don’t have it today?”
Mr. Romney’s response was “Well, we do provide care for people who don’t have insurance … If someone has a heart attack, they don’t sit in their apartment and die. We pick them up in an ambulance, and take them to the hospital, and give them care. And different states have different ways of providing for that care.”
First of all the “we” who provide the care isn’t the government, in a vast majority of cases it is private businesses that provide that care.
When states “provide” for that care by paying private businesses pennies on the dollar to provide that care under the threat of large sanctions if they don’t provide that care, to me, it’s a stretch to say that the government is providing the care.
The government is relying on private entities to provide that care.
I’ll take Holy Pillpoppers for $1,000 Alex.
Answer: 4 billion.
Thursday, September 13th, 2012
Kentucky man goes into surgery for a circumcision, leaves surgery without a penis. The urologist stated that the patient’s genitals were “cancer ridden”, that no living tissue was present, and the patient consented to additional procedures at the doctor’s discretion. The patient claims the doctor should have delayed the procedure and allowed the patient to get a second opinion.Another problem with digital medical records … Hackers break into surgical practice’s EMR, encrypt all records, then leave ransom note demanding money for the password. Is this considered a HIPAA violation? After all, the records are secure.
Washington DC patient settles $20 million lawsuit after he was mistakenly diagnosed with HIV. Appellate court ruled that patients who are given incorrect information about a life-threatening illness from their doctors can sue for emotional distress.
17 year old Staten Island, NY teen wins $100 million judgment against hospital where she was delivered at 1 pound 12 ounces and now suffers from cerebral palsy. Jurors believed that the hospital failed to prevent the patient’s pre-term delivery.
Sunday, September 2nd, 2012
Deadly amoeba found in home drinking water. Initially, two patients who died from Naegleria fowleri meningoencephalitis were thought to have contracted the disease from using Neti pots. Now investigations show that the amoeba was found in the patients’ home plumbing systems.
JCAHO soon will require only bottled JCAHO-approved spring water in all hospital plumbing systems. For patient safety, of course.
Pediatric emergency department injuries go up in the back-to-school months. More broken bones and head injuries from falling off playground equipment allegedly to blame … although those injuries shouldn’t just occur when school begins.
This guy just gets it … insurance and health care aren’t synonymous. Who needs Medicaid?
Former Utah emergency department tech “headed” to trial after being caught performing oral sex on an unconscious male patient. Faces between 5 years and life in prison. Don’t write me nasty comments, either — it was in the title of the article.
Monday, August 27th, 2012
And we think doctors have it bad … Woman sues Santa Monica City Hall for $1.7 BILLION because the town’s newly-installed parking meters and their wireless signals have caused her tinnitus, ear infections, and muscle tightness. Hat tip to Walter Olson at Overlawyeredfor the link.
New Orleans jury awards plaintiff $24 million after infusion pump malfunctions and gives 3 year old child overdose of epinephrine.
Former patient advocate at Chicago-area Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital fired, then tries to get even. Steals hospital stationery and takes three patient files, then sends letters to the patients on the hospital stationery telling them that their “electroshock treatments were insufficient” and “recommending frontal lobotomies.” Tried to embarrass hospital, but ends up in the Greybar Motel for forgery and can get up to 5 years in the Greybar Extended Stay Inn for each of three counts.
Pregnant patient awarded $117 million after being severely injured in ambulance crash when driver took eyes off road to pick up company-issued GPS tracking device.
Monday, August 20th, 2012
Sharks beginning to smell blood in the water. Pradaxa lawsuits piling up and likely will result in giant class action suit. One law firm has 70 employees dedicated to Pradaxa litigation alone and the attorney can’t even remember the name of the client the reporter called to ask him about.
Looks like the yolk’s on you. Widely quoted study on how egg yolks are as dangerous as smoking cigarettes was based on a self-reported lifetime history of smoking and egg-eating. The study didn’t take any other variables into account. A doctor who reviewed the data stated ““This is very poor quality research that should not influence patient’s dietary choices.”
I love reading stories like this. Patient comes back to thank ED staff that saved her life. Brings flowers for nurses and a sheet cake for the staff.
New Jersey hospital in dispute with Aetna over bills for patient services. When Aetna doesn’t pay in full, the hospital sends bills for the difference to the patients. Aetna then turns around and tells patient not to pay the bills. And the bills are expensive.
Friday, August 17th, 2012
Jury … in Florida … awards family of child $28.4 million after defendant physicians reportedly ignored the lumbar puncture results of a “fever wracked” infant and failed to give the infant antibiotics for meningitis. The doctors allegedly “robbed the … youngster of a normal life” since he later had a stroke and will have the mental capacity of an 18 month old for the remainder of his life.
Some of the damages will be capped at $1 million while the Florida Supreme Court decides whether the caps on non-economic damages are constitutional
As far as I can tell, neither Jim Dwyer nor Jill Abramson had anything to do with writing or publishing this article.
As our government prepares to extend “insurance” coverage to tens of millions more people, states such as Maine devise more ways to reduce benefits under that “insurance” and many people find that they can’t afford to purchase their employer’s insurance, but earn too much to obtain subsidies to purchase the “insurance.”
WellPoint sucks … if you’re a hospital executive. The insurer, which owns Blue Cross plans in 14 states, was rated last in a poll of 400+ hospital executives for allegedly rejecting legitimate claims and for failing to fix wrongly-denied bills. Cigna was rated highest in the survey.
Pictures of the Texas “Whambulance” emerge. I can’t imagine trying to lift someone into the back of this thing. But it would be good if they ever needed to rescue someone from a monster truck show.
Friday, August 10th, 2012
Good thing the government is going to make sure everyone has INSURANCE. Now good luck finding care. Nearly one third of doctors won’t take government’s Medicaid insurance. If you live in New Jersey, only 40% of doctors accept Medicaid. This same issue was raised years ago and no one paid attention. Now we’re all getting what we wished for.
One huge difference between health care systems in the US and Great Britain … in the US you get taxed to receive insurance, in Great Britain, you get taxed to receive health care.
The first thing I thought when I read this study was that a man must have been the author. Doctors hypothesize on way for women to combat morning sickness. You’ll have to click the link to read more about it. This is a family-oriented blog.
This will teach you not to do the dishes. Delaware doctor accused of sticking his daughter’s head under the kitchen faucet to “waterboard” her. Of course the daughter was known to have made false claims of abuse against a half-sibling in the past, but Delaware officials ordered an emergency suspension of the physician’s license after a complaint was filed by the Delaware attorney general’s office.