Posts Tagged ‘healthcare’
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, May 11, 2013
Thanks to a newly introduced aspect of ObamaCare, hospitals are now mandated to publicly show how much they charge for procedures.
Aren’t you glad?
I mean really… who goes to a grocery store or gas station and doesn’t know how much they’ll pay?
Part of market-based competition includes Read the rest of this entry »
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Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, March 3, 2013
This issue raises some very interesting questions. First, because men are a minority in Nursing, is it justifiable for them to earn more than those, who as a group, dominate the profession?
Or, is parity genuinely or truly parity?
Should men and women earn the same amount of money if they do the exact same kind of work?
Or, are there accountable differences in the pay which justify the difference, however slight – and is very slight.
Male Nurses Make More Money
- February 25, 2013, 1:17 PM
Men now comprise 10% of all Nurses in the United States, up from 3% several years ago. / Getty Images
Hospital patients are more likely than ever to see a male nurse at their bedside — and odds are he earns more than the female nurse down the hall. Men made up close to 10% of all registered nurses in 2011, according to a new Census report released today. That may not sound like much, but it’s up from less than 3% in 1970 and less than 8% in 2000.
It’s no mystery what is drawing men into nursing. Male-dominated professions such as construction and manufacturing hemorrhaged jobs during the recession and have been slow to rebound during the recovery. The health-care sector, meanwhile, actually added jobs during the recession and has continued to grow since. All told, health-care employment is up by Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Do you feel like we do, Dr. Who?, - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: Advanced Practice Nurse, Critical Care, CRNA, economics, economy, education, employment, faculty, Getty Images, health, health care, healthcare, income, jobs, license, Licensed practical nurse, LPN, Master's Degree, Men in nursing, money, MSN, news, Nurse anesthetist, Nurse Practitioner, Nursing, practice, profession, professional, recession, Registered Nurse, RN, unemployment, USA | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, February 22, 2013
Realistically, what does that mean for you, your loved ones or friends if – God forbid – they’re hospitalized at Huntsville Hospital?
It means that when you, your loved ones’ or friends’ are a patient in the hospital, you or they could get an infection, or some other serious bug or problem while being treated for something else entirely different. And by so doing, it could make your stay more unpleasant, and in fact, could increase the risk of complications of your treatment – up to, and including your death – was well as increase the length of your stay, among other factors.
What does that mean for the Hospital?
Because insurance companies and Medicare/Medicaid have STOPPED paying for the treatment of preventable problems that are a direct result of hospitalization, it means that Huntsville Hospital will be stuck with the bill (the costs of treating their own mistakes upon you while you’re there)… and will try to pass the cost along to you to recoup the cost of the loss, which is a DIRECT result of their own sloppiness.
Huntsville Hospital has essentially become a monopolistic monstrosity of an enterprise, gobbling up numerous hospitals in the North Alabama region, including BOTH hospitals in Decatur, the only hospital in Athens, the only hospital in Red Bay, Helen Keller Hospital in Tuscumbia area of the Shoals, and the only hospital in Lawrence county.
Meanwhile, Huntsville hospital has fought tooth-and-nail to keep other hospitals OUT of competition in the Huntsville market, and spent untold millions of dollars in a protracted legal battle against Crestwood Hospital – and continues to spend millions to prevent Crestwood Hospital from offering services that would benefit the entire city and county.
Such anti-competitive practice has all been accomplished by and through the state of Alabama‘s Certificate Of Need Board.
The commentary of Mr. Burr Ingram – Huntsville Hospital’s official mouthpiece – which is contained in this article is entirely and wholly unwarranted, and weasel-like.
Not only that, but Huntsville Hospital is NOT a Nursing Magnet Hospital.
There are many things Huntsville Hospital is not.
And sadly, quality is one of them.
Watchdog Report: Consumer Reports gives both hospitals in Huntsville low safety ratings
Published: Thursday, July 12, 2012, 9:06 AM Updated: Thursday, July 12, 2012, 9:30 AM
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – Consumer Reports magazine ranked the two hospitals in Huntsville as the least safe in Alabama. But the magazine’s list of hospitals is far from complete.
“We were kind of perplexed at some of what it reported,” said Burr Ingram, spokesman at Huntsville Hospital. “When you think about it, it’s fashionable for everyone to rate hospitals. And Consumer Reports is the latest to use public data that is available.
“But at times, it’s difficult to know how these ratings come about.”
Huntsville Hospital, The Huntsville Times
The magazine’s August edition lists scores in four safety categories. Both Huntsville Hospital and Crestwood Medical Center received low marks for poor communication with patients and for high rates of infection. Both received mediocre marks for high rates of re-admission and unnecessary scans.
Yet the report ranked Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: AL, Alabama, battle, Burr Ingram, CEO, Certificate of Need, CMS, CON, Consumer Reports, court, Crestwood, Crestwood Medical Center, David Spillers, disease, doctor, fight, greed, health, Health Reimbursement Account, healthcare, hospital, Huntsville, Huntsville Hospital, Huntsville Hospital System, Huntsville Times, infection, insurance, law, legal, liars, MD, Medicaid, Medicare, money, monopoly, news, Nurse, patient, physician, publicity, reimbursement, RN, sick, sickness, sicko, spokesman, state, United States, wellness | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Some time ago, a friend shared an unsolicited comment about “ObamaCare” before all the ruckus over it had reached the SCOTUS. He had observed about a fellow he knew and described as “a snaggle-toothed Tennessee hillbilly,” whom had joined the United States Army. He observed that the fellow had some health needs, among them poor dentition and the need for corrective lenses. Upon his enlistment, he noted that the fellow was given proper healthcare, and all of his needs – food, clothing, housing, and healthcare – was provided by the United States government.
“Now, why did they do that?,” he asked rhetorically.
Answering his own question, he said quite simply, “because they know Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Faith, Religion, Goodness - What is the Soul of a man?, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Uncategorized | Tagged: brethren, brother, business, Christ, Corrective lens, employment, enterprise, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, family, freedom, health, health care, healthcare, Holland, insurance, Jesus, model, Multinational corporation, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, policy, politics, prediction, risk, SCOTUS, Supreme Court of the United States, Tennessee, United States, United States Army, United States government, United States Supreme Court | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, January 13, 2013
It’s only “deadly” if it’s misused or abused.
And yet, the idea is an excellent one because it limits potential for misuse and abuse by fraud.
NYC Seeks to Curb Painkiller Abuse With Hospital Limits
New York City is seeking to curb abuse of potentially addictive and deadly painkillers such as Oxycontin and Vicodin with new limits on how widely the drugs should be prescribed.
Emergency departments at New York’s public hospitals will only prescribe a three-day supply of opioid painkillers, won’t refill lost or stolen prescriptions and shouldn’t prescribe long-acting versions of the drugs, according to voluntary guidelines the city issued today.
The move is aimed at
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Did they REALLY say that?, - Do you feel like we do, Dr. Who?, - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: addiction, analgesic, Archives of Internal Medicine, Bellevue Hospital Center, drugs, Harlem Hospital Center, health, healthcare, Hillbilly Heroin, medicine, Michael Bloomberg, narcotics, New York, New York City, news, NYC, Oxycodone, OxyContin, pain, relief, Shannon Pettypiece | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, January 2, 2013
For those unaware, Cooper Green Mercy Hospital is a publicly-run hospital licensed to Jefferson County under the name “Jefferson Health System.” Recently, Jefferson County filed bankruptcy in what would have been very nearly the largest municipal bankruptcy filing, resulting from massive fraud perpetrated by former Mayor Larry Langford (popularly known as “LaLa”), and other members of the Jefferson County Commission, which is the elected ruling board overseeing governance of county entities, including Cooper Green Mercy Hospital & Jefferson Health Systems.
Since 2005, CGMH has experienced a 27.8% decline in patient discharges, which is a measure of how many people are being admitted to the hospital.
As well, in response to numerous ongoing management problems, in 2012, from January to November, the number of Full Time Employees declined 27.27%. And as the hospital seeks to ameliorate the hemorrhaging, the hospital is moving away from Acute Care, and toward Primary and Urgent Care.
Toward that objective, the hospital voluntarily surrendered Cooper Green Mercy’s acute care hospital license to the state. And, in the course of their operations in the midst of this crisis, CGMH moved toward a system in which fees are based upon family size and income.
Cooper Green inmate patients now being taken to Brookwood Medical Center, county officials say
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Do you feel like we do, Dr. Who?, - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home. | Tagged: acute care, Alabama, Birmingham, Cooper Green, Cooper Green Mercy Hospital, Council Manager (Ireland), County commission, Emergency Department, government, healthcare, hospital, Jefferson County, money, news, Petelos, politics, Tony Petelos, Urgent care | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, December 9, 2012
12/04/2012 @ 5:18PM
by Rick Ungar, Contributor
Writing from the left on politics and policy.
LAS VEGAS, NV – APRIL 01: Papa Johns Pizza Founder John Schnatter arrives at the 47th Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 1, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
It turns out that being a good corporate citizen is as important to selling pizzas as the thinness of the crust or the quality of the cheese.
If you don’t believe it, just ask Papa John CEO, John Schnatter.
As covered—and criticized—in this column in great detail, Mr. Schnatter decided to mix his politics with his pepperoni when suggesting that he would be cutting the work hours for Papa John employees in order to bring them below the 30 hour per week threshold that would require Schnatter to provide his employees with healthcare benefits.
It turns out, the pizza eating public did not approve.
Indeed, so serious was the reaction that Schnatter was forced to publish an op-ed piece where he sought to convince us that he never really intended to cut back worker hours but had simply been speculating on what he might do in response to the legislation.
According to YouGov BrandIndex, a leading marketing survey that measures brand perception in the marketplace (called “Buzz”), Papa John’s had good reason for concern as the pizza chain’s brand identity has plummeted from a high of 32 on election day, to a remarkably low score of 4 among adults who have eaten at causal dining restaurants during the past month.
Papa John is not alone in his anti-Obamacare misery.
Fast food server, Applebee’s, possessed a healthy Buzz score of 35 before Zane Terkel, CEO of one of the company’s largest franchisees, appeared on television to Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home. | Tagged: Applebee, bad, Darden Restaurants, Fox Business Network, good, health, health insurance, healthcare, insurance, John Schnatter, left, LongHorn Steakhouse, news, Obamacare, Papa John, Papa John's Pizza, policy, politics, reform, right, wrong, YouGov | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, December 7, 2012
While it was meant all in harmless fun, I sincerely doubt that the individual’s response – to commit suicide – was anything other than an inappropriate response to jesting in good-hearted intent.
It is indeed tragic that the nurse committed suicide.
Perhaps there were other underlying issues, or an inability to cope that predicated her distressing response.
One simply cannot hold others responsible for everything. As tragic as this story is, one must accept responsibility for one’s own actions.
December 7, 2012
Prank Call Seeking Royal Family Secrets Takes Horrifying Turn
LONDON — As pranks go, this one appeared outrageous and obnoxious rather than malicious: after convincing a hospital nurse who answered the phone this week that they were Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles, two Australian radio hosts then tricked another nurse into disclosing medical information about the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge, who had been admitted with acute morning sickness.
The call was broadcast on Australia radio; then it went out around the world.
But the stunt took a horrific and unexpected turn on Friday, when the nurse who answered the call, 46-year-old Jacintha Saldanha, was found dead, an apparent suicide.
The Metropolitan Police would not release details of the death, except to say that they had received a call reporting that there was an unconscious woman at Weymouth Street, in central London, and two ambulance crews had arrived to find Mrs. Saldanha already dead. A police spokesman said they were not treating the death as suspicious.
It was unclear what exactly had happened since the prank itself to make Mrs. Saldanha, who was reportedly married and had two children, take her life. King Edward VII’s Hospital, where she worked, said it had not disciplined her, but rather had been “supporting her during this difficult time.” Nor, apparently, had the royal family raised a fuss with the hospital, an exclusive private institution that has long been the hospital of choice for Britain’s royals.
“At no point did the palace complain to the hospital about the incident,” a spokesman for St. James’s Palace said. “On the contrary, we offered our full and heartfelt support to the nurses involved and the hospital staff at all times.”
The turn of events was seen as so shocking that it provoked a response from even the prime minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, who called it “a terrible tragedy.”
Whatever the immediate impetus for Mrs. Saldanha’s death, the episode was Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated, - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News, - Uncategorized | Tagged: Nurse, health, news, healthcare, profession, tragedy, death, Nursing, mental health, London, suicide, Edward VII of the United Kingdom, Michael Christian, 2Day FM, Saldanha, St James's Palace, Greig, Buckingham Palace, prank | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, December 3, 2012
Today was a good day at work.
The last time I recollect crying at work was at least 6 or more years ago when a patient of mine – a young black male, who was his mother’s only son – had been murdered, and as I looked into her bloodshot, tired, hollow, intently peering and watery eyes, volumes were communicated though we neither said a word.
I couldn’t bear her gaze, and after what seemed ages, I averted my eyes, and departed behind a nearby curtain in the Trauma ICU to cry. There, my tears flowed like twin rivers, swollen by a storm, albeit an emotional one, which was joined by the two smaller tributaries of my nostrils. Gazing over the city from atop the 11th story of the teaching hospital through tear-drenched eyes, I wondered… was this what dear Mother Mary felt like when she gazed upon her only son as he hung from that cross?
Today, I wept for Read the rest of this entry »
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Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Governor Bentley is pulling a George Wallace stand-in-the-schoolhouse-door redux.
What an ignorant ass he is!
It’s exceedingly sad that he – as a physician – ordered Alabama’s 67 Counties Departments of Public Health to STOP giving Tuberculosis tests, thereby jeopardizing the public health of everyone who eats at a public restaurant, works in healthcare, and more – and was done as super-virulent, drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis are emerging. Gee, thanks, Governor Dr. Bentley. NOT!
Thanks for nothing, you jack-legged nincompoop!
By your defiant actions, Governor Bentley, you will FORCE the Federal Government to do something TOTALLY against your opinion – and that is, to establish a Health Insurance Exchange in Alabama.
You, Governor Bentley, are a lazy, sorry, idiotic jerk, in addition to being a liar, thief, incompetent boob, and contemptuous good-for-nothing.
Pejoratives aside, more than anything, this places the solitary onus of responsibility upon the governor and legislature to 1.) Increase education,; 2.) Increase employment; 3.) Increase Corporate Income Tax rates; and 4.) Increase Personal Income Tax rates on the wealthiest Alabamians who already pay a well-documented rate that is significantly lower than the impoverished.
By increasing educational attainment in Alabama, the governor will be demonstrating a high-quality, high-yield investment in the state’s most precious resource – people.
But the governor – bless him – is ignorant, and it is quite painfully obvious that he just doesn’t understand such simple concepts. He should understand them, however, because he has said previously, that he used the G.I. Bill to complete his medical training after his enlistment ended.
In stark contrast, Tennessee’s Republican governor, Bill Haslam said, “I’ve always said from the very beginning that anything we [Tennessee] can run instead of the federal government, we are going to run it better and cheaper,” The simpler thing to do is to say, ‘Here, it’s your idea, you run it,’ but I’m not convinced yet that that’s what’s best for our citizens. There’s going to be an exchange and ultimately, our citizens — through their insurance companies — are going to pay for the costs of running that exchange. So who do we think can run it cheaper: us or the federal government? I’ll bet on us every time. But we have to be convinced that the flexibility they will give us is worth taking the risk of running it ourselves.”
For the benefit of the reader who may be unaware of what an Insurance Exchange is, the exchange is designed to allow uninsured people to compare and buy health insurance plans through a single Internet portal. Those who earn up to four times the federally designated poverty level will receive subsidies to pay for the coverage.
Essentially, it’s an Internet-based non-business (nobody is making any money), that creates a database of health insurance carriers that all adhere to certain guidelines for efficiency and coverage. The law allows states to join together to run multi-state exchanges – essentially, insurance across state lines – or to exclude themselves.
In essence, make a list of companies that sell health insurance in the state, make a comparison of their plans and prices, and provide a link to the company for folks to buy insurance from whatever company they want.
Not too difficult to figure out, eh?
Here’s a link to an informative flyer from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation about what Health Insurance Exchanges are, and what they do.
You may also be interested in reading the informative site http://healthreform.kff.org.
Gov. Bentley says Alabama won’t set up exchange, expand Medicaid
By Kim Chandler | firstname.lastname@example.org
on November 13, 2012 at 1:38 PM, updated November 13, 2012 at 5:19 PM
Bentley, in a show of continued resistance to the Affordable Care Act, said this afternoon that he will not set up a state health care exchange and he will not expand Medicaid under the federal healthcare overhaul.
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley speaks at the Birmingham Business Alliance 2012 Governor’s Luncheon in Birmingham, Ala., Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012. (Tamika Moore | email@example.com) / Tuesday, November 13, 2012 1:17 PM
“I will not set up a state exchange in Alabama,” Bentley said during a speech to the Birmingham Business Alliance.
States have a Friday deadline to inform the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services if they plan to set up a state-run exchange, essentially a marketplace for people and businesses to shop for insurance. If states don’t set up their own exchange, either alone or in federal partnership, then the federal government will step in and design it.
Bentley said he has been in communication with other governors — including peers in Texas, Florida and Louisiana — about the exchange decision. He expected multiple governors to show a united front of resistance to the Affordable Care Act.
“If we stand together, I do believe Congress is going to have to look at this again,”Bentley said.
Bentley said he expected other governors to announce similar decisions.
“That will Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Did they REALLY say that?, - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home. | Tagged: Affordable Care Act, Alabama, Bentley, Bill Haslam, efficient, exhange, federal, GOP, health, Health Insurance Exchange, healthcare, incompetent, insurance, law, liar, Medicaid, Mike Hubbard, Obamacare, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Republican, Robert Bentley, Roger Bedford, Tennessee, thief, United States, United States Department of Health and Human Services | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, October 28, 2012
Brer Fox leapt out of the bushes and strolled over to Brer Rabbit. “Well, well, what have we here?” he asked, grinning an evil grin.
Brer Rabbit gulped. He was stuck fast. He did some fast thinking while Brer Fox rolled about on the road, laughing himself sick over Brer Rabbit’s dilemma.
“I’ve got you this time, Brer Rabbit,” said Brer Fox, jumping up and shaking off the dust. “You’ve sassed me for the very last time. Now I wonder what I should do with you?”
Brer Rabbit’s eyes got very large. “Oh please Brer Fox, whatever you do, please don’t throw me into the briar patch.”
“Maybe I should roast you over a fire and eat you,” mused Brer Fox. “No, that’s too much trouble. Maybe I’ll hang you instead.”
“Roast me! Hang me! Do whatever you please,” said Brer Rabbit. “Only please, Brer Fox, please don’t throw me into the briar patch.”
“If I’m going to hang you, I’ll need some string,” said Brer Fox. “And I don’t have any string handy. But the stream’s not far away, so maybe I’ll drown you instead.”
“Drown me! Roast me! Hang me! Do whatever you please,” said Brer Rabbit. “Only please, Brer Fox, please don’t throw me into the briar patch.”
“The briar patch, eh?” said Brer Fox. “What a wonderful idea! You’ll be torn into little pieces!”
Grabbing up the tar-covered rabbit, Brer Fox swung him around and around and then flung him head over heels into the briar patch. Brer Rabbit let out such a scream as he fell that all of Brer Fox’s fur stood straight up. Brer Rabbit fell into the briar bushes with a crash and a mighty thump. Then there was silence.
Brer Fox cocked one ear toward the briar patch, listening for whimpers of pain. But he heard nothing. Brer Fox cocked the other ear toward the briar patch, listening for Brer Rabbit’s death rattle. He heard nothing.
Then Brer Fox heard someone calling his name. He turned around and looked up the hill. Brer Rabbit was sitting on a log combing the tar out of his fur with a wood chip and looking smug.
“I was bred and born in the briar patch, Brer Fox,” he called. “Born and bred in the briar patch.”
And Brer Rabbit skipped away as merry as a cricket while Brer Fox ground his teeth in rage and went home.
Insurers Profit From Health Law They Fought Against
By Sarah Frier – Jan 5, 2012
Insurance companies spent millions of dollars trying to defeat the U.S. health-care overhaul, saying it would raise costs and disrupt coverage. Instead, profit margins at the companies widened to levels not seen since before the recession, a Bloomberg Government study shows.
Insurers led by WellPoint Inc. (WLP), the biggest by membership, recorded their highest combined quarterly net income of the past decade after the law was signed in 2010, said Peter Gosselin, the study author and senior health-care analyst for Bloomberg Government. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Managed Health-Care Index rose 36 percent in the period, four times more than the S&P 500.
“The industry that was the loudest, most persistent critic of this law, the industry whose analysts and executives predicted it would suffer immensely because of the law, has thrived,” Gosselin said. “There is a shift to government work under way that is going to represent a fundamental change in their business model.”
Health insurers contributed $86.2 million to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to oppose the law after Obama administration officials criticized the plans for enriching themselves by raising customer premiums.
“We remain very concerned that Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Did they REALLY say that?, - Do you feel like we do, Dr. Who?, - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated | Tagged: Aetna, Brer Fox, Brer Rabbit, business, Cigna, Coventry Health Care, economy, enterprise, health, healthcare, Humana, insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, news, Obamacare, profitability, research, UnitedHealth Group, Wellpoint | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, October 26, 2012
Has it now become “all about the money”?
Is patient safety, patient care, patient well-being no longer of concern?
It certainly seems that way.
And this, perhaps better than anything else, serves to prove that the “love of money is the root of all evil.”
The reason why, is that people will do anything to get more of the object of their affection, the object of their love. And, because it is an inanimate object, money cannot in return love those who love it. So the relationship is a “one-way love affair,” wherein one party – the human – spends time, energy, effort and emotion to invest affection in a thing that cannot yield an appropriate return.
For when one invests money, one rightfully expects to profit by receiving money in return. Similarly, when one invests time, energy and emotion, one expects to profit by receiving more time, energy and emotion in return. And yet, time, energy and emotion are things inherently absent in money.
Medtronic Manipulated Bone Product Data, Senators Say
Medtronic Inc. (MDT) ghost-wrote sections of medical papers and paid physician authors hundreds of millions of dollars in “consulting fees” to promote its bone- growth product Infuse, a U.S. Senate investigation found.
Medtronic, the world’s biggest maker of heart-rhythm devices, helped write, edit and shape at least 11 medical journal articles about the product, which is used to spur bone growth after spinal surgery, according to report released today by the Senate Finance Committee.
The doctors and researchers who were the authors of the studies were part of a $210 million consulting and royalty payments program by Minneapolis-based Medtronic and never disclosed their ties or the company’s influence in their papers, the panel said in its report.
“Medtronic’s actions violate the trust patients have in their medical care,” Senator Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat and committee chairman, said in a statement. “Medical journal articles should convey an accurate picture of the risks and benefits of drugs and medical devices, but patients are at serious risk when companies distort the facts the way Medtronic has.”
Sales of Infuse plunged after The Spine Journal published studies in May 2011 and June 2011 showing Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Do you feel like we do, Dr. Who?, - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Food & Drug Administration, healthcare, Infuse, investigation, Medtronic, news, RBC Capital Markets, research, senate, Spine Journal, United States Senate Committee on Finance | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, October 5, 2012
It’s almost like trying to patch a roof while it’s leaking.
This Week in Alabama Politics
By Steve Flowers
It is basic public policy that you either have to raise taxes or reduce government services. It has become a cardinal sin in Republican politics to even say the word tax much less enact any increase in revenue. Our legislature is now overwhelmingly Republican and they are real Republicans. They take their no new tax pledge seriously as does our Republican governor. Therefore, when the dicing and crafting of the 2013 budget was being processed, new revenue enhancement measures were not on the table. It is doubtful that you will see any tax increase proposals anytime soon in the Heart of Dixie.
The state’s new budget year begins this week. It will be horrendous. There are draconian cuts to basic state services. Alabama has a constitutional amendment that mandates a balanced budget. We are in dire straits but at least we are not deficit spending like other states. California is teetering on bankruptcy.
This past year’s budget was bad. Teachers and state employees pay was cut this time last year. However, if you think that last year was bad, you ain’t seen nothing yet. This is the year that the chickens have finally come home to roost. The federal stimulus manna from Heaven has provided a lifeline salvation for several years but those dollars are gone. This fiscal year may well be the worst dilemma since the Great Depression.
My contention is that it is worse than the Depression years. During that era the state Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home. | Tagged: AARP, AL, Alabama, Alabama Medicaid, budget, disabled, elderly, GOP, governance, government, Great Depression, health, healthcare, Home Care, Home Health Care, Medicaid, Medicare, Nursing home, OpEd, policy, politics, Public policy, Republican, Republicans, Steve Flowers, tax, Taxation, taxes, United States, Welfare | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, October 3, 2012
At the time of publication of this report – September 2011 – the complete data was not in. However, initial results indicated that cost containment was well under way.
The news is good!
ObamaCare is WORKING!
However, much additional work remains to be done.
Latest survey finds health benefit cost growth for 2012 likely to be the lowest in 15 years
United States , New York
Publication date: 21 September 2011
Early responses from a Mercer survey still in the field suggest that the average growth in health benefit cost will slow to 5.4% in 2012, the smallest increase since 1997. Still, cost growth remains well above both general inflation and growth in workers’ earnings (see Fig. 1).
While this increase reflects cost-cutting changes employers will make to their current health benefit programs, such as raising deductibles or moving employees into lower-cost health plans, the preliminary survey findings released today by Mercer suggest that the underlying trend has slowed as well. Asked how much cost would rise if they made no changes to their current plans, employers reported an average increase of 7.1%. Over the past five years, this underlying health benefit cost trend has been running at about 9%.
The slower trend is good news for workers, because an employer’s first line of defense against a high initial renewal rate typically is to change plan provisions so that employees pay more out of pocket for health care. If the underlying trend is lower to begin with, employers will be likely to shift less cost. For the past several years, employers have reduced their initial renewal rate by about 3 percentage points on average; in 2012, they are planning to reduce it by about 2 points (Fig. 2).
These results are based on Read the rest of this entry »
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Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Recollecting, one of my patients was similarly diagnosed, suffering terminal lung cancer of the small cell carcinoma type, and had one lung removed. He had presented to the ED (Emergency Department) with extreme hypoxia (lack of oxygen), to such an extent that his lips had a distinctive blue cast to them. His oxygenation was so exceedingly poor, that he would turn in bed, and his sats (oxygen saturation level) would drop to 70% – neither a good, nor one that would sustain life.
In conversation with him, I asked him what he wanted to have happen to him, how he wanted things to turn out for him. He wasn’t under any misguided notion about his state of well-being or health and wanted to depart the ICU.
He said, “I want to go home to die.”
I responded by saying, “We want you to go home too. Let’s see what we can do to get you back there.” At that point, I began some very simple teaching about his breathing. He was a habitual mouth breather, and he knew it. I’d glance up at him, and his mouth would be gaping open as he watched teevee. Problem was, that every time his mouth opened, his sats dropped, even though he was receiving high flow O2 therapy via specialized nasal cannula.
So I instructed him that by keeping his mouth closed and breathing through his nose, his sats would increase. And barring any other unforeseen circumstance, were his sats to consistently maintain above 90%, that would be the greatest step toward his objective to go home.
At the end of my shift, he was consistently satting 98%.
Doctors are practicing irrational medicine at the end of life
by Monica Williams-Murphy, MD on September 22nd, 2012, in Physician
I just took care of a precious little lady, Ms. King (not her real name), who reminded me that, too often, we doctors are practicing irrational medicine at the end of life. We are like cows walking mindlessly in the same paths; only because we have always done things the same way, never questioning ourselves. What I mean is that we are often too focused on using our routine pills and procedures used to address abnormal lab values or abnormal organ function, to rightly perceive what might be best for the whole person, or even what may no longer be needed. Our typical practice habits may in fact become inappropriate medical practiceat life’s end.Ms. King was a case in point: She was a 92-year-old nursing homepatient on hospice for metastatic breast cancer. Ms King had been transferred to the ER for a sudden drop in blood sugar, presumably due to her oral diabetes medication. Her appetite had apparently been trailing off, as is common at the end of life, and her medication appeared to have become “too strong.” Her glucose level had been corrected by EMS during her trip from the nursing home to the Hospital, so when I came into see Ms King she was at her ‘baseline.’I opened the door to bed 24 and a grinning little white-haired lady peered at me from over her sheet. “Hi,” she said greeting me first.“Hi, Ms King,” I smiled back at her and picked up her hand.
She reached over with her free hand to pat me on my forearm, “You sure are a cute little doctor,” she said smiling.
I couldn’t hold back a little laughter. “Well, you sure are a cute patient too,” I smiled and winked at her.
She winked back at me.
“Wow, this is the most pleasant 90-year-old I have cared for in a while,” I thought to myself.
As we chatted it became clear to me that she had some mild dementia but had no pain or complaints at the time. She just said, “I think I had a ‘spell’” ( a “Southernism” for some type of unusual and undefined episode of feeling ill or fainting); and “I’m not hungry” when I offered her food.
Leaving her room still smiling after our pleasant exchange, I went back to look at her medical record from the nursing home and two things immediately struck me: Read the rest of this entry »
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Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, September 17, 2012
Face it. Sooner or later, you’re going to die. Death is a part of life. Making a decision about whether or not you want to be connected to belts, tubes, hoses & pumps to circulate your blood, food & oxygen when your body would have naturally expired is essentially what the discussion is about.
The Bill Frist ℞
By: Brett Norman
September 16, 2012 11:06 PM EDT
Meet former Sen. Bill Frist, a renegade “Obamacare”-loving Republican who is in the mood for some real bipartisanship.
Yes, the same Frist who as Senate majority leader led an army into the culture wars over Terri Schiavo and whose efforts in 2004 to unseat his then-rival, Minority Leader Tom Daschle, led to a nasty — and personal — Washington battle royal.
Now, Frist is pushing for a national conversation on end-of-life care and dismissing “caricatured”talk of death panels. He’s committing Republican heresy in endorsing elements of the loathed Affordable Care Act. He’s standing shoulder to shoulder with Daschle in search of a bipartisan way to tackle one of the thorniest problems around: how to get control of health care costs before they sink the economy.
Frist is pushing for a national conversation on end-of-life care. | AP Photo
The Frist-Daschle reconciliation, in particular, is a source of amazement to some longtime Washington observers.
“I didn’t think they would ever talk again,” said Bill Hoagland, a budget expert and former aide to Frist who has joined the duo on a health cost control initiative at the Bipartisan Policy Center. “I was surprised, pleasantly, that they would work together.”
Daschle told POLITICO, “He’s been a very important partner and I would say has become a friend in spite of the fact that we’ve had a difficult history.”
“That is past and we now find much more in common than not,” he added. “We both know that we need to find a consensus way forward.”
Frist, a heart and lung transplant surgeon who is now focused on research and policy, is working on Read the rest of this entry »
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Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Not only was her speech more well received than Republican Ann Romney‘s, but that one night of the DNC was more enthusiastic – i.e., FIRED UP – than was the entire RNC event in Tampa.
It was EXCITING to know that the Average American does NOT want to return to the “Bad Old Days” of bad policy as they experienced under the Bush II administration, which was responsible for the bail-out called TARP, starting wars in Iraq & Afghanistan, outsourcing American jobs, increasing the size of government, cutting taxes on the wealthy, the so-called “doughnut hole” in the Medicare prescription program (written by BIG PHARMA), and a whole lotta’ other genuinely bad things.
It was EXCITING to know that personal freedom – religious, private, healthcare – is an instrumental part of the Democratic Platform, as opposed to the RNC which supports… going back via the legislative time machine to the 1800′s, when child labor was common, women couldn’t vote, any non-white person was a second-class non-citizen & couldn’t vote, etc.
Transcript: Michelle Obama’s Democratic Convention Speech
September 4, 2012
Below is the full transcript, as prepared for delivery, of First Lady Michelle Obama‘s speech to the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday night.
Thank you so much, Elaine…we are so grateful for your family‘s service and sacrifice…and we will always have your back.
Over the past few years as First Lady, I have had the extraordinary privilege of traveling all across this country. And everywhere I’ve gone, in the people I’ve met, and the stories I’ve heard, I have seen the very best of the American spirit.
I have seen it in the incredible kindness and warmth that people have shown me and my family, especially our girls.
I’ve seen it in teachers in a near-bankrupt school district who vowed to keep teaching without pay.
I’ve seen it in people who become heroes at a moment’s notice, diving into harm’s way to save others…flying across the country to put out a fire…driving for hours to bail out a flooded town.
And I’ve seen it in our men and women in uniform and our proud military families…in wounded warriors who tell me they’re not just going to walk again, they’re going to run, and they’re going to run marathons…in the young man blinded by a bomb in Afghanistan who said, simply, “…I’d give my eyes 100 times again to have the chance to do what I have done and what I can still do.”
Every day, the people I meet inspire me…every day, they make me proud…every day they remind me how blessed we are to live in the greatest nation on earth.
Serving as your First Lady is an honor and a privilege…but back when we first came together four years ago, I still had some concerns about this journey we’d begun.
While I believed deeply in my husband’s vision for this country…and I was certain he would make an extraordinary President…like any mother, I was worried about what it would mean for our girls if he got that chance.
How would we keep them grounded under the glare of the national spotlight?
How would they Read the rest of this entry »
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