Healthcare Update 01-21-2013

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Amount of medical malpractice in the military is “shockingly underreported”. To add insult to injury, the Supreme Court continues to deny injured patients the ability to sue the government for damages from medical malpractice in military hospitals under the Feres Doctrine.
Oh, and do you think that you’ll be able to compare hospital “quality” between military hospitals and other hospitals using the federal government’s web site? Think again. No data available for military hospitals. Walter Reed Army Medical Center doesn’t exist in Washington DC when you’re trying to see the quality of care that is being provided.
Makes you wonder what they’re trying to hide.

Medicare planning to penalize 2,217 hospitals for excess readmissions. Since there are only 5,700 hospitals in the entire country, wouldn’t it just be easier and less costly to flip a coin and penalize hospitals based on that? Seems to work with Press Ganey.
Hat tip to @MDAware

Job security. Star of MTV’s new series “Buckwild” discusses how he is on first-name basis with his local emergency department due to his antics – which include the backhoe rollercoaster and rolling in a tire down a hill.

German surgeons accused of leaving up to 16 foreign bodies in a patient’s abdomen after prostate surgery, including needles, compresses and surgical strips. Hospital denies accusations, stating that the “equipment wasn’t in use at the hospital.”
The thing that caught my attention was the demand for compensation – $106,000 – followed by the hospital spokeman’s statement that the amount of the demand was “unusually high” for such a case.
Hat tip to Drudge

Enema tamperer pleads guilty to one count of product tampering for using enemas then putting them back into the boxes and returning them to the stores. Faces up to 10 years in federal prison.

Patients gone wild. Maine woman arrested after assaulting two emergency department staff members.

You had to know this was coming. After news reports that energy drinks are resulting in more trips to the emergency department, brainiac Chicago Alderman Ed Burke wants to ban energy drinks. It’s for the safety of our children, you know.
Next up: banning coffee.
I hope this Bloomberg nanny philosophy isn’t contagious. Too much more of this stuff and we’d have to ban him. It’s for the safety of our children, you know.

The neverending drip? Canadian study shows that gonorrhea cases increasingly resistant to cephalosporins, increasing possibility of untreatable sexually transmitted diseases. It appears from another article (I’m not paying for JAMA access) that the patients were subsequently cured with other antibiotics, so all hope isn’t gone quite yet.

Ever wanted to learn how to wrap an ankle? Here’s a “how-to” guide by someone who says he’s wrapped more than 100,000 ankles in his career.

Putting GPS tracking chips into fake pill bottles to deter pharmacy robberies. Yeah, that will work.

Hulk Hogan files $50 million lawsuit against Laser Spine Institute … in Florida … for for allegedly performing hundreds of thousands of dollars in unnecessary minimally invasive surgeries.

The Affordable Care Act or the Affordable “No-Care” Act? Pennsylvania’s Windber Medical Center decides to discontinue providing obstetrical services – in part because obstetricians are leaving the area and in part because of “lower reimbursements under the federal Affordable Care Act”. But remember … you can still see any doctor you want under this legislation! As long as you’re paying cash, that is.

Drowsy driving kills. According to this MMWR report, 4.2% of people admit to driving drowsy in the prior 30 days and drowsy driving is implicated in 2.5% of fatal motor vehicle crashes according to the  National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and up to 33% of fatal crashes using some “modeling studies.”
I was going to make a crack about needing to ban drowsy driving, realizing that there is no way to prove a driver’s level of alertness at the time of an accident and therefore creating such a ban would introduce difficulties in enforcement and potential abuse by law enforcement officers. Then I did an internet search and found that New Jersey already has a drowsy driving law on the books while several other states have proposed drowsy driving legislation.
Never a problem that more regulation can’t fix.

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  1. WC, a few thoughts:

    1. Here’s something you’ll like – an intelligent discussion on how to put some limits on prosecutors’ ability to charge:

    2. Want to bet that a version of the Feres doctrine extends to all med mal cases once Obamacare is fully implemented?

    3. I thought the sole impediment to OBs in Pennsylvania was the medical malpractice “crisis”? Now you’re telling me money matters to the doctors? Who knew?

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