Screw the client. According to the headlines of this news release (see above), juries have just started awarding verdicts directly to medical malpractice law firms, not to the patients who suffered the injuries. Foreshadowing?
More hospitals jumping on the “no dialysis for you” bandwagon. As they refuse to provide outpatient dialysis for patients, they have seen their emergency department visits increase.
Dialysis patients showing up in Grady Hospital’s emergency room receive dialysis only in “life-or-death situations.”
One Las Vegas hospital saw its number of emergency department visits for dialysis-related issues more than double in 2009. Now the hospital spends $700,000 per month providing dialysis services in its emergency department.
Doing some simple math, if the hospital spends about $8.4 million/year on emergency dialysis now, its costs have gone up by about $4 million in the past year – just for dialysis-related medical problems. In this hospital, the total number of emergency department visits for dialysis was 243, meaning that each patient gets about $35,000 per year in medical resources.
Ever wonder what kind of calls come in to a poison center’s hotline? Read the Illinois Poison Center’s blog and find out. 35 calls between midnight and 7AM. Some interesting, some sad issues. Those of you from Illinois who want to help keep the poison center in business can also use a link on the site to send an e-mail to Illinois’ governor or add a donation.
Guarantee: Get seen in this emergency department within 15 minutes or your visit is free.
The catch is that the clock starts ticking “after you finish your paperwork.”
I would be interested in seeing how this system is implemented.
It appears that they have the opportunity to cherry pick paying patients and filter out the patients who don’t have the means to pay before they put themselves on the hook for free services. “Sorry, ma’am, but part of the paperwork included with patients who have no insurance is a $200 co-pay and a satisfactory medical credit check. What’s that? No co-pay? You’ll need to go to the ancillary paperwork department.
The emergency department is new and there are only 8 beds. When it gets busy, the slow lady in the lunch line for non-emergent cases will probably be the long waits for the paperwork to be finished. I give them 9 months before they repeal the policy. Until then, the concept looks like it is bringing them a lot of good PR.
I mentioned this case in a previous Healthcare Update, but now it is going to trial. Will criminal charges against nurses who reported a physician’s actions to the Texas medical board affect the willingness of others to report actionable physician behavior? Interesting discussion in the comments section at Overlawyered.com.
Emergency visits in LA suburb more than double in less than 10 years. Of those patients, 50% have Medicaid, 30% are self-pay (where hospital collects less than 5% of bills), 10% are Medicare and 10% have other insurance. Will increased volumes offset lower payments?
Less access to health care for NY citizens. St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York closing due to massive debt.
Meanwhile, Deaconness Hospital in Indiana is expanding its emergency department. That way, when nursing homes send patients there and refuse to take them back, the patients will have a place to stay.
Edwin Leap has an all-too-appropriate post about what message boards in the emergency department should say. Some of the good ones:
‘Sorry about the wait, but after all, your symptoms started 10 years ago, right?’
‘We can access your recent narcotic prescriptions online. Creepy, isn’t it?’
‘If you can throw a chair, your back pain isn’t that bad.
Like a scene from that canceled NBC television show about emergency departments …
A 24 year old Ohio mom – who is pregnant with twins – starts having trouble breathing and left arm pain. She goes to the emergency department and is diagnosed with … a heart attack! At 24 years old!
Before she can go for her triple bypass surgery, the medical staff decides to deliver the 32 week old babies by Caesarian section … in the emergency department.
Now mom and babies are doing fine.
In other news, top Ohio plaintiff attorneys are recommending that the patient sue the hospital for $60 million because the scar from the Caesarian section makes her pubic hair line uneven and has forever ruined the patient’s sex life.
Britney Spears goes to hospital emergency department … in caravan … with police escort. Sounds like an emergency.
How far in debt is our country? Go to this web site to see real-time measures of our national debt broken down into multiple metrics. Just have someone ready to catch you in case you faint.