Healthcare Update 07-16-2012


Some inner-city New York hospitals have figured out how to save money in malpractice premiums … they “go bare.” Interfaith, Kingsbrook Jewish, and Wyckoff Heights all insure themselves for lawsuits and two of them have set aside no money for judgments. Lawyers call it “irresponsible.”

Feeling suicidal? Text me about how you feel. Patients with emergency psychiatric issues prefer cell phone-based or computer-based interventions to the traditional face-to-face interactions. Text messaging, e-mail, and social networking sites were preferred over traditional interventions by 90% of patients for at least one psychiatric topic. Next up: A game titled “REALLY Angry Birds.”

Dallas patient who went to pick up Norco refill for post-surgical pain arrested and forced to stay in jail overnight on suspicion of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud when pharmacist calls wrong physician to confirm prescription. Physician says he never wrote prescription. CVS isn’t commenting. How about just “oops”?

Then there’s this doctor in California who was arrested for prescribing addictive medications to people with no legitimate need. One of the undercover officers brought copies of his x-rays to show him how severely his back had been injured. In reality, the x-ray was that of a German shepherd.

Next on the FDA’s narcotic hit list … fentanyl. Twenty six kids were exposed to fentanyl and ten kids died from accidental exposure to fentanyl patches in the past 15 years … and the FDA is just getting around to warning everyone now. With the change in Vicodin formulations and the crackdowns on oxycontin prescriptions, does anyone else think the fentanyl warning was rather conveniently timed?

Philadelphia patient wins $78.5 million jury verdict after caesarian section was delayed by 81 minutes in part due to “antiquated” ultrosound machines that could not visualize fetal heart beats,” to failure to service the equipment for 10 years even though the manual requires yearly servicing, and to the negligent hospital that did not have an ultrasound tech in the building 24/7.

Scamnation. After the Affordable Care Act passed, crooks call up and say they’re from the government to try to get your personal information under the guise that they’re going to enroll you in government health insurance. Wait a minute …. Well …. I’d call that a bitter irony.

Researchers discover that chronic “buckyball” administration doubles the lifespan of rats. What I want to know is how they got so many members of Congress to volunteer for the study. Ta dum ding. Thank you. Thank you. I’ll be here all day. Be sure to tip your waitresses.

Connecticut concerts at the Comcast Theater cause a surge in emergency department visits — 70 to 90 ambulance runs per show. Aaaahhhh memories. I used to work in a trauma center right near a major outdoor theater. Docs got paid extra to work nights of concerts and the nights were outlined in black on our calendars. Jimmy Buffet and “Ozzfest” crowds were the worst. The good thing was that the theater owners used to come and give everyone working in the ED free concert tickets, so at least they were thinking of us.

If you wanted clean linens, all you had to do was ask. Long Island ED patient becomes “agitated and uncooperative” then whips out lighter and sets his sheets, bed, and gurney on fire.

Dogs in the homes make kids healthier. On the other hand, cats in the home make people … less healthy.


  1. I worked for a year in an ED that was near a concert venue = and concert nights were awful for OD’s/ETOH. We used to bring in CD’s of the corresponding band = and pipe the music into the rooms of our OD patients. One time we were caught unprepared because we had OD’s from an Amy Grant concert. WTF?

  2. So let’s hypothetically accept that the OB and the hospital were fully negligent and liable.

    How in the heck does one come up with a figure of $78.5 million?!? Invested conservatively one could spend $3.2 million a year forever and not touch the principal. 24/7 in-house vent care doesn’t cost that much.

  3. Probably some punitives in there. And maybe lost earnings of one of the parents if they previously worked and cannot. But probably punitives is a large part of that.

  4. Pottstown is miles away from Philly. Can you guess why the trial was held in “The City of Brotherly Love”?

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