Healthcare Update — 08-17-2012


Jury … in Floridaawards 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.

Another doc makes the mistake of equating health care insurance with health care access. Why are emergency departments so overcrowded? Dr. Earlexia Norwood from the Henry Ford Health System seems to think it is because patients would rather not see their primary care physician. Maybe that’s because there aren’t enough primary care physicians available. The other points and statistics in her article are interesting, though. An extra $38 billion in health care spending to emergency department overcrowding. That’s a lot of primary care physician visits. And now up to half of emergency departments are charging some type of up-front fee for non-urgent care. I’m wondering how that works when people don’t have the cash.

I have no idea who John Legend is, but several news agencies reported that he went to the emergency department for the flu. Maybe because he didn’t have a primary care physician?

Say it isn’t so! Patients waited up to 14 hours in our government’s own VA hospital emergency departments? Our government hospitals won’t even keep an ultrasound tech on staff past 5PM? Patients who needed ultrasounds after 5PM had to be taken to other hospitals and then brought back to the VA hospital emergency department after the test was completed. And, when the VA hospital had psych beds open, it still wouldn’t admit emergency department patients needing psychiatric care. Instead, the hospital would transfer the patients to other hospitals only to have the patients transferred back the following day. How … medically appropriate and cost conscious.
And there’s no way to check the Memphis VA Hospital ratings on the government’s Hospital Compare web site. Opinions our veterans have about their health care must not mean very much. Wonder why?

Apparently I’m not the only one seeing this. Cases of hand, foot, and mouth disease are on the rise. Kudos to the authors for a nice summary about the symptoms and what to do if you or your child get the infection (no lactate level needed), along with links to additional sources for information.


  1. Wellpoint…got a friend who works there, but not as a claims person…I was denied for an ER visit with United, even though it was an in-Seven provider. It took me four years to get the claim righted, but not before it showed up on my credit report and I have been battling for three years to get it off! It’s ridiculous!!

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