Also see the satellite edition of this week’s update over at ER Stories.
Work in a health care facility? Get a flu shot or lose your job. That’s the policy that a couple of national health organizations are pushing. We already do it for tuberculosis, measles, mumps, and rubella. Why should influenza be any different? New York is currently creating a permanent regulation for yearly flu vaccination.
The University of Texas Medical Board is losing money. The medical school is getting less funding from the “Legislature” (which I am assuming is the State legislature). How does UTMB make up the shortfall? By cutting charity care. The amount of charity care that the hospital system provides went from 20.6 percent of total patient services in 1999 to 2.6 percent last year. Now the clinics that still care for indigent patients are “busting at the seams” with new patients and patients aren’t getting necessary care for serious medical problems.
Local leaders are claiming that UTMB has a “responsibility” to provide services for those that are economically disadvantaged and that the hospital needs to “do right” for the people of Texas. I disagree. The State of Texas has a responsibility to provide health care to its residents. That “responsibility” can’t be imposed upon private institutions any more than the responsibility to feed the indigent can be imposed on private grocery stores. Since the University of Texas is a state institution, though, the State of Texas also has a responsibility to make sure that its institutions have sufficient funding to provide proper medical care. You can’t cut funding to the institutions and then turn around and blast the institutions for failing to provide care. If the UTMB Board is cracking down on UTMB to be profitable, what is UTMB supposed to do?
Interesting twist to the story is that UTMB is going to have difficulty crying “poverty.” It is reportedly undergoing a $1 billion expansion.
Would you trade a quick ED visit for seeing a nurse practitioner instead of a physician? Journal of Bioethics survey shows that 80% of patients “fully expect to see a physician regardless of acuity or potential for cost savings by seeing another provider.” Patients are more willing to see medical residents than nonphysicians. A little more than half of patients surveyed would agree to see a nurse practitioner or a physician assistant in the emergency department. Additional story from AM News.
Now the citizens get to cast their vote on you. After voting to overturn medical malpractice reform, Illinois Supreme Court Justice is getting a little squeamish about his tenure. Sixty percent of the voters in November have to vote to retain him. More than one group is campaigning against him. The state trial lawyers endorse him. And he gave a speech stating “I didn’t unilaterally make this ruling.” That’s true. Illinois citizens won’t unilaterally vote you out of office, either. Another story on the topic is here.
Patient doesn’t like the only doctor available to treat him, so he calls her a derogatory name … then stabs her in the chest.
39 year old male goes into hospital to visit a patient, takes a dislike to the patient’s 78 year old roommate, then stabs her. Of course, the hospital is going to be held liable since this is considered a never event. How could any responsible hospital not have purchased the technologies available in the Minority Report so that they could prevent crimes before they happen?
Can a football team be sued for medical malpractice? We might find out after the Bengals waived Rashad Jeanty.
Will one physician bankrupt Indiana’s medical malpractice patient compensation fund? With 357 lawsuits pending against him, he might not bankrupt the fund, but he could take a serious chunk out of its reserves.
Nursing assistant gets 2 years in prison for squeezing Fentanyl from 92 year old woman’s pain patches then licking his fingers to get a buzz.
Should hero who saves someone from drowning have to pay his own medical bills after being taken to hospital by ambulance? People on the scene thought he should be “checked out” – which ended up costing him almost $2000. Hero’s family claims “unfairness” for charges. Eventually hospital writes off the bill.