Healthcare Update — 12-03-2102


Can a total mattress ban be far behind? Pediatricians publish paper noting that an average of 31 children each day are treated for inflatable bounce house-related injuries and urging that policy makers either “recommend against pediatric bouncer usage” or “formulate recommendations for safer bouncer usage and design.”
Because regulation is the key to everyone’s safety.
See Shadowfax’s blog for another take on the issue.

How much longer will you live by staying in shape and running your marathons? More than one study says … about as long as the guy with the beer belly munching chips on the couch.

It’s about 350 times more likely that this obstetrical coincidence would occur than it would have been to win the PowerBall jackpot. Still, 524,288 to 1 are some pretty longshot odds.


Interfaith Hospital in Brooklyn, which serves mostly indigent population, planning to declare bankruptcy. Why? Cuts in Medicaid reimbursement a couple of years ago cost it 40% of its inpatient revenue. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo doesn’t plan to offer any more assistance to keep the hospital open.
What’s going to happen to all the patients? They’ll take ambulances to other emergency departments and the state will pay more for the added transportation costs.
Then the state will cut reimbursement for ambulance transport and the ambulance companies will go bankrupt.
Curling up and dying at home is still free, though.

Why are doctors burning out so much? Job stress, including “paperwork, regulation, and hassle from health insurance companies” are key risks. Nice interview with Dr. Paul Griner about other factors related to burnout – have to register at Medscape site to read it, though.

Yeah, about that Tweet you made while in high school … your medical school application just got denied.


Oooooh. Soon you may be able to purchase Sudafed without giving fingerprints and undergoing a background check, first. Nexafed reportedly has an “advanced polymer matrix” to limit extraction of pseudoephedrine from the tablets. Will be interesting to see whether the same matrix has an effect on how well the drug works in the body. I spoke too soon. A recent Phase 1 study showed that Nexafed was bioequivalent to the leading national brand. OK, wise guys, how much does it cost?

GlaxoSmithKline’s anti-Parkinson’s medication Requip allegedly turns normal everyday French husband into “gay sex and gambling addict.” Court awards patient nearly 200,000 euros in compensation.

If emergency departments ran like the Social Security Administration, we’d all be dead. Arizona citizens wait an average of 10.5 months just to have a court hearing about denied benefits. Nationally, 750,000 people are waiting for such hearings.

Jury concludes that doctor was not guilty of criminal charges when providing propofol to wife to relieve chronic back pain and then allegedly having sex with her while she was unconscious. Wife, also a doctor, is now suing her husband for medical malpractice claiming, among other things, that she did not receive proper informed consent before getting the drug.


Whose responsibility is it to make sure that all Americans have “healthcare coverage”? Growing number of Gallup poll responders do not believe that it is the federal government. A great follow-up question would have been “whose responsibility is it, then?”

Will getting the influenza vaccine each year increase the herd immunity and eradicate influenza?
Or are influenza shots a waste of resources with little practical benefit?
Interesting theory that the large subset of patients with “influenza-like illness” who test negative for influenza negative each year might not have influenza.
The more I read about this topic, the more I question the utility of influenza vaccinations. I’m still very pro-vaccination, but that Cochrane review has me wondering about influenza.

NY appellate court rules that having an affair with a patient constitutes medical malpractice. Physician begins treating patient for gastrointestinal issue. Gradually begins counseling her for anxiety and depression. Sexual relationship develops. Husband finds out and divorces patient. Patient sues three years later for medical malpractice. Jury awards more than a half million dollars in damages.
Doctor and patient both testified that they “knew it was wrong” to have an affair. The court also noted that the affair may have interfered with the patient’s treatment.
I’m not saying that affairs aren’t morally wrong, but to base a medical malpractice claim solely on an affair is pushing the envelope and opens the door for any person with worsening anxiety or depression to allege damages from any relationship gone awry.

Hospital in Bangor Maine begins using metal detectors (a la courthouse scanners) to screen patients for weapons before they are allowed into the emergency department.
What happens if a patient requests to see a physician in the emergency department (triggering EMTALA), then refuses to submit to a search? If the hospital refuses care, it can be accused of an EMTALA violation. Do patients coming in on ambulance stretchers get the same screening?
We’ll have to see how this one plays out.

Texas man brings a patient to emergency department and yells for help. Unfortunately, the patient was already dead.


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