Healthcare Update Satellite — 01-07-2014


In Great Britain, the emergency departments are having problems with “superusers” as well. According to a survey of about 60% of the hospital trusts and boards in the UK, almost 12,000 people used the emergency department an average of once a month in 2012 while 150 patients used the emergency department an average of about once a week. At least a couple of patients averaged visits more than 4 times per week for the entire year.
The biggest problem according to the people being interviewed is that the care in emergency departments is more convenient than waiting for an appointment with a GP.

This article alleges that half of all British patients going to the emergency department don’t need treatment, a third only need medical advice, and 13% don’t even need medical advice.
British doctors are now trying to get patients to ante up £10 for using the ED, which one physician says would probably “cut the attendances by half.”
Those against the proposal argue that “you’re never going to get any money out of those drunks, while there is a real risk that patients who need help will not bother because they can’t afford it.”
So what’s the right answer?

Chain of Florida hospitals belonging to Health Management Associates is under investigation for allegedly providing emergency physicians with kickbacks to perform unnecessary testing and inappropriate hospital admissions. Hospital administrators allegedly told emergency physicians that 75% of all Medicare patients should be admitted.

Pennsylvania jury awards $55 million to a patient who was born with cerebral palsy after getting stuck during a vaginal delivery. Lawyers state “If they’d delivered him by C-section, he would have been fine.”

Patients gone wild is back. Texas woman jailed after punching emergency department nurse when nurse told woman to go sit in the waiting room. Woman stated that she “didn’t appreciate” the nurse’s attitude. Now woman faces 2-10 years in the Greybar Motel and a $10,000 fine.

Make it stop. The show, I mean. Latest episode of Sex Sent Me to the ER reportedly involved woman who couldn’t stop having her orgasm after 3 hours.
You can even see part of the episode acted out on a video at the link.
I heard that the ED staff got her orgasm to stop by showing her a picture of Eliot Spitzer. Is that correct?

Answer the questions on medical board applications accurately. Idaho doctor gets publicly reprimanded by Idaho State Medical Board and must pay $500 fine plus $400 Board costs after failing to list a medical malpractice lawsuit on her board renewal application.

Hawaiian prison inmate suffering severe scrotal pain and swelling that made his scrotum appear the “size of a very large grapefruit” sues state and wins almost $1 million when he requires scrotal amputation due to infection. The prison physician reportedly gave him inappropriate antibiotics and the wrong dosage. The judge disagreed that state physicians should be immune from liability.
Since this ruling is the first case of its kind to get to the Appellate level, will medical care in Hawaiian prisons now get better, get worse, or stay the same?

Nice summary article on what to do if your tooth is knocked out. Summary: The best place for the tooth is back in the socket. If you can’t get it back in the socket, put it in some warm water or milk. DON’T scrub the tooth – doing so will damage the periodontal ligament and make it less likely that the tooth will stay reimplanted. Get to a dentist or an emergency department as soon as possible.


  1. RE: “13% don’t even need medical advice”. Roughly 1 in 10. People worry. People are not machines and can need reassurance from a pseudo parent that they are well. The (not real) physical symptoms are a manifestation from overwhelming psychological worry they need addressed by an authority.

    It is part of being human, to worry.

  2. Watchingtheweasels on

    Only 150 patients in the entire country use the ER once a week? We probably have 15-20 of them at our hospital alone.

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