Articles and Resources
Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: Jul 03, 2007 Hospitals Are Beyond Compare: Data on Cardiac Care Show Almost No Differences Nationwide
QUOTE: The federal government unveiled new cardiac care information last month on a Web site that tracks hospital performance, earning kudos from hospital administrators and health-care researchers but demonstrating how difficult it is for consumers to compare hospital care.
Washington Post Jun 28, 2007 Study Finds Many Injuries to Surgeons Go Unreported
QUOTE: Nearly all surgeons accidentally stick themselves with needles and sharp instruments while in training. But most fail to report the injuries, risking their health and that of their families and patients…
New York Times Jun 26, 2007 Hospital Board Refuses To Resign: Members Contend Johnson's Demand Is Undemocratic
QUOTE: Johnson contended the move would provide more public accountability for a board whose mismanagement he says has compounded the system's problems… [But] critics believe his move against the board is a thinly veiled attempt to gain greater control over its membership and the fate of the system.
Washington Post Jun 18, 2007 Little Relief on Ward 53: At Walter Reed, Care for Soldiers Struggling With War's Mental Trauma Is Undermined by Doctor Shortages and Unfocused Methods
QUOTE: For amputees, the nation's top Army hospital offers state-of-the-art prosthetics and physical rehab programs... [but] Nothing so gleaming exists for soldiers with diagnoses of post-traumatic stress disorder...
Washington Post Jun 10, 2007 Ailing Patient at St. Elizabeths Poorly Monitored, Agency Says: Man with Stomach Pains Later Died
QUOTE: A mental patient who complained of stomach pains was not properly examined or monitored in the hours before his dead body was discovered...[Washington DC's] Department of Mental Health found many of the same problems that have affected St. Elizabeths for years...
Washington Post Jun 01, 2007 Hospitals Nationwide Combat Employee Camera-Phone Abuse
QUOTE: A rash of incidents in hospitals across the country involving camera phones has led to firings -- and the realization that monitoring the devices in clinical facilities is no easy task.
Wired May 27, 2007 Critical Care Without Consent: Ethicists Disagree On Experimenting During Crises
QUOTE: The federal government is undertaking the most ambitious set of studies ever mounted under a controversial arrangement that allows researchers to conduct some kinds of medical experiments without first getting patients' permission.
Washington Post May 22, 2007 Film Offers New Talking Points in Health Care Debate
QUOTE: Few of them may become Michael Moore fans. But some insurance industry officials and health policy experts acknowledged yesterday that the film documentary “Sicko,” Mr. Moore’s indictment of health care in this country, taps into widespread public concern that the system does not work for millions of Americans.
New York Times Apr 25, 2007 Fight over baby's life divides ethicists
QUOTE: The law, signed in 1999 by then-Gov. George W. Bush, gives Texas hospitals the authority to stop treatment if doctors say the treatment is "inappropriate" -- even if the family wants the medical care to continue. The statute was inspired by a growing debate in medical and legal communities over when to declare medical treatment futile.
CNN (Cable News Network) Apr 17, 2007 Dosing For Dollars
QUOTE: The conclusions in the JAMA study also underline flaws in the way Medicare reimbursement for dialysis treatment is currently structured. Most of the 335,000 kidney failure patients in the U.S. who receive dialysis are covered by Medicare, no matter how old they are....Medicare reimburses dialysis centers directly for this treatment at a fixed amount. But reimbursement for the use of Epogen is not capped; instead, it is based on the amount of the drug that is used. Perhaps not surprisingly, Medicare spends more money on Epogen--nearly $2 billion--than on any other drug.
Forbes Mar 07, 2007 It's Not Just Walter Reed: Still more ways Bush is screwing returning vets.
QUOTE: The scandals and shortfalls in the military's health-care system stem from the same sensibility that produced the scandals and shortfalls in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. It is the Bush administration's sensibility of denial—its willful disinclination to face war's true cost (in all senses of the word) and its readiness to use bookkeeping tricks to perpetuate the deception.
Slate Feb 18, 2007 Soldiers Face Neglect, Frustration At Army's Top Medical Facility
QUOTE: Behind the door of Army Spec. Jeremy Duncan's room, part of the wall is torn and hangs in the air, weighted down with black mold. When the wounded combat engineer stands in his shower and looks up, he can see the bathtub on the floor above through a rotted hole. The entire building, constructed between the world wars, often smells like greasy carry-out. Signs of neglect are everywhere: mouse droppings, belly-up cockroaches, stained carpets, cheap mattresses
Washington Post Jan 10, 2007 Canadian Report on SARS Cites Health System Failures
QUOTE: "The SARS epidemic that killed 44 people in Ontario in 2003 spread because of a shoddy public health system and inadequate safety practices...Throughout much of the epidemic, Canadian authorities assured the public and health workers that precautions were being taken to prevent the disease's spread."
Washington Post Dec 01, 2006 Side Effects: Profit and Questions on Prostate Cancer Therapy
QUOTE: "The nearly 240,000 men in the United States who will learn they have prostate cancer this year have one more thing to worry about: Are their doctors making treatment decisions on the basis of money as much as medicine?"
New York Times Nov 21, 2006 Studies: Hospitals Could Do More to Avoid Infections: Poor Hygiene, Operating Room Traffic, Antibiotic Use Are Cited
QUOTE: "Infections acquired in hospitals, which take a heavy toll on patients, arise mainly from poor hygiene in hospital procedures, not from how sick patients were when they were admitted, according to three new studies."
Washington Post Nov 04, 2006 Scientists Urge New Trial in Libya AIDS Case
QUOTE: "With five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor on trial in Tripoli on charges that they spread H.I.V. to 426 Libyan children, hundreds of prominent scientists are rallying in their defense, calling for a new and fairer trial."
New York Times Sep 12, 2006 10 Things Your Hospital Won't Tell You
QUOTE: in recent years errors in treatment have become a serious problem for hospitals, ranging from operating on the wrong body part to medication mix-ups.
Smart Money Aug 26, 2006 In South Central L.A., a Hospital Fights for Its Life: Medical Center Born Out of Watts Riots Tries to Save Its Accreditation After Years of Deteriorating Care, Administrative Neglect
QUOTE: A storied hospital, born out of the ashes of the iconic Watts riots of 1965 and a symbol of the promise of black political power, is on life support, and a federal agency could soon pull the plug.....county officials predict a health crisis across this county of 10 million people...
Washington Post Aug 20, 2006 Hospitals Grew With Medicare Paying the Way
QUOTE: What happened at this health care system, based largely in suburbs throughout New Jersey, is representative of how hundreds of hospitals around the country, facing pressures from cuts in reimbursements by private insurers, improperly charged the taxpayer-financed Medicare program billions of dollars.
New York Times Aug 03, 2006 Scaling Back Changes to Medicare Payments
QUOTE: Under intense pressure from health care lobbyists and lawmakers, the Bush administration says it will scale back and delay proposed changes in Medicare payments to hospitals that would have created clear winners and losers.
New York Times Jul 21, 2006 Prescription Errors Kill, Injure Americans, Report Says: Extensive National Study Finds Widespread, Costly Mistakes in Giving and Taking Medicine
QUOTE: At least 1.5 million Americans are sickened, injured or killed each year by errors in prescribing, dispensing and taking medications, the influential Institute of Medicine concluded in a major report released yesterday.
Washington Post Jul 21, 2006 Report Finds a Heavy Toll From Medication Errors
QUOTE: Medication errors harm 1.5 million people and kill several thousand each year in the United States, costing the nation at least $3.5 billion annually...health officials and hospital groups pledged reforms, but many of the most important efforts have been slow to take hold.
New York Times Jul 20, 2006 Language barriers plague hospitals
QUOTE: Many hospital patients who have a limited ability to speak English and who need a translator don't get one, which puts them at risk for poor and sometimes life-threatening medical care...
USA TODAY Jul 18, 2006 Texas Hospitals Reflect the Debate on Immigration
QUOTE: Facing harsh criticism from residents, public hospitals are confronted with an uneasy decision: demand immigration documents from patients and deny subsidized care to those who lack them, or follow the public health principle of providing basic care to anyone who needs it.
New York Times Jun 30, 2006 Medicaid Rule Called A Threat To Millions: Proof of Citizenship Needed for Benefits
QUOTE: A Medicaid rule takes effect tomorrow that will require more than 50 million poor Americans to prove their citizenship or lose their medical benefits or long-term care. Under the rule, intended to curb fraud by illegal immigrants...unintended consequence of harming several million U.S. citizens who, for a variety of reasons, will not be able to produce the necessary paperwork.
Washington Post Jun 29, 2006 20% of U.S. Transplant Centers Are Found To Be Substandard
QUOTE: Medicare allows 20% of the 236 programs in the U.S. to stay in business despite performing too few operations or having low survival rates.
USA TODAY Jun 21, 2006 Suit Claims Hospitals Fixed Nurses' Pay
QUOTE: hospitals had violated federal antitrust laws by conspiring to hold down nurses' wages. The lawsuits maintain that hospitals in each city agreed not to pay their registered nurses above a certain amount...
New York Times Jun 01, 2006 Low Payments by U.S. Raise Medical Bills Billions a Year
QUOTE: Employers and consumers are paying billions of dollars more a year for medical care to compensate for imbalances in the nation's health care system resulting from tight Medicare and Medicaid budgets...
New York Times May 11, 2006 Zimbabweans Pay Dearly For Cost of Health Care: Hyperinflation Pushes Medical Treatment Beyond Means of Most
QUOTE: ...Zimbabwe's beleaguered, cash-starved health system refuses treatment to those who cannot pay skyrocketing medical bills up front.
Washington Post May 11, 2006 Probe Chronicles Abuse in Romania: Disabled Children Found Bound, Emaciated in Psychiatric Institutions
QUOTE: In six [Romanian--Ed.] institutions visited by the disabled rights organization, investigators found malnourished children warehoused in inhumane conditions.
Washington Post Feb 10, 2006 More Vets Get Health Care, but 'Priority 8' Is Like Priority Zero
QUOTE: More than a quarter-million "Priority 8" veterans who tried to sign up for VA health care coverage between January 2003 and October 2005 were turned away because of the new effort to rein in costs.
Washington Post Dec 17, 2005 Medical Care: Dispute Over Historic Hospital for the Poor Pits Doctors Against the State
QUOTE: The state officials who manage Charity say Hurricane Katrina dealt this Huey Long-era landmark a deathblow and want it torn down....But doctors who work there sharply disagree with that plan. They say Louisiana officials are using the storm as an excuse to achieve the state's long-sought goal of demolishing Charity, getting millions in federal dollars to build a new hospital, and then moving away from a promise that has long been made to the city's poor.
New York Times Dec 13, 2005 More Scrutiny Sought For Reused Devices: House Member Questions FDA's Role
QUOTE: A key member of Congress called yesterday for more rigorous federal oversight of reused medical devices designated as one-time-use instruments.
Washington Post Dec 11, 2005 Hospitals Save Money, But Safety Is Questioned
QUOTE: A growing number of U.S. hospitals, including at least eight in the Washington area, are saving money by reusing medical devices designated for one-time use, ignoring the warnings of manufacturers, which will not vouch for the safety of their reconditioned products.
Washington Post Nov 24, 2005 Once a C-Section, Always a C-Section?: Women Who Want to Try Labor on Later Deliveries Are Increasingly Refused
QUOTE: ...an increasing number of hospitals refuse to let women try labor after an earlier C-section, citing concerns about safety and being sued if something goes wrong.
Washington Post Nov 12, 2005 A Health Threat We're Not Treating: Don't Let Doctors Rig the Market for Specialty Hospitals
QUOTE: The rules that define legitimate behavior by specialty hospitals will play a decisive role in determining whether they become primarily instruments of high profits -- profits produced by clever schemes to minimize risk and leave all the expensive cases to community hospitals and taxpayers.
Washington Post Oct 26, 2005 Study Finds Doctors Abandoning Poor Nations for Rich Ones
QUOTE: A new study documents for the first time the devastating exodus of doctors from Africa and the Caribbean to the wealthy, English-speaking nations...The study is likely to fuel an already furious debate about the role the developed world is playing in weakening African public health systems...
New York Times Oct 14, 2005 'Blind' trust allows plenty of looking
QUOTE: The idea was to avoid conflicts of interest...The Senate's idea of a blind trust, however, allows for lots of looking.
Montgomery Advertiser Aug 22, 2005 Forcing a Look at Hospitals' Mission: Adventist Facilities Accused of Price-Gouging, Denying Care to Uninsured Patients
QUOTE: In the past year, lawyers for the poor have filed federal lawsuits in 22 states accusing nonprofit hospitals of failing to meet their tax-exempt obligations to provide indigent care.
Washington Post Jul 29, 2005 Plan Would Compile, Analyze Medical Errors: Measure Awaiting Bush's Signature Encourages Confidential Reporting to Improve Health Care
QUOTE: ...Congress this week passed long-debated legislation aimed at improving patient safety...would create a network for reporting and analyzing medical errors, with a goal of reducing future mistakes.
Washington Post Jul 25, 2005 Accreditors Blamed for Overlooking Problems: Conflict of Interest Cited Between Health Facilities, Group That Assesses Conditions
QUOTE: ...the joint commission's practices raise questions about potential conflicts of interest and the rigor of its hospital surveys... About 99 percent of the hospitals reviewed by the joint commission win accreditation, and in recent years it has missed glaring examples of poor care in which patients have been injured or killed...
Washington Post Jul 24, 2005 When Geography Influences Treatment Options: Physicians in Some Regions Are More Likely to Advise Surgery Over Less-Invasive Alternatives
QUOTE: ...a jigsaw pattern of medical care in which the patient's chance of having surgery often is decided by where he or she happens to live. In Fort Myers, Medicare patients are twice as likely to have back surgery as those in Miami.
Washington Post Jul 24, 2005 Early Deals Set the Stage for Today's Problems
QUOTE: 'By law, Medicare was prohibited from explicitly considering cost when deciding whether to pay for a new treatment or machine, an edict that remains in place today. "Essentially, they were paying claims," Feder said. "They were simply turning over the keys to the Treasury to the providers."'
Washington Post Jul 21, 2005 U.S. Will Offer Doctors Free Electronic Records System
QUOTE: ...Medicare, which says the lack of electronic records is one of the biggest impediments to improving health care, has decided to step in. In an unprecedented move, it said it planned to announce that it would give doctors - free of charge - software to computerize their medical practices.
New York Times Apr 24, 2005 Hospitals Services Performed Overseas: Training, Licensing Questions Raised
QUOTE: NightHawk and several other companies providing the offshore radiology services say they hire only U.S.-trained doctors who are licensed in every state where they have clients and credentialed at the hospitals they serve. But policing the services remains a concern.
Washington Post Mar 30, 2005 A Family's Painful Journey
QUOTE: ...Rieck was charged with abandonment because she would not take Jessica home without support. Rieck said she didn't feel safe. "She's got too much rage, too much anger,"...
Washington Post Mar 26, 2005 U.S. Conducts Inquiry Into St. Elizabeths: Patients' Civil Rights Are at Issue
QUOTE: ...a Mental Health Department consultant found that the hospital had "dangerously low" staffing and needed considerable improvement in its management and use of restraints. The consultant, Richard Fields, said in the report that he was most concerned by the risk posed by staffing problems.
Washington Post Jan 29, 2005 Tax-Exempt Hospitals' Practices Challenged: 46 Lawsuits Allege That Uninsured Pay the Most
QUOTE: The business practices of nonprofit hospitals are under attack on several fronts. The IRS is said to be investigating management's compensation, and Congress conducted hearings last summer on price-gouging claims.
Washington Post Sep 28, 2004 Higher Costs, Less Care: Data Show Crisis In Health Insurance
QUOTE: In the past four years, Americans have spent an ever-growing portion of their paychecks on health care and for the most part gotten less for their money, forcing millions into the ranks of the uninsured or personal bankruptcy...
Washington Post Jul 27, 2004 Checking Up on Hospitals: New Web Site Rates Facilities' Performance in Heart, Pregnancy, Pneumonia Care
QUOTE: The nation's largest health care accrediting organization has launched a Web site that lets consumers compare patient care at hospitals statewide and nationally.
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