LAB WORKER INFECTS 30. ONE INCIDENT OR 30?

Thirty patients sued Exeter Hospital in New Hampshire when they came down with hepatitis C.  The infection was traced to a single hospital lab employee, David Kwiatkowski.  (Needless to say, David is no longer with the hospital.) That poses the question, one incident claim or 30?  You ask, who cares?  After …

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HOSPITALS BRACE FOR INFLUX OF VETERANS

Hospitals around the country expect a big influx of armed forces veterans, starting May 30 and continuing indefinitely.  And many of them have mixed feelings.  On the one hand, most hospitals have at least some empty beds and welcome patients to fill them.  After all, that’s their mission. On the other …

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HOSPITALS MOVE INTO URGENT CARE BUSINESS—AND IN A BIG WAY

Five years ago hospitals had only a marginal presence in the urgent care clinic industry.  Now they own about a quarter of all urgent care clinics.  That’s according to the Urgent Care Association of America, as reported Tuesday in the New Orleans Times-Picayune. It’s easy to understand the motivation of …

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STATE “RIGHT-TO-TRY” LAWS GAIN MOMENTUM

In an example of life imitating art, several states are considering “right-to-try” legislation to make experimental drugs—drugs that don’t have FDA approval—available to the terminally ill.  Colorado and Louisiana have already approved such laws.  Others, such as Minnesota, Missouri and Arizona, …

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AMA TO RECOMMEND PHYSICIANS BE PAID FOR END-OF-LIFE PLANNING

Brace yourself for a reprise of the death panel debate of 2009.  The AMA will soon formally recommend to CMS that physicians be paid—or “reimbursed” in health care-speak—for talking with Medicare patients and their families about “advance care planning,” including living wills end-of-life treatment …

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STUDY LINKS 340B INCREASE TO HOSPITAL ACQUISITION OF PHYSICIAN PRACTICES

Last Thursday the Berkeley Research Group released a study attributing a sharp increase in the 340B drug discount program to the fact that hospitals across the country are acquiring physician-based oncology practices. The 340B program requires pharmaceutical manufacturers with Medicaid-covered products to give …

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