Senate Bill 840....20 minute video with another proposed solution on the table..BD
The California OneCareNow Campaign is the nation's first-ever statewide grassroots campaign for universal health insurance.
Senate Bill 840....20 minute video with another proposed solution on the table..BD
The California OneCareNow Campaign is the nation's first-ever statewide grassroots campaign for universal health insurance.
Former CEO of United Health Care..Interesting comments on health care today...insurance is not enough...BD
Instead, we are here to talk about the other elephant in the room, the messy health-care system. We first met at an event at this theater last fall, just days before he was slated to leave UnitedHealth. Even then, with an unwanted transition looming, he offered to school me on his great passion--the role data can play in medicine. I'm here to take him up on it.
Is universal care possible?
"It has to come from the President. Somebody has to stand up and say we expect accessible health care for all people. Not just insurance for all people--that doesn't get you health care if you can't afford the insurance, or there aren't enough facilities and practitioners, or you don't have a way to get to them. Insurance isn't enough."
Everybody has their opinion and here's 2 cents worth from this end, neither wrong or right, but something to ponder...BD
Healthcare for is the United States -The question is where do we find a bank that can finance our entire Healthcare.
The government doesn’t seem to have enough, the insurance companies don’t seem to have enough, so where we go?
The only source of income that would touch everyone would be a federal sales tax provided to cover U.S. citizens for health care. Everyone would pay, citizens, tourists, illegal aliens, as nobody would be exempt and this could be the largest pool of available money ever created. At least this way I would know the person in the ER that is perhaps a tourist or not a citizen, at least donated something along the way.
Doctors and hospitals alike would be paid from the fund, this eliminating who gets care and who doesn’t. Let the insurers run the program and take them out of the insurance business as we know it today, wouldn’t need Medicare for that matter. The administrators (former insurance companies) could go to Congress to get additional funding as needed in the form of a tax hike with additional voter approval. We would really have a say in the quality of our health care here. Each one would have a budget to administrate.
Also, let the former insurance companies negotiate with the drug companies on which drugs will be included in the area they cover and allocate a budget accordingly. They would also benefit with not having to need a collections arm as the distribution from sales tax pays the bills
Still allow an arm of marketing for insurance companies (now called administrators) to sell travel insurance, and even allow them to sell reasonably priced “mal practice insurance” to the patient if desired prior to surgery so in case there are issues, you have the legal money as a patient for a “real” case and not just cases to dig in to deep pockets.
Everybody is covered with the exception of elective surgery types, the same as today which we pay for, such as plastic surgery. Every citizen can change plans as desired as long as a demographic balance is kept and employers are off the hook to provide insurance as well.
The administrators have compliance departments too, which would have to go along with the plan, but this way you have both government and private industry involvement and voters with a say. I’m not a big proponent of taxes, but compared to what we have today, a few extra pennies to guarantee I get health care is a small price to pay and we are done with having to determine who can and can’t afford it and the folks that determine whether we get care or don’t get care.
Very simplistic plan that would need a ton of fine tuning…but perhaps some basic thoughts....
The doctor has some good points...and to it all comes back around to getting the bill paid...which is what we all want...health care without the red tape or someone making a decision on the patient's behalf of whether or not we can receive care when we need it..BD
The American Medical Association we used to know - stiff-necked, open only to old ideas and reactionary - is not the American Medical Association of today. Once it was opposed to any government health care, especially Medicare, and it sought to limit its benefits. Now it has become one of Medicare's biggest boosters. I'll bet if you asked your doctor or any of the medical professionals you deal with, they would support a national health plan such as Medicare for All over private insurance. Doctors' practices may have gone corporate, but most of them know what constitutes good care. Indeed, more than 15,000 physicians and the nation's leading medical journals have endorsed such a plan.
"Medicare was once a paragon of simplicity. ... There were a lot of regulations ... but if patients and doctors played within the rules - and there was only one set of rules - Medicare paid the bills quickly and efficiently ... with low administrative costs.... But it did not allow for the relentless demographics of our aging society."
As a result, he wrote, as the aging population grew, Congress seemed "shocked, shocked," at growing budgets and rather than allow for the growth, lawmakers took to cutting benefits and funding and introducing privatization, such as Medicare HMOs, and the present Medicare Advantage plans - which Wolfson called "ludicrous" because they only complicated the care of patients and the work of physicians.
Canada has the some of the same issues as we do....BD
OTTAWA - Canadians' low level of health literacy is adding "billions" of dollars in health care costs every year, says the president of the Canadian Council on Learning. Paul Cappon made the comment after the release of the council's latest study on health literacy, defined as "the ability of individuals to access and use health information to make appropriate health decisions and maintain basic health." The study builds on previously released data that shows 60 per cent of Canadian adults - including 88 per cent of those over 65 - lack that ability.
Why? They want to be paid...like all of us...being a physician is not a charity job...and you can't blame them...something we all ponder these days...will be bill be paid...both as a patient and as a medical professional..BD
COLUMBUS The Ohio State Medical Association on Thursday called for a state mandate requiring that all Ohioans have basic health care coverage, either through private insurance for those able to pay or through publicly subsidized coverage for low-income Ohioans without insurance. The proposal was part of the group's plan to improve the state's health care system at a time when an estimated 1.2 million Ohioans lack health insurance. Both Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland and the Republican-controlled legislature are working on plans to improve and expand coverage, but final legislative action is not likely until next year.
How are people coping? Many Americans simply don't have health insurance anymore. That's a big problem not only for families, who often put off going to the doctor, but also for society in general. People who hesitate buying medicine or seeing a doctor often end up very sick in hospital emergency rooms.
Most Americans are struggling to afford health insurance. In just the past few years, the cost of buying health insurance for your family has skyrocketed. I was talking with an insurance agent recently, who told me it's not unusual at all for his clients to be paying $1,000 to $1,400 per month for their family to be covered. I don't know many people who can easily afford those kinds of monthly insurance payments. Most who are paying them are making major sacrifices in other areas. The vast majority of Americans put health coverage very high on their list of priorities, so the other things that get left behind might surprise you. No question, the quality of life is far lower for many people now that they pay so much to be insured.
As this transparency progresses it's going to be a real eye opener to see how much each hospital gets paid, being both have the same procedure...how much more does one insurance company pay versus the competition...we all seem to think that procedures should be paid the same (the base codes) at each hospital, but once the numbers are posted...we'll all be able to see if this is or is not the case. How this affects hospitals will be interesting as well, with some receiving a higher reimbursement than others, etc. and I'm sure there will be more to the story once this is all visible...BD
Massachusetts consumers soon will have access to information long kept confidential by the healthcare industry: The prices individual hospitals are paid by insurers for performing specific procedures - data state officials hope will encourage comparison shopping and reduce medical costs.
State regulators, who approved the plan yesterday, said their goal is to begin posting the information on the Internet by March. They will spend the next few months deciding what treatment and procedures will be included in the data.
No Massachusetts hospitals are voluntarily disclosing the payments they receive, according to the Massachusetts Hospital Association, but there clearly is wide variation in what insurers pay. Blue Cross and Blue Shield pays from about $3,000 at one Massachusetts hospital to more than $5,000 at another for its HMO members for a normal delivery, including the cost of caring for the mother over a two-day hospital stay. Care of the infant is a separate charge.
And they did it with a relatively small IT staff...Doctors, nurses, and support staff needed the ability to continuously access and use medical applications as they moved throughout the facility....and it can save lives...BD
Overlake has also deployed tablet computers with integrated healthcare software to provide mobile access to patient records, hospital pharmacies, and ordering systems, creating a "portable office." Five new wireless carts equipped with Meditech software support bedside registration, improving the speed and accuracy of patient registration. Wireless coverage is also available to patients and visitors in common areas such as waiting rooms.
For example, specialists carrying VoWLAN handsets or PDAs can be rapidly located anywhere in the hospital's multicampus facility. Overlake is exploring ways of similarly tracking patients using active RFID tags on wheelchairs in conjunction with the Cisco Wireless Location Appliance.
Security was essential-the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accounting Act (HIPAA) outlines stringent requirements for the protection of patient information. The network infrastructure would have to allow only authorized users to access patient records, and help ensure that patient information was transmitted securely. The wireless infrastructure in particular would have to provide tight access control, advanced authentication techniques, and several encryption tools for enhanced privacy. And it would have to support a wide range of medical client devices with different security capabilities, such as PDAs, laptops, and tablet computers.
Good article and something I have been talking about for quite a while - MOBILITY. Yes I find this all the time, folks in my generation don't relate to mobility at all, they don't want to be bothered and in their minds require the computer sitting on their desk top to go online, and have no interest in the mobile world, in the meantime, the younger generation embraces information technology and uses it day to day, minute to minute..and so on......and the older generation just does not get it how the younger folks within seconds can have their information at their fingertips immediately...Whereas the older generation still feel this need to stop what they are doing, go in to the office, turn on the computer to be connected...
At some point in time if you don't tune in to mobility, you are going to be left out...and stumbled upon by the ones that do embrace mobile technology....you don't have to understand and use everything that is out there, but taking some time out to learn and use some basic mobile skills can't hurt...and this goes beyond just using a cell phone. Take a look and see what's out there and you might be pleasantly surprised at how some of the new technology can make things easier for you. Don't just talk about it...do it...and some of this is actually fun and might just put a smile on your face as you learn...BD
Not tonight, Honey. I'm online. Sound familiar? A survey of about 1,000 Americans showed that the Internet has become such an essential part of their every-day lives that 28% said they spend less time socializing with friends because of it. And 20% said they spend less time having sex because they're too busy online, according to a study by advertising agency JWT.
About half of people 35 and older said if they can't access the Internet when they want to, they feel like something important is missing.
The study also showed that people who didn't grow up with interactive digital technology tend to see online and offline as separate worlds. For people immersed in the technology, though, there's no big distinction. Online is just part of normal life, like a car and TV, they noted.
"Now it's connectivity with mobility that marks the digital generation divide," said Marian Salzman, a JWT spokesman in a written statement. "Older Americans are happy to sit in the same place to go online, while younger people expect to be able to connect anywhere at any time, without being tethered to a particular location or time frame. Mobility represents the next big shift."
For those respondents younger than 35, 78% said they don't own a desktop computer, compared with 93% of those older than 55. Instead, 61% of the under-35s own a laptop, compared with 36% of those over 55.
More security news today, healthcare workers be aware...keep up to date with your security updates and be sure to report anything strange to your IT department/agency. While at work refrain from going to websites you don't know...it used to be just email attachments, but now just clicking on a link in an unfamiliar websites can do you in...BD
BOSTON (Reuters) - A few weeks ago Candace Locklear's office computer quietly started sending out dozens of instant messages with photos attached that were infected with malicious software.
She was sitting at her desk, with no sign that the messaging software was active. By the time she figured out what was going on, several friends and colleagues had opened the attachments and infected their computers. It took eight hours for a technician to clean up her computer. But because the malicious software worked so secretly, she's still not convinced that all's clear.
It took eight hours for a technician to clean up her computer. But because the malicious software worked so secretly, she's still not convinced that all's clear.
"You won't know you are infected until one day your ISP turns you off or restricts access or money starts disappearing from your bank account," said Adam O'Donnell, a senior research scientist with Cloudmark, which sells anti-spam software.
Some are keyloggers, recording every key stroke that the user enters -- sending valuable bank account information, passwords and credit card numbers to hackers. And other malware programs turn PCs into "zombies," literally giving hackers full control over the machine. The zombies can be instructed to act as servers, sending out tens of thousands of spam emails promoting counterfeit medications, luxury watches or penny stocks without the PC owner ever knowing about it. The computer that controls the zombies -- known as the command and control center -- is able to change the text of the spam depending on what his or her customer wants to sell.
Do you work in a healthcare facility? Thinking about using one of the peer to peer music services at work...don't even go there...and read this article about what happened. As the article states, most folks do not know how to configure these services, thus items that were never meant to be shared get out in the world....and confidential information can be immediately picked up and used by thieves to steal identifies, credit card information, social security numbers, etc. BD
NEW YORK - Three spreadsheets containing more than 5,000 Social Security numbers and other personal details about customers of ABN Amro Mortgage Group were inadvertently leaked over an online file-sharing network by a former employee.
Tiversa Inc., a Pittsburgh company that offers data-leakage protection services, traced the origins of the ABN data to a Florida computer with the BearShare software installed. BearShare, LimeWire and scores of other programs are designed to distribute and find songs, movies and other files over the Gnutella file-sharing network.
Tiversa Chief Executive Robert Boback said file-sharing programs are commonly misconfigured to share documents their owners never intended to make public.
With such peer-to-peer sharing systems, files are obtained directly from another user's hard drive rather than a central hub like traditional Web sites. As a result, once a file begins to circulate, copies can sit on computers all over the world, ready to be grabbed by other users. Boback said more than 1 billion searches are conducted daily over peer-to-peer systems. A good number involve bank names, the word "password" and other terms that appear to be attempts by would-be thieves to dig up other people's sensitive documents, he said.
This is a great deal for anyone in school - medical school for that matter too..you can see the product advertised for over $500.00 at most retail electronics/office supply stores. If you think the student teacher version is a bargain, this is the full suite so get it while you can if you qualify. BD
Seize the deal! Get Microsoft® Office Ultimate 2007 for just $59.95. Its a total steal: save time and money with this premium offer. Office Ultimate 2007s brand new features and fresh look will help you organize and get all your work done in the blink of an eye. The Ultimate Steal is finally here, so grab it now!
The Ultimate Steal for Office 2007 is a special program for students with a University email address. College students (any student w/university email address) will be able to obtain a copy of Office 2007 Ultimate for $59.95.
You must hold a valid email address at a U.S. educational institution ending in .edu (for example, firstname.lastname@example.org) and
Be actively enrolled with at least 0.5 course load.
More from Microsoft Here: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/suites/HA101750051033.aspx?pid=CL101732621033
Great article about using inking and math solving with a tablet PC...if you do not have Microsoft Silverlight added you can download here and give this a try..one more way to make inking easier to use and less work on the keyboard...really useful when you are mobile...great way to search for medical information right from the tablet..links provided below to the demo pages once Silverlight has been installed...BD
How Google could support handwritten queries Over the last couple weeks I've been talking more about the idea of handwriting search engine queries--and particularly about leveraging handwriting to ease the process of entering complicated text queries, such as math problems. You can try out the Silverlight app at www.TabletPCPost.com/search for yourself if you haven't done so yet. It lets you handwrite queries within the browser (using a stylus or a mouse or other pointing device) and then recognizes your handwriting on a remote server and then sends off the recognition results to Google when you're ready.
Source: Incremental Blogger
The latest commentary from the doctor...check out prior versions...posted on the blog..BD
The petri dish evolves...cells grow faster in some instances and have a more realistic shape and size...BD
PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] A team of Brown University biomedical engineers has invented a 3-D Petri dish that can grow cells in three dimensions, a method that promises to quickly and cheaply produce more realistic cells for drug development and tissue transplantation. The technique employs a new dish cleverly crafted from a sugary substance long used in science laboratories that allows cells to self-assemble naturally and form microtissues. A description of how the 3-D dish works appears in the journal Tissue Engineering. Its a new technology with a lot of promise to improve biomedical research, said Jeffrey Morgan, a Brown professor of medical science and engineering.
The clear, rubbery dish is the size of a silver dollar. It is made from a water-based gel made of agarose, a complex carbohydrate long used in molecular biology. This gel has a few benefits. It is porous, allowing nutrients and waste to circulate. And it is non-adhesive, so cells won’t stick to it. At the bottom of the dish sit 820 tiny recesses or wells. When cells are added to the dish –about 1 million at a time – roughly 1,000 sink to the bottom of each well and form a pile. These close quarters allow cells to self-assemble, or form natural cell-to-cell connections, a process not possible in traditional Petri dishes.
New 20 minute procedure designed to reduce to eliminate chronic heartburn symptoms and medication use...good news for patients with GERD...BD
NDO Surgical, Inc. (NDO) announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared the Company's Plicator II(TM) multiple implant technology for immediate sale and distribution. Plicator II technology offers improved outcomes for harder-to-treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) patients.
The Full-Thickness Plicator™ procedure is a non-surgical, endoscopic GERD treatment based
on the proven principles of anti-reflux surgery. The procedure allows the physician to create a full-thickness plication at the gastroesophageal junction under direct endoscopic visualization; enhancing the competency of the gastric cardia and restoring the normal anti-reflux barrier. Patients are treated on an outpatient basis and usually are able to return to normal activities the following day.
Sometimes I even find this difficult to relay to some health care workers when emphasizing the use of passwords and other log on procedures...yes it takes a few extra seconds to log in but for security reasons...well worth it and well worth the effort for all the patients...Security is always a most difficult subject for me at at times as it is an expense with no real return on investment, but if you are caught without it...well e all know the downside...BD
For the most part, EHR systems are no more vulnerable to hackers than other kinds of application software used in other industries, the report states. However, medical software users are less aware of vulnerabilities and are spending less on IT security as a portion of their revenues, the study found.
The good news: The “risk of vulnerability exploitation can be dramatically reduced when vulnerabilities are known and appropriate security controls are in place,” the report’s executive summary states.
Former AMA President speaks out on reduction of Physician reimbursements...and what we need to do as patients to help the cause...BD
Doctors are counting on baby boomers, that huge demographic lump closing in on retirement, to protest to lawmakers when they can't find a doctor who will take a patient on Medicare, the American Medical Association's past president said today. Dr. William G. Plested III, a California surgeon, said a self-selecting survey of doctors nationally found that 60 percent of doctors plan to limit the number of new Medicare patients they treat if planned cuts of 10 percent in Medicare reimbursement take effect Jan. 1.
But Congress won't make any changes unless patients protest, Plested said. "That's why I'm thrilled about the boomers, because they won't take no for an answer."
2nd opinions never hurt, especially with something like cancer...this woman would have undergone needless chemotherapy...5 potential red flags to look for...#2 is something you can do immediately..check Google to compare the diagnosis from your MD....BD
(CNN) -- In June 2004, Trisha Torrey found a golf ball-size lump in her torso. A surgeon removed it and gave her the grim news: cancer. art.avoid.misdiagnosis.cnn.jpg If you don't get better after treatment, ask your doctor more questions. And it wasn't just any cancer but an extremely rare type of lymphoma. "The oncologist told me that if I didn't begin chemo immediately," says Torrey, "I would be dead by Christmas." The 52-year-old marketing consultant says she was petrified. But something in her gut told her the diagnosis was wrong. Her doctor assured her it was right: two labs had confirmed the subcutaneous panniculitis-like T-cell lymphoma. Against her doctor's orders, Torrey delayed chemo and went to another oncologist, who sent a tissue sample to the National Institutes of Health. The result: Torrey never had cancer.
2. Your symptoms don't match your diagnosis
This is where the Internet comes in. You don't have to be a medical professional to Google your diagnosis.
Physicians lobby group for single payer plan...more information at the link below..BD
Physicians for a National Health Program is a single issue organization advocating a universal, comprehensive single-payer national health program. PNHP has more than 14,000 members and chapters across the United States. Since 1987, we've advocated for reform in the U.S. health care system. A large part of our work involves educating health professionals about the benefits of a single-payer system--including fewer administrative costs and affording health insurance for the 46 million Americans who have none.
Yet another site where ratings and votes are taken...this time on the "Sicko" web site where you can "Rate Your Insurance Provider", complete with comments and stories....out of 5 stars possible, nobody broke 3 stars anywhere on this survey...
Follow the link below for more information...BD
RFID technology is huge for hospitals and can really help with devices, supplies, even wheelchairs from leaving the premises and help locate urgently needed devices and supplies as needed. BD
AT&T Inc. has developed a comprehensive portfolio of products and services designed specifically to help health care providers increase productivity, improve patient care and reduce overall health costs. San Antonio-based AT&T (NYSE: T) is offering heath companies a radio frequency identification (RFID) system that will allow them to track equipment, devices and patients.
AT&T officials say with the introduction of the system, the company has become the first network service provider to offer RFID for health care organizations. AT&T will install Wi-Fi networks and related equipment in hospitals. The company will also supply the RFID tags and software. The RFID system works with a local wireless network. Through this system, hospital staff members can track via a Web browser the locations of products, such as blood pressure monitoring devices, EKG machines, gurneys, infusion pumps, crash carts, wheelchairs, computers and laptops.
Paul Levy, CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess hospital in Boston offers another view on how bacteria is transmitted in view of the recent decision in the UK to ban the white coats...BD
Of course, I immediately asked our infection control people about this, seeing a potential opportunity to improve patient care and make life more comfortable for male doctors.
Excerpts from their response: The focus should remain on good hand hygiene and cleaning of equipment (especially stethoscopes) all of which actually touch the patient. If health care workers cleaned their hands well immediately before touching a patient, it wouldnt matter if their ties, white coats, palm pilots or pagers were colonized, since these things presumably have minimal contact with the patient, if any. Although all of these fomites have been shown in studies to become colonized, there has never been data proving transmission of infection to a patient. This topic comes up every year it is a big distraction from the real issues. The CDC and SHEA (Society of Healthcare Epidemiology of America) agree with this stance.
Anti Aging...put this one on my list! BD
WASHINGTON - Researchers said on Thursday they had found more ways to activate the body’s own anti-aging defenses — perhaps with a pill that could fight multiple diseases at once.
Their study, published in the journal Cell, helps explain why animals fed very low-calorie diets live longer, but it also offers new ways to try to replicate the effects of these diets using a pill instead of hunger, the researchers said.
Sinclair and colleagues have found in other studies that even if the rest of a cell is destroyed — the nucleus and other parts — it can still function if the mitochondria are alive.
His team found that fasting raises levels of another protein called NAD. This, in turn, activates SIRT3 and SIRT4 in the mitochondria of the cell and these help keep the mitochondria youthful.
Example of a virtual workspace being used to present a surgical procedure, all in one setting bringing several elements together for the entire experience...BD
The agreement between the companies announced today at the Intel Developer Forum enables a new desktop visualization edition of Qwaq Forums that will integrate 2-D desktop applications and shared 3-D information workspaces for large numbers of users to easily visualize and manipulate enterprise information. Qwaq and Intel plan to work together to integrate Miramar technology into this new cross-platform edition of Qwaq Forums, which is expected be available next year. Justin Rattner, Intel Senior Fellow and director, Corporate Technology Group and Intel chief technology officer, demonstrated these new technologies today in his keynote on the future of virtual worlds.
A Qwaq Forums virtual auditorium is being used to present a surgical procedure. The screen on the left is Miramar technology, the screen on the right is a video feed, and the 3D model is a representation of the patient.
California at the low end of the spectrum...we have more managed care...HMOs...physicians with some of the lowest paying contracts in the US...and even with our high number of uninsured...still spending less at 12% below the national average...BD
Staying healthy is a costly business in the United States, particularly in the Northeast, government statistics show. Annual health care spending per person totaled $6,409 in New England and $6,151 in the rest of the Northeast, compared to a national average of $5,283, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reports in Tuesday's issue of the journal Health Affairs. The totals include spending on individual health care from all sources, including insurance, personal expenses, Medicare, Medicaid and other sources, for 2004, the most recent figures available.
_Two states that have actively worked to improve health care had widely different spending patterns. California's per capita spending level was 12 percent below the national average at $4,638 while Massachusetts was nearly 27 percent above the average.
California had a below-average percentage of the population under age 65, an above-average share of the uninsured population, and a higher proportion of residents enrolled in health maintenance organizations in 2004, compared to Massachusetts.
And now a word about neurology news....New imaging technology to automate and bring MRI capabilities to the physician's desktop with intracranial structures....BD
LA JOLLA, Calif., Sept 20, 2007 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- CorTechs Labs Inc., a pioneer in the development of advanced analysis methods for neuroimaging data, today announced the commercial release of NeuroQuant(TM), a software tool that can deliver fully-automated neurological magnetic resonance image analysis and reporting to the physician's desktop. This novel capability promises to make quantitative MRI analysis a routine part of clinical practice. NeuroQuant. is currently compatible with Mac OS X and Linux-based computers for use with 3D MRI scans.
NeuroQuant(TM) has received 510(k) clearance from the FDA for marketing as a medical device "intended for automatic labeling, visualization and volumetric quantification of segmentable brain structures from a set of MR images". It can receive MRI scans routed from a scanner or Picture-Archiving and Communication System (PACS) as input and can automatically return age-related atrophy reports and numerical and color-blended anatomical volumes annotated with graphical overlays to most DICOM-compliant PACS viewers or third-party workstations. NeuroQuant(TM) can be configured to provide automated MRI quantification solutions that meet the needs of independent healthcare providers, imaging centers, and large enterprises conducting multi-site clinical trials.
Hat Tip: Medgadget
Encouraging healthier lifestyles...on the war of obesity...BD
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was in his element Wednesday, urging students to "get pumped up" and stay healthy as he and former President Bill Clinton toured Columbia Middle School on California Avenue. The visit was meant to recognize the school's award-winning physical education and nutrition programs. Columbia was one of only 26 schools nationwide to receive a bronze award from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a partnership between Clinton's philanthropic foundation and the American Heart Association.
Dr. Daniel Jones, president of the American Heart Association, said programs like the one at Columbia will go a long way toward preventing students from having to deal with many of the health problems related to excessive weight, including hypertension, heart disease and diabetes.
Still standing on his position for a veto on health care issue spending...BD
The White House in recent days told nearly a dozen Cabinet secretaries to send letters to Capitol Hill rejecting Democrats' proposed new funds for their agencies, escalating a confrontation between lawmakers and President Bush over domestic spending priorities. The Democratic Congress is considering 2008 spending bills that increase funding for politically popular programs including health care for veterans, education, medical research and infrastructure improvements. But Bush, who is under pressure from fiscal conservatives, has promised to veto nearly all the new spending.
You know I have to agree here with perhaps "robot overload" here...this picture from Engadget says it all...BD
TOKYO (Reuters) - Ifbot, the resident robot at a Japanese nursing home, can converse, sing, express emotions and give trivia quizzes to seniors to help with their mental agility. Yet the pale-green gizmo has spent much of the past two years languishing in a corner alone. "The residents liked ifbot for about a month before they lost interest," said Yasuko Sawada, director of the facility in Kyoto, western Japan, shaking her head as she contemplated the 495,000 yen ($4,300), 45-cm-tall (18-inch-tall) "communication robot". "Stuffed animals are more popular," she remarked dryly.
Hat Tip: Engdget
Thank goodness for coding errors...didn't have time to debug obviously...and another good reason for cross training and having more than one individual in charge of certain Health IT areas...BD
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) A computer administrator at one of the nation's largest prescription drug management companies admitted Wednesday he planted an electronic "bomb" in the company's computer system. Yung-Hsun Lin, 51, of Montville, pleaded guilty to one count of transmitting computer code with the intent of causing damage in excess of $5,000. The crime carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares set sentencing for Jan. 8.
Authorities said Lin was angry at the possibility of losing his job at Medco Health Solutions' office in Fair Lawn after the company was spun off from Merck & Co. in 2003. Lin was arrested last December and charged with two counts of computer fraud. The indictment alleged that in Oct. 2003, he created the bomb designed to delete virtually all data from 70 targeted servers by modifying existing computer code and adding new code.
It allegedly was set to detonate automatically on April 23, 2004 his birthday. Due to a programming error, it didn't go off. Even after surviving a round of layoffs, Lin admitted he modified the bomb's code to have it detonate on his next birthday. But the company found and disabled it before it could cause any damage. Among the targeted databases was one that tracked patient-specific drug interaction conflicts, prosecutors said at the time of Lin's arrest.
This is really a neat idea...and really functional...anyone who has spent any time on crutches can relate to this one. BD
Being on crutches is challenging enough. Having no way to carry your stuff only makes things worse. That's the beauty of Crutch Tote" - the ultimate crutch accessory! Strap this clever pouch to your crutches, and you have an instant, hands-free carry bag. Its two roomy pockets hold an amazing range of necessities.
Fits underarm crutches of all heights (tuck the bottom pocket up for use with children’s crutches)
Attaches easily with Velcro® straps
Later, it makes a great organizer
Hat Tip: (good find) Medlaunches
In regard to John Stossel's Sept. 13 editorial-page commentary "Sick Sob Stories": By focusing on the narrow subject of bone marrow transplantation, Mr. Stossel is missing the big picture of the major problems in health care in the U.S. He fails to comment on the fact that there are 47 million people in the U.S. who do not have any health care.
While promoting health care for profit, he neglects to mention that 31% of health-care costs in this country are for administrative salaries and advertising. Salaries of HMO executives (along with their lawyers and lobbyists) are obscene. The previous CEO of United Health Care made $1.6 billion (including back dated stock options) last year. This is not where health-care dollars should go. The current for-profit health-care system is not working.
Hospital CEOs also going to lobby for the State Children's Fund...which expires at the end of September without funding... BD
According to the National Association of Children's Hospitals, a group of more than 150 children hospital CEO's, medical directors, trustees and other hospital executives representing more that 50 children hospitals around the nation headed to Capitol Hill on Wednesday. This massive undertaking is to lobby congress to reauthorize the State Childrens Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). At the end of September, SCHIP expires. If this is allowed to happen, children nationwide will lose coverage. According to Lawrence A McAndrews, president and CEO of the National Association of Children's Hospitals, he is encouraged by the ongoing negotiations between the house and the senate. If they stay focused on the needs of all children, SCHIP will keep going.
Children hospital representatives from the States of: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida , Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin will be present.
Need to find a hospital somewhere in the US - good reference page along with some other tools and patient guides...provided by the American Hospital Association. BD
The U.S. News/American Hospital Association National Directory has facts and figures on more than 6,000 hospitals.
Ok, ok, I might fall into some of this too...but where is the ICD-9 Code so we can enter Web Detox? How long before this becomes a diagnosis? BD
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Surfing the net has become an obsession for many Americans with the majority of U.S. adults feeling they cannot go for a week without going online and one in three giving up friends and sex for the Web. ADVERTISEMENT A survey asked 1,011 American adults how long they would feel OK without going on the Web, to which 15 percent said a just a day or less, 21 percent said a couple of days and another 19 percent said a few days.
Cell phones won out over television in a question asking which device people couldn't go without but the Internet trumped all, regarded as the most necessary.It also found that 20 percent said they spend less time having sex because they are online.
"It is taking away from offline activities, among them having sex, socializing face-to-face, watching TV and reading newspapers and magazines. It cuts into that share," said Mack. "I don't suppose their partners are too pleased about it."
Good potential news for lung cancer treatment if the product is successfully brought to the market place...BD
TCAT is designed to offer a means of deriving a therapeutic pharmacological effect by acting upon a naturally occurring substance in the body. The technology is based on the principle of using an enzyme to catalyse the metabolism (catabolism) of an endogenous substrate molecule in order to yield metabolites of therapeutic benefit.
L-DOS47 is unlike any cancer therapeutic on the market today. Its pharmacological effect is based on a biochemical enzyme reaction, whereby the urease compound acts repeatedly on the urea compound in a continuous manner. By doing so, L-DOS47 is expected to have the potential for unprecedented lung cancer fighting abilities, by acting in a repetitive manner to kill lung cancer cells.
Within 48 hours the centers can determine if the donations are contaminated and discarded...BD
The Platelet Pan Genera Detection (PGD) Test System is a disposable test strip for use in a hospital transfusion service setting. It is intended to supplement current quality control testing methods used by blood establishments following collection of platelets using an automated instrument.
Bacterial contamination of platelets is the leading infectious cause of transfusion-related patient fatalities. The risk of a patient receiving a transfusion contaminated with bacteria is 1 in 5,000 -- far greater than the risk of transmitting hepatitis C virus (1 in 1.6 million) or HIV (1 in 1.9 million).
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced today, Thursday, that it has approved FluMist, the nasal influenza vaccine, for the treatment of healthy young children between 2 and 5 years old. This increases the range of patients in the US that can now be treated with the vaccine, which previously was limited to healthy children over 5 and adults up to the age of 49.
Does the FDA fully investigate new drugs before their release..and secondly is it possible in today's health care...having some additional information with clinical trials available certainly could not hurt...BD
WASHINGTON -- -- When a major medical journal raised questions about heart risks from a leading diabetes drug earlier this year, many patients began avoiding the drug. But concern turned to dismay when news emerged that both the Food and Drug Administration and the manufacturer had also picked up worrisome signals about the drug -- but had not sounded an alarm, pending further study. Today, the drug, Avandia, remains controversial. But the larger issue is what kept warning signs about Avandia from reaching the public for months. The labyrinthine system for reporting on clinical trials of new drugs makes it hard even for scientists to tell what's been found.
United States also a participant here with research to develop a vaccine...BD
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today grants totaling $280 million to help fight tuberculosis, an epidemic that infects one-third of people on earth and kills nearly 2 million yearly - mostly in the poorest countries. The 11 new grants will speed research and development on promising vaccines, diagnostic tests, and treatments to help reduce the global TB burden. "TB science has advanced significantly over the past five years, and these grants build on this momentum and the progress that has been made," said Dr. Tachi Yamada, president of the Gates Foundation's Global Health Program. "By bringing together a wide range of partners, including scientists from countries heavily affected by TB, we hope to help translate promising ideas into tools that can save millions of lives.
Good news for treating staph....BD
Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, L.L.C., announced that the investigational antibiotic ceftobiprole was as effective as commonly used combination therapy in treating patients with complicated skin infections caused by a broad spectrum of bacteria. Ceftobiprole also was found to clinically cure more than 90% of patients who had infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), including patients with complicated skin infections due to PVL- positive methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA). These new data were presented in two posters at the 47th Annual Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC).
Several other recipients listed as well...the grant to mostly boost Health Care IT and Technology...BD
Johns Hopkins University (JHU) of Baltimore, Maryland, USA, has received a grant of 100 million US dollars to improve the speed and efficiency with which medical innovations become new treatments for patients. The money, which is spread over 5 years, will establish the Johns Hopkins Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR). In effect it will support over 100 faculty members throughout JHU, including the schools of Medicine, Engineering, Nursing and Public Health.
As the Vioxx story continues....BD
New York State Attorney General Andrew M Cuomo and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg have filed a lawsuit against Merck & Co Inc accusing the drugmaker of hiding risks posed by Vioxx and thereby defrauding Medicaid, the state supported insurance programme, of the moneys paid out for the prescriptions.
And yet one more article about kiosks as used in Health care...I am a big proponent of these and a Sahara Tablet from Tablet Kiosk fits the bill with a touch screen unit...the design on the unit makes it easy to swap out another unit as well..something others may not offer...The ER Room is a great place for this technology...BD
Several hospitals around the nation are installing self-service computers in their emergency departments to facilitate patient check-in, helping to speed up the registration process, offer patients additional privacy and aid nurses in determining the most urgent cases, the AP/Chicago Tribune reports. The computers are geared toward cases without immediate need, while serious emergency cases, such as gunshot or car crash patients with serious injuries, are still treated immediately.
FDA waiting for lawmakers too...BD
FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach on Friday in a memo said 2,000 agency employees might receive layoff notices as early as the end of this week in the event that lawmakers do not finalize a bill (HR 2900 and S 1082) to reauthorize the Prescription Drug User Fee Act, which expires on Sept. 30, the Washington Post reports.
3 Year study shows how tablets are helping both patients and physicians when it comes to health care for Cancer ...better information and tracking...better patient care..both patients and MD's are using tablets at this location....BD
ANN ARBOR, Mich., Sept. 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- In a study published by the Journal of Supportive Care in Cancer, researchers from Thomson Healthcare found that when cancer patients used a handheld computer before office visits to rate and report their pain, fatigue, and depression, doctors were significantly more likely to address these potentially debilitating symptoms and side effects. Thomson Healthcare is part of The Thomson Corporation .
The three-year study, sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, evaluated the PACE System(TM) (Patient Assessment, Care and Education), which uses notebook-sized tablet PCs equipped with touch-screen technology and specialized software. When patients arrived for office visits, they used the handheld computers to complete a self-assessment that automatically uploaded to a wireless network and produced a detailed, real-time report on their symptoms for their doctors.
More than half the patients in the study said the assessment helped them remember symptoms, and 44 percent said it helped them discuss symptoms with their physician.
A once a year injection of an osteoporosis drug has been found to reduce the number of new hip fractures for older people and also saves lives. Experts say that 36 percent of patients who suffer a hip fracture die within two years of the incident and such individuals are also five to 10 times more likely to suffer another hip fracture. A new study has found that when such patients are given the osteoporosis drug zoledronic acid (Reclast) their risk of suffering another hip fracture is reduced. In a study funded by the drug company Novartis which makes Reclast, involved 1,065 participants who were given the once-a-year injections, it was found that compared with another 1,062 participants who given a placebo, they were 35% less likely to have a recurrent fracture.
This is all done with private funding, but still leaves a lot of questions...these are things we should do anyway. The video states that we do this anyway in the form of tax breaks, etc. and is not sure if it will work, but something new out there. Myself, mixed feelings here...yes it will motivate some, but on the other hand, is not a child's health important enough without having to get paid for it? Nobody would pay me to to go the doctor, but I have to pay them when I go? Anyone else have any thoughts on this one? BD
ABC's "World News" on Wednesday examined a New York City program that pays cash rewards to low-income parents for taking their children to the doctor or engaging in other positive behaviors, such as reviewing their children's school work. The program launched on Wednesday and is funded by $50 million from private contributors, including New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Under the program, about 5,000 low-income families will receive various financial rewards as an incentive for doing "small things ... that can make a big difference," such as $200 for taking a child to a doctor and $50 for opening a bank account, "World News" reports.
Video of the segment is available online.
They are having some of the same issues...BD
Widespread obesity is draining NHS resources, say a new independent report commissioned by health policy think-tank the King's Fund. The report examined the NHS over the past five years. It concluded that a dramatic increase in funding will be required if immediate steps aren't taken to tackle health problems such as smoking and obesity. "Obesity has long been known as a major cause of Type 2 diabetes," said Simon O'Neil, Director of Care, Information, and Advocacy at Diabetes UK.
I CERTAINLY AGREE WITH THIS ONE...EVERYBODY IS A CONSUMER AND IT IS SO VERY DIFFICULT TO FIND A HEALTH PLAN TODAY...HOW MUCH CAN ONE READ AND COMPARE BEFORE THEY ARE TOTALLY MESMERIZED...IT'S LIKE WALKING IN TO A STORE WITH TOO MANY CHOICES, YOU LEAVE AND BUY NOTHING...Maybe the insurance folks might think about this too....might help the marketing efforts...BD
Congress must require that the dizzying array of benefit packages available through Medicare private health plans be standardized, to help Americans with Medicare make informed decisions about choosing a health plan and to protect them from unexpected, high out-of-pocket costs, according to the California Health Advocates and Medicare Rights Center in a new report.
The California Health Advocates and Medicare Rights Center recommend that the National Association of Insurance Commissioners establish an expert panel including state insurance regulators, consumer representatives and representatives from both the plans and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to develop model regulations. The development of standard benefit packages should seek to accomplish these goals:
Interesting story on this new technique, and the doctor states you do need to have some sort of exercise routine to benefit..the procedure dissolves persistent pockets of fat and involves 10 to 20 injections....fat cells breka down in to 2 components..triglycerides and glycerol. The process is not yet scientifically unproven and doesn't have adequate safety data yet. BD
Men go to surgeon John Decorato's seeking "lunchtime lipo" for their turkey wattles, that "little jowling" under the chin. Women want it for "almost anything." Face and neck. Arms. Inner or outer thighs. Knees. "Have you ever seen the six-pack abdomens? You can actually create that for people." says Dr. Decorato, a general and plastic surgeon in New York City who speaks to doctors on behalf of the makers of SmartLipo, a laser-assisted fat liquifying device approved by Health Canada in June that claims to deflate everything from saddle bags to male breasts swiftly and efficiently without need for a general anesthetic or hospital stay. Treatments often take less than an hour.
"The glycerol you pee it out, and the triglycerides immediately go to your liver," says Shah, who has performed 626 treatments.
Hat Tip: Medlaunches
Hopefully there will be more information soon on this breakthrough...BD
The British Midlands Development Corporation announced that the University of Nottingham in the British Midlands has released a statement promoting the development of a possible Hepatitis C Vaccine. The United Kingdom is home to Europe's largest biotechnology sector, generating revenues in excess of $8.6 billion per year. In central England is the British Midlands region, which is at the heart of the UK's biopharma and medical device industries.
One more plan...I wonder who really has the time to investigate all the plans available? BD
Michigan-based American Community Mutual Insurance is offering a new type of insurance plan that will have low monthly premiums and allow policyholders to purchase up to $5 million in additional health coverage in the event of serious illness or injury, the Wall Street Journal reports. The plan is being marketed to healthy U.S. residents between ages 19 and 34.
Use the reference items on the right hand side of this page to sign up the the FREE E-PRESCRIBING INITIATIVE IF YOU ARE NOT ALREADY SET UP...IT IS FREE AND THE LINK IS ALWAYS HERE...BD
Use of electronic prescribing in Medicare could prevent as many as 1.9 million medication errors and save the program as much as $29 billon over the next 10 years, Mark Merritt, CEO of Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, said on Wednesday, CQ HealthBeat reports. According to supporters, e-prescribing could help prevent medication errors related to illegible prescriptions, overuse and adverse reactions. Merritt said that Congress this fall would consider legislation to require physicians who participate in Medicare to use e-prescribing.
MedPointe Pharmaceuticals announced that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved SOMA(R) (carisoprodol) 250 mg as a new recommended dose of SOMA for the relief of discomfort associated with acute, painful musculoskeletal conditions, such as backache. SOMA 250 mg offers comparable efficacy to the widely prescribed skeletal muscle relaxant SOMA 350 mg with a more favorable tolerability profile, including less drowsiness. SOMA 250 mg will be available by prescription nationwide immediately.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved use of the five-day, once-daily regimen of LEVAQUIN(R) (levofloxacin) 750 mg I.V. and oral, for the treatment of complicated urinary tract infections (cUTI) and acute pyelonephritis (AP).
"The availability of this high-dose, short-course antibiotic regimen provides clinicians with an important tool in the management of cUTI and AP," said Richard David, MD, FACS, Associate Clinical Professor of Urology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. "Patients do not always finish a longer course of antibiotics. A shorter course of antibiotic offers patients the convenience of five day, once-daily therapy."
All are not considered equal...some will benefit while others may not...BD
Our hospitals are unable to withstand the cuts," said Ellen Murphy Meehan, executive director of the Alliance of Massachusetts Safety Net Hospitals. "The cuts are even more dramatic than what the state has estimated. Some hospitals will see their payments decline by three-quarters." Massachusetts hospitals have traditionally been required to provide care to patients who go to emergency rooms, regardless of insurance coverage or ability to pay for treatment. The unpaid bills were reimbursed through the state's Free Care Pool, an account funded by insurance companies. Under healthcare reform, the pool is being remade into the Health Safety Net Trust Fund. The new fund will pay hospitals for treating patients who still lack healthcare coverage.
"The hospitals have been working very hard to get people to sign up for health insurance, but the enrollment numbers are meager and the hospitals are going to be paying the financial price for the failure of individuals to enroll," said Meehan.
One more good reason to think about a tablet...I can't tell you how many times convenience enters the picture..with a tablet I don't have to walk around with the "open pizza box" effect, looking for somewhere to place a notebook, instead I can use the unit with ease and not look for somewhere to place the device. bD
Alaska Air said it will test a system from Row 44, a provider of broadband communication for airlines, on a Boeing 737 aircraft in spring 2008. Based on that trial's outcome, it plans to equip its 114-aircraft fleet.
Ok Guys, let's clean up your act...or invest in some wipes for the pocket..BD
CHICAGO, Illinois (AP) -- The gender gap has widened when it comes to hygiene, according to the latest stakeout by the "hand washing police." Turner Field Atlanta's Turner Field is a haven for males who practice poor hygiene: Only 57 percent of men there washed up. One-third of men didn't bother to wash after using the bathroom, compared with 12 percent of women, said the researchers who spy on people in public restrooms. They reported their latest findings Monday at a meeting of infectious disease scientists. Two years ago, the last time the survey was done, only one-quarter of men didn't wash, compared with 10 percent of women. "Guys need to step up to the sink," said Brian Sansoni, spokesman for the Soap and Detergent Association, which co-sponsors the survey and related education campaigns.
Carry sanitizer gels and wipes in case the means to wash your hands aren't handy, suggested microbiologist Judy Daly of Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake City, who led the project.
More on employer insurance plans...the wellness move...BD
How would you like your company to make headlines for saving one million dollars in medical costs while improving employee benefits? It happened to Dynamic Dies, Inc., as explained Monday at the 20th Annual Benefits Management Forum & Expo (in Dallas, Texas) by Jill Kopanis, the company's Corporate Human Resource Director.
So what did Kopanis and her employer do to achieve such success? They "created 170 benefits specialists" by educating and partnering with the Dynamic Dies workforce--and their spouses. Kopanis explained that the winning plan for controlling medical costs involved four "Ates"--evaluate, educate, communicate and motivate.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Evista (raloxifene hydrochloride) for reducing the risk of invasive breast cancer in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis and in postmenopausal women at high risk for invasive breast cancer. Evista is only the second drug approved to reduce the risk of breast cancer. Evista is commonly referred to as a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM). In reducing the risk of invasive breast cancer, SERMs may act by blocking estrogen receptors in the breast.
More details on the national health care plan...BD
Hillary Clinton unveiled the third part of her plan today to ensure that all Americans have affordable, quality health insurance. Building on her proposals to rein in costs and to insist on value and quality, her American Health Choices Plan will secure, simplify and ensure choice in health coverage for every American. "My plan covers all Americans and improves health care by lowering costs and improving quality," Clinton said. "If youre one of the tens of millions of Americans without coverage or if you dont like the coverage you have, you will have a choice of plans to pick from and youll get tax credits to help pay for it. If you like the plan you have, you can keep it. Its a plan that works for Americas families and Americas businesses, while preserving consumer choices. Read more from the links below.
And at the same day we have this...BD
On a day when Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was trying to draw attention to her proposal for universal health care, one of her rivals, John Edwards sought to one-up her with an out-of the-box proposal of his own. According to the Edwards campaign, at a speech before the Laborers Leadership Convention in Chicago, Edwards said:
On the first day of my administration, I will submit legislation that ends health care coverage for the president, all members of Congress, and all senior political appointees in both branches of government on July 20th, 2009 -- unless we have passed universal health care reform.
I have used Epocrates for quite a while, but this new software also deserves mentioning as it does a very good job as well. It is also free upon registration and also has a nice format for looking up drugs and insurance carriers for coverage. It takes a while to configure online and you select both the categories or individual drugs you want included as well as the health plans. This listing also has some large employer, union, etc. groups included. The process is pretty straight forward to use, once you have loaded your selected data base of insurance payers and drugs. You can use the online version and also download a Windows Mobile version for use on a Cell Phone/PDA unit. If you download the PDA version, you will also need to have the net compact framework for the unit which can be found at the link below. Install the framework before installing the program software.
What really was mind boggling is the number of payers for California here, and I'm sure the list will continue to grow. BD
Fingertip Formulary announces the immediate availability of Fingertip Formulary Mobile, a free formulary service designed for healthcare providers. The Fingertip Formulary database covers approximately 95% of the managed care lives in the U.S. and Puerto Rico and offers healthcare professionals access to the largest and most accurate source of formulary data available. Fingertip Formulary Mobile is a simple- to-use, unique, handheld application that is available for download to Palm and Pocket PC compatible PDAs, as well as in real-time, via Internet-connected PDAs.
Some hospitals in Massachusetts already stepping forward on the upcoming Medicare provisions stating they will pay for errors, but as the article states, sometimes errors and what caused them are not always black and white. BD
Moore sees another possible outcome: The threat of nonpayment will be so powerful that hospitals will find ways to dramatically reduce poor outcomes.
About half of Massachusetts hospitals say they have adopted policies to waive charges for serious medical errors such as wrong-site surgery and harmful medication mistakes, and others say they plan to, amid growing resistance from government and health insurers to paying for poor outcomes.
In some cases, hospitals will not have a choice. Medicare, the federal insurance program for the elderly and disabled, decided last month that, beginning in October 2008, it will no longer pay hospitals for care resulting from eight complications, including falls, objects left inside patients during surgery, pressure ulcers, and three types of hospital-acquired infections.
The non-profit group said it was switching gears on its advertising and public education campaigning this year to stress the need for a coordinated health care system that covers the 47 million Americans who do not have health insurance. "As a member of civil society, we have made tremendous progress in the fight against cancer, but that progress will not continue unless all Americans have access to quality health care," John Seffrin, the group's chief executive officer, said in a statement.
From a health care stand point, the message I receive from this article, is start paying cash...pay your doctor with cash if don't want the visit added to the over bulging data bases full of medical statistics, etc. and don't forget about the MIB, medical insurance bureau...the information is supposed to be antonymous, but don't take that too lightly as data base experts can link and relate data as needed. More than likely with a few queries to compare information, matches are made and much of this is not disclosed as the public data bases may be considered to be in the public information area; however, the queries run to compare them are NOT in most cases, and this is known in some circles as data mining. Information can be used both for beneficial uses and those not so beneficial.
Many databases are for sale as well, think of it when you get emails, phone solicitors..it all comes from data collected and we have been at this for a number of years now so the information contained is huge and efforts to query and consolidate data for information purposes is not going to stop anytime soon. This is a bit of an abstract, but think about this..will the day come when you visit your physician, for him/her to have what you purchased last at the grocery store to identify your eating habits, not to mention what type of laundry detergent you use, if you wanted to go that far, and at the same time have a full record of where you eat out, what medications you have filled at the pharmacies, any history of automobile accidents, what type of computer you use at home, and whether or not you research health items as a practice? They could also have your entire medical claims history right at their fingertips as well as a full listing of visits you have made to any medical facility.
In some areas, you have no control over what is entered and some you still do. Anyway, I think paying your doctor cash when you can, just may not be a bad idea...for the entire visit though, as a deductible payment still goes into insurance data bases for claim payment for the remainder of the bill. Anyway, this is a good article to read about how data and privacy work or in some areas and in other areas it doesn't necessarily work for our benefit but more for rationalizing cutting expenses. BD
Even more disturbing: All of those data files can be linked and cross-referenced.
Most of the major proposals for health-care reform, for example, include compiling medical records into easily and widely accessible digital files. In July, the FBI requested $5 million to pay the major phone companies to maintain logs of your calls—information the Feds can’t legally stockpile themselves but might find useful later.
What you buy, where you go, whom you call, the Web sites you visit, the e-mails you send—all of that information can be monitored and logged. “When you’re out in public, it’s becoming a near certainty that your image will be captured,” says (the newly nonsmoking) Bankston.
Should you care? I’ve interviewed numerous people on all sides of the privacy debate to find out just how wary we should be.
The Piggly Wiggly discount card saves you $206 on your annual grocery bill, but it counts how many doughnuts and six-packs you buy.
Experts say it’s crucial to recognize that those bits of data are permanent—a trail of electronic crumbs that is never swept away, available to anyone with the skills and inclination to sniff it out. Details about you already are stashed in enormous databases. Unless you pay cash for everything, data brokers almost certainly have compiled a profile of you that will be bought and sold dozens of times to marketers and direct-mail firms.
No surprise here...it all depends on who's data you are reading...everyone will post with their own slant...but all will at least give you facility names and locations for the very basic information...BD
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Patients facing surgery who try to check out the quality of hospitals beforehand by doing Internet searches often find conflicting and incomplete information posted, according to a study published on Monday. ADVERTISEMENT Click Here The report was based on searches done a year ago on six publicly available Web sites that offer comparisons of hospital quality, Dr. Michael Leonardi and colleagues at the University of California Los Angeles School of Medicine said
Well I knew something, someday would come to my rescue...this is just what I might need someday after slaving at the computer, writing code, and I just can't sleep. This can literally cut to the chase and maybe knock me right out at the keyboard, although I still would prefer my pillow! The web site offers a 15 minute free sample of what you can expect. Maybe doctors could incorporate this into a plan to help insomniacs get some sleep! There's also the other side of the coin here in the fact that you can also get some music to energize you as well. I do have to say this give a whole new meaning to the term "Power Nap". British Airways for one allows pilots to catch a few ZZZZZZ's on Trans Atlantic flights. Let's all hear it for the power nap.....BD
Do you feel tired during the day? You're not alone. Sleep problems and lack of energy affect most people at some time, but pzizz can help. This revolutionary insomnia treatment enables you to sleep better by stopping the nightly struggle. It also helps you increase energy levels during the day with unique power naps or performance breaks.
Pzizz is a software application for Mac and PC that creates audio soundtracks that help you to nap during the day or get to sleep at night. The wonderful thing is that you can tailor them to suit you and they're different every time!
Now, power napping has taken corporate America and Japan by storm. Workers are actively encouraged to take breaks in their day and have a nap; they are even sent on courses to learn how to do this! Apparently you’re never too big to take a nap. Today, napping is a health trend, a workplace perk and even an art form. Children do it, students do it, even educated Corporate Chairmen and CEO’s do it.
Thanks for the story on this one: MedGadget
This could happen anywhere, also we have posted stories on the hospital in Blythe, California, facing some of the same issues...what good is an ER if you don't have doctors?? In this instance, you no longer can rely on the ER to save your life! ....."Arizona has one of the largest uninsured populations and most severe doctor shortages in the nation"...and in short, it all comes back around once again to money...BD
The emergency room: That high-drama, high-adrenaline place you go when your sick or battered body suddenly fails you where they pull you back from the brink of disaster. But the truth is, if you're in serious trouble in Tucson and in need of specialty emergency care, there's a dangerously good chance you simply won't get it. At any given time in a Tucson ER, there will be no neurosurgeon to stop your bleeding brain, no plastic surgeon to fix your flailed flesh, no orthopedic surgeon to handle your complex fracture, no gastroenterologist to stem your internal hemorrhage, no hand surgeon to save your mangled fingers.
"I completely understand the anger of the ER physicians," he said. "On every shift, night after night, they know they have a high likelihood of having a patient show up that they won't have the resources to treat.
Tucson hospitals are trying to fix the dangerous situation in the city's ERs, but it is costing them millions and threatens bankruptcy. Read more about why this ER crisis has occurred and what is being done about it.
Hat Tip: Kevin, MD
Good discussion on Virtual Technology...Mr. Rattner continues on to talk about the use of virtual technology to establish "Virtual Surgeries" in the health care area...realistic type training at it's best. BD
Additional videos on the Intel Channel at You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/user/channelintel
Also something we face here in California...who will take referrals...the specialist is not in...BD
PROVO - Sergey Sargsyan has lost 80 pounds since his symptoms began more than three months ago. He's in pain and getting weaker. Emergency room visits and surgery to remove gallstones have done little to help. Doctors say he needs a specialist to fine-tune his diagnosis. But finding one willing to accept Medicaid as payment has been an exercise in futility, said Susanna McPhilomy, the 77-year-old's daughter. "The first question isn't, 'How can we help you?' " she said, "but, 'What type of insurance do you have?' " Sargsyan is not alone. Health care experts are seeing the first of what they say could become widespread lack of access to care for Medicaid patients.
Hat Tip: Kevin, MD
No more white coats in the UK, why? They carry potential bacteria, same as other personal items worn such as ties, etc. A study in 2004 in New York found that nearly half of neckties carried at least one species of infectious microbes...how does this happen, when you think about it, how often does a tie or jacket get laundered? Dress code in the UK starts next year...BD
LONDON - British hospitals are banning neckties, long sleeves and jewelry for doctors and their traditional white coats in an effort to stop the spread of deadly hospital-borne infections, according to new rules published Monday.
Good article from Paul Levy, CEO of Beth Israel hospital...He also runs a blog and the link is listed below...the CIO of the hospital has also been listed as one of the top IT managers in the top 100 IT leaders in the country...lots of good things going on at this hospital...BD
The president of Beth Israel says hospitals should start disclosing infection rates and other clinical info to show the public they're serious about improving quality
There are often misconceptions as people talk about "transparency" in the health-care field. They say the main societal value is to provide information so patients can make decisions about which hospital to visit for a given diagnosis or treatment. As for hospitals, people believe the main strategic value of transparency is to create a competitive advantage vis-à-vis other hospitals in the same city or region. Both these impressions are misguided.
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Quants: The Alchemists of Wall Street Video Documentary - Why It Needs to Matter What Companies Do and Not Focus Only On the Price of Stock With So Called Value - Attack of the Killer Algorithms Chapter 44
This video digs in a bit further with how fictitious business models are used by banks and companies do this too. The models are so complex that CEOs don’t even understand them. “Quants, The Alchemists of Wall Street.
This is a video from PBS Frontline where Kathy O’Brien, a former Quant who worked for a Hedge Fund on Wall Street will tell you what is done with your 401k money and more.
The banks and companies use technology to take advantage because they can.
“Of course we are going to take advantage because our tools are our brains…if they could figure out a way to take advantage of pension funds they would, a very good interview with explaining smart money and dumb money.
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It’s a very good presentation about how some of the algorithms work and kind of finishes up with “if you’re an algorithm, life is looking pretty good, but can’t say the same for the human side”.
He gives you some every day examples of how we encounter algorithms every where we go.