This is sad we all know how hard coal miners work.  The discussion has to do with black lung disease and two doctors who found zero for very few casesimage of black lung in all his examinations.  This is about benefits and the “description” was it “severe black lung”…the one doctor is on the hot list saying he has not diagnosed a case of severe black lung since the 70s.  ABC news had a second opinion done on many of those and they found several cases of black lung.

This is a case to where the coal mining companies are paying the doctor $750 for the X-ray exam, a lot more than what any other facility would charge.  Nobody has ever challenged the hospital before but it looks like they are now.  One doctor is calling the doctor a disgrace and that is unusual.  The claim is that the doctor at Hopkins is working to keep benefits unavailable.  Senator Jay Rockefeller is also now on the case.  Big coal companies have been able to escape paying benefits.  The doctor actually did get on camera and is known as the “coal company doctor”.  All miners do not have black lung but ABC found out of 1700 cases, no black lung and stands by his opinion.  Hopkins would not say how many cases of black lung they have found.  One more story of big corporations in the greedy profit business, this has to stop.  BD

Johns Hopkins Medicine has suspended its black lung program pending a review in response to an ABC News investigation with the Center for Public Integrity that showed how medical opinions from doctors at the prestigious hospital have helped the coal companies thwart efforts by ailing mine workers to receive disability benefits.

"Following the news report we are initiating a review of the [black lung X-ray reading] service," said a statement issued late Friday by Johns Hopkins Medicine. "Until the review is completed, we are suspending the program."

At the center of the ABC News report was the work performed by Dr. Paul Wheeler, who heads a unit at Johns Hopkins Hospital where radiologists read X-rays of coal miners seeking black lung benefits. Wheeler found not a single case of severe black lung in the more than 1,500 cases decided since 2000 in which he offered an opinion, a review by ABC News and the Center for Public Integrity found. In recent court testimony, Wheeler said the last time he recalled finding a case of severe black lung, a finding that would automatically qualify a miner for benefits under a special federal program, was in "the 1970's or the early 80's."


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