tagged w/ Hospitals
How do you maintain oxygen supplies for patients in hospitals in the developing world, where facilities are well below the standards we enjoy in the West? The Oxy Johnny breathe eezee mask is the latest innovation to take the developing world by storm. Built on the scuba principle, this simple DIY contraption uses just a condom and some bits and pieces to fulfil a life saving function. In some cases, the Oxyjohnny has made the difference between life and death. Here’s how to make one of your own.How do you maintain oxygen supplies for patients in hospitals in the developing world,... more
Axe falls on NHS services
NHS bosses have drawn up secret plans for sweeping cuts to services, with restrictions on the most basic treatments for the sick and injured.
By Laura Donnelly, Health Correspondent
24 Jul 2010
(VIDEOS BELOW ARTICLE)
Some of the most common operations — including hip replacements and cataract surgery — will be rationed as part of attempts to save billions of pounds, despite government promises that front-line services would be protected.
Patients’ groups have described the measures as “astonishingly brutal”.
(VIDEO) Obama’s Model? British NHS Healthcare Services Massive Rationing…GO HOME AND DIE!...http://ctpatriot1970.wordpress.com/2010/07/27/video-obamas-model-british-nhs-healthcare-services-massive-rationing-go-home-and-die/Axe falls on NHS services
NHS bosses have drawn up secret plans for sweeping cuts... more
U.S. News & World Report has released its annual list of the best hospitals in the U.S. for 2010-11. So which hospital received the most points and ranked the highest in this year’s list? Once again, it’s Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, which has held the No. 1 spot for the last 20 years.
Out of nearly 5,000 hospitals reviewed, only 152 made the cut. Each of these hospitals appears in the rankings for at least one of the 16 specialties, ranging from cancer to diabetes to heart surgery.
Scores were based on objective and subjective measures such as death rates, patient safety, and reputation. U.S. News says it publishes the Best Hospitals list each year to help patients who need high-stakes care because of the complexity of their condition.
These 14 hospitals, in order by most points overall, made the “honor roll” list for ranking near the top in at least six of the specialties:
1. Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore
2. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.
3. Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
4. Cleveland Clinic
5. Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles
6. New York-Presbyterian University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell
7. University of California, San Francisco Medical Center
8. Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University, St. Louis
9. Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
10. Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C.
11. Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston
12. University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle
13. UPMC-University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
14. University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers, Ann Arbor
And here are the No. 1 hospitals in each specialty category:
• Cancer: University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston
• Diabetes & Endocrinology: Mayo Clinic, Rochester
• Ear, Nose & Throat: Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore
• Gastroenterology: Mayo Clinic, Rochester
• Geriatrics: Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York
• Gynecology: Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore
• Heart & Heart Surgery: Cleveland Clinic
• Kidney Disorders: Mayo Clinic, Rochester
• Neurology & Neurosurgery: Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore
• Ophthalmology: Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami
• Orthopedics: Hospital for Special Surgery, New York
• Psychiatry: Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
• Pulmonology: National Jewish Health, Denver
• Rehabilitation: Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
• Rheumatology: Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore
• Urology: Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore
To see the entire list and a detailed description of the analysis in the specialties, visit the U.S. News website.
- Courtney Ware, WebMDU.S. News & World Report has released its annual list of the best hospitals in the... more
By Sabriya Rice, CNN
July 8, 2010 11:38 a.m. EDT
Choose your hospital wisely, no matter what month it is, experts say.
(CNN) -- More than 16,000 U.S. medical school graduates are awarded M.D. degrees each year, and many enter their residency programs at teaching hospitals in July. Now, a growing body of research suggests that month might be a more deadly time in U.S. hospitals.
According to a recent study from the University of California, San Diego, deaths from medication errors increase by 10 percent during July, a so-called July effect as students graduate from medical school and enter residency programs.
Researchers examined more than 240,000 death certificates of people who died of complications from medication errors between 1979 and 2006, and found mortality rates consistently spiked in July, especially in counties with teaching hospitals.
"No one has been able to suggest anything else besides the appearance of new medical residents. That's the first month they start their new jobs and have expanded autonomy," says David Phillips, a professor of sociology and lead author of the study. He says although it's possible that the increase can be linked to administrative or other events specific to July, the most notable link is the start of new medical residents.
"Like with any new person in any new job, it's the first time you're having to deploy everything you learned," says Diane Pinakiewicz, president of the National Patient Safety Foundation. She says there is a lot of pressure on medical students to be perfect, and because of that, they may be more afraid to admit what they do not know.
In a report released earlier this year, the foundation issued recommendations for reforming medical school education in ways that reduce the "shame and blame environment" that ultimately affects the care a patient receives.
"There's a culture of medical school education that doesn't allow people to speak up, so you come in as a new resident and you're afraid to make a mistake," Pinakiewicz says.
Others say the problem is exaggerated.
"I don't want people to be unnecessarily alarmed about going to the hospital in July," says Dr. Thomas Nasca, chief executive officer for the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. According to Nasca, more than one physician decides what medication a patient receives, and such checks and balances help protect the patient from error.
"I think it is probably true there is a slight increase in July, but it doesn't mean our patients are less safe," says Michael Cohen, a pharmacist and president of the Institute for Safe Medication Practices.
He says hospitals become more transparent in reporting medication errors, and the study might reflect the increased reports. He also says that besides medical residents, nurses, respiratory therapists and pharmacists all begin around the same time, and it's unfair to point the finger at new residents.
Even with the staffing changes, he says the new study on the July effect looked at data before electronic prescriptions and reduced hours for medical residents helped to reduce the risk to patients.
Other studies find that there is no increased risk of error and that the reported July effect may reflect the quality of care at certain locations.
For example, researchers at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center looked into a potential July effect on their level I trauma center and found there was no increased risk.
"Anyone on a new job anywhere is going to have increased errors or risk when they make an important decision," says Dr. Thomas Schroeppel, a surgeon and lead author of the University of Tennessee study. "However, I think it all depends on the supervision. With good supervision, errors are reduced."
Bottom line: You can't necessarily predict when you'll need to visit a hospital, but experts say there are things you can do any time to reduce your risk of dying from a medical error, whether you visit a hospital in July or January, and whether or not your physician is a resident. They offer these tips:
1. Go straight to the top with your concerns
In every teaching setting, there must be a fully licensed attending physician on staff, Nasca says. He encourages patients who feel uncomfortable or unclear about any aspect of their health care to first ask to speak to the head nurse, who should be able to contact every attending physician caring for patients in the unit. If there are still concerns, he says to ask for the on-call hospital administrator. Their job is to help ensure the hospital is providing adequate medical care to all of its patients.
2. Chose your hospital wisely
Experts say you should research your local hospital just as thoroughly as you would research a school for your child or any other service. They say that before an emergency, it's a good idea to know whether or not your hospital is accredited and for what procedures, as well as how it ranks in patient safety.
Also, teaching hospitals remain an excellent option despite any potential July effect. "Much of the research that develops new treatments or new medications occurs in teaching hospitals," Nasca says. "Generally, the quality of care is considered to be much higher."
You can find a list of the teaching hospitals in your state on the Association of American Medical Colleges website, and you can search the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education's state-by-state list of all teaching hospitals, medical schools and health systems that run residency programs.
3. Don't assume the medication you receive is correct
According to Nasca, anytime a physician changes your medication or dosage, take note of it. "With every change, there is an increased risk for error," he warns. Nasca says to ask directly "Are you sure this is my medicine, and why did the doctor change it?" -- and don't take anything until you are clear about the answer.
"Patients should worry about the possibility of medication error and should not assume it's getting calculated correctly," Phillips says.
The Institute of Medicine estimates medication errors harm at least 1.5 million people annually.
Phillips says he's OK with being a worry wart, and kindly admits this to his physician when he receives any medication. "I simply say, 'Do me a favor and check the dosage and make sure this is the right medication because I know sometimes people make mistakes.' "
4. Ask Questions
"The best thing for patients to do is be educated, and the internet is a powerful tool," says Schroeppel. He says patients who do their research online beforehand tend to ask more informed questions and obtain better outcomes.
The National Patient Safety Foundation has three questions you should ask whenever you visit your doctor, nurse or pharmacist in order to make sure you understand your diagnosis.
As health systems work to make the transition for new doctors as smooth as possible by increasing supervision and reducing the learning curve that could negatively affect patients, Nasca says, it is important to keep in mind that these future doctors are critical to the future of health care in the U.S.
"We wouldn't be able to deliver care especially to the underserved without residents," he says. "They want to do the right thing for their patients, something they're trying to do under very difficult circumstances."
CNN's Jennifer Bixler and Carrie Gann contributed to this report.By Sabriya Rice, CNN
July 8, 2010 11:38 a.m. EDT
Choose your hospital wisely, no... more
Reliant, a Dallas-based healthcare company with five facilities in Texas and Ohio - and several more planned for the future - focuses on two aspects of inpatient care that its executives believe differentiate it from competitors - architectural design and physician partnerships. spark360 takes you inside the Reliant facility in Richardson, Texas to show how both of those approaches are helping patients get back on their feet.
Learn more about rehabilitation hospitals at http://www.relianthcp.com and learn more about this video at http://spark360.tv.Reliant, a Dallas-based healthcare company with five facilities in Texas and Ohio -... more
An NHS hospital has begun decoding all the genes of individual patients, 10 years after the first human genome sequence was published.
London's Royal Brompton Hospital said the project would give doctors a better understanding of the inherited factors that help trigger heart disease.
The research involves sequencing all 22,000 genes found in the human genome in 10,000 patients.
It heralds more personalised treatments for diseases.
Genes are chunks of DNA that contain instructions for making chemicals in the body. As well as controlling things like eye and hair colour, faults in genes may make people susceptible to disease.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/10367883.stmAn NHS hospital has begun decoding all the genes of individual patients, 10 years... more
Stephen M. Smith decided to undergo throat surgery to remove a spot on his esophagus — a spot that he feared could become cancerous.
As he walked into St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford on July 3, 2008, Smith and his wife, Benay, were expecting a short hospital stay. They planned a belated Fourth of July barbecue at their East Hampton home. Smith, 55, hoped to return to work in the hardware section at Lowe's in a few weeks.
After the throat surgery, Smith had complications, though, among them a heart arrhythmia. A cardiologist recommended a second surgery to insert a pacemaker. The procedure lasted 17 minutes. As Smith lay on a hospital gurney afterward, unmonitored, he started choking on his own saliva. Nearby hospital staff was busy cleaning the operating room.
By the time a staff member noticed what was happening to Smith, his blood pressure had fallen drastically, to 30 over 19 and his brain had been without oxygen for an extensive period of time, medical records show.
Smith went into cardiac arrest, but was revived, and for 10 days he remained in a coma. When Smith finally woke he had suffered severe brain damage. The voracious reader, who graduated with an English degree from Colgate University, could barely read a newspaper. He would require 24-hour nursing for the rest of his life.
"I never really got an answer as to what happened to Stephen," Benay Smith said during a recent interview at her lawyer's office in Hartford. "I kept asking what happened to my husband and they never gave me an answer. All they kept saying was sometimes things happen during surgeries."
Months after Stephen Smith came home, and after reading stories in The Courant about hospitals failing to report potential adverse events to the state Department of Public Health, Benay Smith decided to ask the state to investigate.
click the link for more:Stephen M. Smith decided to undergo throat surgery to remove a spot on his esophagus... more
The Hedz-Up Report covers the Community Town Hall Meeting on the day of the official closing of St. Vincent's Hospital.The Hedz-Up Report covers the Community Town Hall Meeting on the day of the official... more
This week will be completely different for some American citizens, becuase President Barack Obama has signed an executive order which states that in all hospitals receiving federal grants same-sex couples will have, now on, the same rights as heterosexual ones.
http://www.inaltreparole.net/en/resistance/obamadirittigay190410.htmlThis week will be completely different for some American citizens, becuase President... more
SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS, Mexico (April 20) -- Among dozens of other brightly dressed women, Eugenia Urbina has been waiting on the stairs of the main hospital in this central Chiapas town for nearly two hours. Nine months pregnant with her third child, the 24-year-old seeks prenatal care. The long wait makes her worry that when the time comes to give birth, the hospital will not have room for her.
"It happens a lot," Urbina said, and if it does, she'll have to pay more than she can afford to drive around in a taxi for up to an hour to find a clinic that can take her.
It's not just a question of inconvenience. The brutal drug gang murders sweeping across Mexico have captured the headlines. But a more insidious killer stalks the south of the country, where women in Mexico's poorest states -- many of them indigenous -- are dying in childbirth at nearly twice the rate of the national average.
A study published this month in the British medical journal The Lancet found that maternal mortality is falling in most countries, including Mexico, where overall maternal death rates dropped from 152 per 100,000 births in 1980 to 52 in 2008. (For comparison, the 2008 rate was four in Italy, 17 in the United States and 1,575 in Afghanistan.)
But the differential within the country is stark, and the problem is particularly acute in the poorest southern states of Chiapas, Oaxaca and Guerrero. More than 1 million people in Chiapas, most of whom are indigenous, do not have access to health care, according to SIPAZ, a poverty research group.
For pregnant women, health advocates say, poverty can equal death. "Because those deaths are in most of the cases avoidable, maternal mortality is a good indicator of social inequalities," said Beatriz Gomez, a researcher with the Mexican National Institute of Public Health. While Mexico's maternal mortality rate isn't the worst in the region, World Bank statistics indicate that it's higher than that of other countries with the same economic indicators.
Most childbirth deaths result from a lack of prompt medical care or, in some cases, botched treatment by undertrained staff. For the largely rural population that suffers the brunt of this crisis, even the difficulty of getting to a medical treatment center can lead to fatal delays. In 2008, a woman giving birth bled to death right in front of a clinic in the rural town of Betania, about an hour outside of San Cristobal.
The economic downturn has exacerbated poverty, since many low-income Mexicans depend on foreign remittances. "What happens in the global economic crisis directly affects these small communities in Oaxaca, Chiapas and Guerrero," said Ximena Avellaneda Diaz, the research coordinator for a woman's reproductive rights advocacy group in Oaxaca.
Maternal morality is a barometer of the sharp divisions in Mexican society over class and race. Indigenous women are three times more likely to die in childbirth than nonindigenous women, in part because one out of three indigenous births in rural areas is done without assistance from a health care worker.
In the poorest areas, there is simply a lack of doctors. Travel can be long and difficult to organize, with the trip to a hospital or clinic lasting 12 hours on bad roads for some women due to give birth. And even when a doctor is available, communication is a problem since many indigenous women speak little or no Spanish and translation services are often not available.
Language is not the only gap to be bridged. Doctors sometimes give women recommendations that they cannot follow, according to Dr. Adriana Luna Castellanos of Marie Stopes International, a British reproductive health organization with four clinics in Chiapas. "The doctor tells a mother to relax, when she has to walk two miles for water or grind the corn for the tortillas," she said. "Or to sleep in a soft bed when she has a wooden bed. The advice the doctors give them is not fitted for these people."
Sometimes a mother dies not from lack of care, but from poor medical treatment at a hospital. Improper medication and surgical mishaps -- such as poorly executed or unnecessary cesarean sections -- are both leading causes of maternal mortality, according to data from Mexico's Ministry of Health.
Complications from botched abortion attempts are another big problem, according to a report by the MacArthur Foundation, which has put more than $5 million toward the problem of maternal mortality. Abortion is illegal in every state of Mexico except the capital.
The findings published in The Lancet suggest that with political will and funding, maternal mortality can be reduced. "More of this needs to be aimed at specifically vulnerable areas of these highly affected states, especially areas where indigenous people live -- and women die," said Deborah Billings, a professor of public health at the University of South Carolina, who co-authored the MacArthur study. "These are the specific pockets where not enough political will has been focused."
Until that political will is created and translated into culturally competent services, more clinics and increased coverage by midwives, childbearing women of southern Mexico will continue dying at unacceptably high rates.
Reporting for this story was funded in part by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Translation assistance by Cynthia Mazariegos.SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS, Mexico (April 20) -- Among dozens of other brightly... more
Via Washington Post
"President Obama on Thursday signed a memorandum requiring hospitals to allow gays and lesbians to have non-family visitors and to grant their partners medical power of attorney. The president ordered the Department of Health and Human Services to prohibit discrimination in hospital visitation. The memo is scheduled to be made public Friday morning, according to an administration official and another source familiar with the White House decision. An official said the new rule will affect any hospital that receives Medicare or Medicaid funding."
In the memo the President said "Every day, all across America, patients are denied the kindnesses and caring of a loved one at their sides whether in a sudden medical emergency or a prolonged hospital stay."
On Anderson Cooper 360, Janice Langbehn discussed how her story inspired the White House to make this order. Langbehn received a call from President Obama today, who apologized for the ordeal that she had gone through at a Jackson, Florida hospital. She was denied access to her partner her, despite having power of attorney and other legal documents that should have granted her medical access. Langbehn's was not allowed to see her partner until just moments before her death.
Langbehn says that Lisa, her partner's death, "was not in vain." She appreciates the apology from President Obama despite not having received an apology from the hospital, which announced this week that they have changed their access policy to include LGBT families.
The Human Rights Campaign, a lobby group that specializes in LGBT issues has stated that they have been "working on the request––" with the White House "for months."
Full Body of the Memorandum:
MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
SUBJECT: Respecting the Rights of Hospital Patients to Receive Visitors and to Designate Surrogate Decision Makers for Medical Emergencies
There are few moments in our lives that call for greater compassion and companionship than when a loved one is admitted to the hospital. In these hours of need and moments of pain and anxiety, all of us would hope to have a hand to hold, a shoulder on which to lean -- a loved one to be there for us, as we would be there for them.
Yet every day, all across America, patients are denied the kindnesses and caring of a loved one at their sides -- whether in a sudden medical emergency or a prolonged hospital stay. Often, a widow or widower with no children is denied the support and comfort of a good friend. Members of religious orders are sometimes unable to choose someone other than an immediate family member to visit them and make medical decisions on their behalf. Also uniquely affected are gay and lesbian Americans who are often barred from the bedsides of the partners with whom they may have spent decades of their lives -- unable to be there for the person they love, and unable to act as a legal surrogate if their partner is incapacitated.
For all of these Americans, the failure to have their wishes respected concerning who may visit them or make medical decisions on their behalf has real consequences. It means that doctors and nurses do not always have the best information about patients' medications and medical histories and that friends and certain family members are unable to serve as intermediaries to help communicate patients' needs. It means that a stressful and at times terrifying experience for patients is senselessly compounded by indignity and unfairness. And it means that all too often, people are made to suffer or even to pass away alone, denied the comfort of companionship in their final moments while a loved one is left worrying and pacing down the hall.
Many States have taken steps to try to put an end to these problems. North Carolina recently amended its Patients' Bill of Rights to give each patient "the right to designate visitors who shall receive the same visitation privileges as the patient's immediate family members, regardless of whether the visitors are legally related to the patient" -- a right that applies in every hospital in the State. Delaware, Nebraska, and Minnesota have adopted similar laws.
My Administration can expand on these important steps to ensure that patients can receive compassionate care and equal treatment during their hospital stays. By this memorandum, I request that you take the following steps:
1. Initiate appropriate rulemaking, pursuant to your authority under 42 U.S.C. 1395x and other relevant provisions of law, to ensure that hospitals that participate in Medicare or Medicaid respect the rights of patients to designate visitors. It should be made clear that designated visitors, including individuals designated by legally valid advance directives (such as durable powers of attorney and health care proxies), should enjoy visitation privileges that are no more restrictive than those that immediate family members enjoy. You should also provide that participating hospitals may not deny visitation privileges on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. The rulemaking should take into account the need for hospitals to restrict visitation in medically appropriate circumstances as well as the clinical decisions that medical professionals make about a patient's care or treatment.
2. Ensure that all hospitals participating in Medicare or Medicaid are in full compliance with regulations, codified at 42 CFR 482.13 and 42 CFR 489.102(a), promulgated to guarantee that all patients' advance directives, such as durable powers of attorney and health care proxies, are respected, and that patients' representatives otherwise have the right to make informed decisions regarding patients' care. Additionally, I request that you issue new guidelines, pursuant to your authority under 42 U.S.C. 1395cc and other relevant provisions of law, and provide technical assistance on how hospitals participating in Medicare or Medicaid can best comply with the regulations and take any additional appropriate measures to fully enforce the regulations.
3. Provide additional recommendations to me, within 180 days of the date of this memorandum, on actions the Department of Health and Human Services can take to address hospital visitation, medical decisionmaking, or other health care issues that affect LGBT patients and their families. This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
You are hereby authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.
http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/04/15/hospital.gay.visitation/index.html?hpt=T1Via Washington Post
"President Obama on Thursday signed a memorandum requiring... more
After nearly four months in neonatal intensive care, Duggar baby No. 19, Josie Brooklyn, is finally leaving the hospital.
"We're grateful for the prayers of thousands," Jim Bob Duggar tells PEOPLE as he and wife Michelle left Arkansas Children's Hospital on Tuesday with Josie. "We are so happy," adds Michelle. "We are so excited, we are running on adrenaline. I have been getting into the routine of every three hours feeding, diapering and taking her temperature. We are so encouraged that she is doing so well."
As they drove away from the hospital, her physician, Dr. Robert Arrington said, "This is the first time Josie has seen sunlight." She was born on Dec. 10 via emergency C-section at just 25 weeks' gestation. Weighing just 1 lb. 6 oz., the micropreemie fought for her life, surviving a bowel perforation at only 8 days old.
Today, Josie weighs 4 lbs. 9 oz., is breathing without oxygen, eating every three hours and stable enough to go home, says Arrington. It's a bittersweet day for the staff. "I will miss being around the baby and the family," Arrington says. "They are very nice people. But they've told me they will stay in touch and come by the nursery to let us see her."
Michelle says the family's emotional roller-coaster ride has "leveled out," and that Josie's disposition has been a joy in hard times. "She has a strong personality," Michelle says. "She is a spunky little thing and will keep us all going."
The littlest Duggars at home – Jackson, 5, Johanna, 4, Jennifer, 2, and Jordyn, 15 months – have never seen Josie in person and "are jumping up and down that they will finally get to meet their baby sister," says Michelle. Of course, given Josie's still-delicate state, "the little ones will have to be careful with slobbery kisses to prevent any colds and sniffles," Michelle adds.
The family will remain in a rental home nearby in Little Rock indefinitely until they are ready to take Josie home to Tontitown, Ark. "I will be her main caregiver," Michelle says, "and we'll have a lot of helpers around to take turns feeding her and getting her to sleep."
“19 Kids and Counting: Josie Comes Home” airs Sunday, May 9, at 8/7 Central on TLC.After nearly four months in neonatal intensive care, Duggar baby No. 19, Josie... more
3 years ago
One of the biggest flash-points of the health care debate has been the so-called "public option" - a government-run alternative to insurance companies. Most conservatives have said they absolutely can't support it and many liberals have said they absolutely can't support a bill without it. Well today the public option took a blow in the Senate Finance Committee as an amendment to add it to the present draft of the bill in the Senate was voted down 15 to 8. The vote against included 5 Democrats, including Sen. Max Baucus (D. - MT) who heads up the committee. He said he voted against the amendment because he feared it would keep the bill from getting the 60 votes its needs on the Senate floor.
There is a second amendment including the public option introduced by Sen. Chuck Schumer out of NY who vows to get it in there no matter what.
Will the public option kill health care reform? Moderate Senate Democrats are certainly trying their darnedest not to let it. But there's another danger for them: if they pass a bill without a public option, will liberals in the Democratic Party count that as actual reform? What do you think - Comment over here on Current News.
Also on health care:
- Your Health Care Stories - From the Current News Blog
- No Healthcare For Me (Video)One of the biggest flash-points of the health care debate has been the so-called... more
So in the midst of all the international high drama happening between New York and Pittsburgh this week, let us not forget that back in Washington, lawmakers are still grappling with a monster of a health care debate. About a week ago I asked for you guys to send us some of your personal experiences with health care and health insurance in the US. Mostly we heard stories from people without insurance or with costly bills. Here are a few of them:
From user Justanks:
I have no health insurance. I can't afford it since I am an independent contractor and my husband is out of work. I have been able to get my daughter on the state medical but when I was paying out of pocket when we were better off it was costing over $600 a month for the 3 of us to have medical.That didn't include co-pays. Twice my daughter has had to stay at the hospital due to emergencies and they bill came out WAY over $700 each time. I know that is better than full price, but when you are still in school it is not realistic to pay that in full before you leave the hospital. I already pay taxes that are spent on govt.' officials medical and the BS they decide to spend it on, why shouldn't some of it go to my family having medical?
It's an oft-mentioned number but it's estimated that as many as 45 million Americans are without health insurance. Of course, even with health insurance, costs can pile up. Millions of Americans are weighed down by medical debt, like user cafiredancer:
I am in over $17,000 in medical debt (from just day to day things such as child birth and family misshaps, choked on a piece of meat, dislocated shoulder, broken foot from soccer and more recently a diagnosis in myself of Melanoma). At times we had insurance but could not pay deductables or had a large out of pocket. My husband and I have been without medical insurance for a majority of our 13 years together....it's already becoming the demise of a chance at any sort of financial freedom. At one point in time we were homeless, they didn't care, they still wanted their money...
One example for health care reformers has been Massachusetts, which has instituted a state wide health insurance mandate. This requirement for all citizens to have health insurance is a model that may in Congress are considering. Current.com user bc_f is from Massachusetts:
i live in MA where it's already illegal not to have health insurance. i am on unemployment and because of that i have subsidized health care from the state. it's actually not that bad, although i don't get dental or anything like that. a few months ago i had to have emergency surgery and had to stay overnight in the hospital. if it weren't for subsidized care i would be thousands of dollars in debt. i only had to pay $100 for the emergency room copay
On the News Blog we heard from a couple of people who had specific questions about how college students would be affected. From John Dye:
I’m a college student. I’m currently uninsured, unemployed, and I’ve been wondering how I will be affected if healthcare reform is passed? Will I be penalized for not having insurance? How am I supposed to pay for that if I’m a full time college student? I have zero income except for what the govt already gives me in financial aid.
The good news for college students who would be compelled to find health insurance by a legal mandate is that those costs would be subsidized by the government. That's true for anyone with a low income.
We did see one counter-example in the comments, from user courage:
My insurance is cheap and i have never had a problem with it. I have a eye desease i have to visit the doctor all the time and recieve expensive eye drops so as not to go blind all i ever pay is 10 dollars even for 90 dollar a gram drops....This country is powerful thanks to capitalism and free markets and personel responsibility and finacial and personel liberty, dont give it away for a false since of security.
If you have a story, let us know. We'll keep covering this for the next several weeks and beyond. Also if you're interested in working with someone on the Current News staff to tell a deeper story about your experience with the health care system, speak up. Leave your comments over here on current.com.
- No Health Care For Me (Video) - Christina Heller learns about the Massachusetts system as she searches for her own health coverage.
- Obama speaks on health care (video)- Obama's big health care speech to CongressSo in the midst of all the international high drama happening between New York and... more
A couple of people have posted to Current the story about the very sobering figure of 45,000 deaths a year caused by people lacking health insurance. (That one comes from user WakeUpPeople).
I'm interested in an little informal poll of you guys. Do you not have insurance? Was their a period in which you didn't? If you do have it, what's your insurance story?
Mine's not too exciting. I was lucky enough to get job out of school with benefits and have stayed employed with benefits since. I have been surprised by my insurance a few times. Nothing serious, but paying for check-ins and physicals I wasn't expecting to have to. In my personal experience, deductibles can be a pretty effective deterrent to preventative care. Why shell out $100+ to go get checked out when I'm feeling fine. One of those 'Oh, I'll get to it eventually' things.
How about you?
Comment here.A couple of people have posted to Current the story about the very sobering figure of... more
Did you know that workers were hospitalized while making mobile phones? Additionally, did you realize that you are at increased risk of dying from surgery fire created by increased technology usage in hospitals? Learn more about at least 25 ways that technologies are affecting your health today through the categorized list below.
link : http://onlinebsn.org/2010/25-little-known-ways-everyday-technologies-are-affecting-your-health/Did you know that workers were hospitalized while making mobile phones? Additionally,... more
3 years ago
A report that focused on finding the best hospitals in America was just released by HealthGrades.com; the full list of the best ranked hospitals is available on their site. The study revealed that “164,964 lives may have been saved and 18,900 major complications avoided during the three years (2006 – 2008) studied, had the quality of care at all hospitals matched the level of those distinguished as America’s 50 Best Hospitals.”A report that focused on finding the best hospitals in America was just released by... more
article is a must read
The germ is one of a category of bacteria that by some estimates are already killing tens of thousands of hospital patients each year. While the organisms do not receive as much attention as the one known as MRSA — for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus — some infectious-disease specialists say they could emerge as a bigger threat.
That is because there are several drugs, including some approved in the last few years, that can treat MRSA. But for a combination of business reasons and scientific challenges, the pharmaceuticals industry is pursuing very few drugs for Acinetobacter and other organisms of its type, known as Gram-negative bacteria. Meanwhile, the germs are evolving and becoming ever more immune to existing antibiotics.
“In many respects it’s far worse than MRSA,” said Dr. Louis B. Rice, an infectious-disease specialist at the Louis Stokes Cleveland V.A. Medical Center and at Case Western Reserve University. “There are strains out there, and they are becoming more and more common, that are resistant to virtually every antibiotic we have.”article is a must read
The germ is one of a category of bacteria that by some... more
3 years ago
Medical providers have asked the question of whether offering cash discounts for certain health services jeopardizes their insurance contracts- especially regarding Medicare/Medicaid, as they have the most complex rules and regulations. Unfortunately, after reviewing various documents on the matter, there are no clear and absolute answers; but certainly there are prevailing opinions and recommendations.Medical providers have asked the question of whether offering cash discounts for... more