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Medicare Proposes Adding to Its List of Hospital-Acquired Conditions For Which It Will Not Pay the Extra Costs

Posted On Apr 17, 2008 @ 08:55 AM by SEO Admin

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing to add an additional nine categories to its initial list of 8 conditions that could reasonably have been prevented. that Medicare will no longer pay the extra costs of treating when acquired in the hospital . In a statement dated April 14, 2008, CMS proposed to add the following to its list of conditions that it will not pay for: Surgical site infections following certain elective procedures: Legionnaire's disease; Extreme blood sugar derangement; Iatrogenic pneumothorax or collapsed lungs; Delirium; Ventilator-associated pneumonia; Deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism; Staphylococcus aureus septicemia or bloodstream infection; and Clostridium difficile associated disease. In addition, CMS is proposing to create new codes to better identify two conditions that were previously selected: foreign object retained after surgery; and pressure u

Construction Accidents: What's Up With the Cranes?

Posted On Apr 14, 2008 @ 10:14 PM by SEO Admin

Apparently it's not sufficient that an inspector makes a phantom inspection of a Manhattan construction site crane that subsequently collapses, killing 7 people, injuring another 24 people, destroying a building, and causing untold other horrors. An investigation by New York State's inspector general has found that a Crane Operator Examining Board examiner issued more than 200 improper certificates to operators even though they had failed their practical exams. Examiner Frank Fazzio even improperly issued himself a crane certificate. He has been removed from the Crane Board. The investigation was prompted by an allegation that certificates were being unfairly denied to non-union crane operators. The inspector general's office found that state labor officials were notified about 42 improperly issued crane certificates in 2004, but failed to act. Als

First Nationwide Hospital-By-Hospital Survey Of Patient Satisfaction Released: Results Not Flattering for Long Island Hospitals

Posted On Apr 13, 2008 @ 02:33 PM by SEO Admin

For the first time, the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has posted consumer survey information on its Hospital Compare Web site (www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov) that attempts to capture the experiences of a patients in a hospital. It is a unique attempt by the government to evaluate hospital care from the perspective of the patient. Unfortunately for Long Islanders, on average, Long Island hospitals scored lower in patient satisfaction in eight out of 10 measures compared with other hospitals statewide or nationally. The Island's largest health system, North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, did not fare well on the survey. Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park scored below the state and national average in all 10 areas. North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset scored below the state and national average in 8 out of 10 measures. Other North Shore-LIJ hospitals also scored below the state and national average, including Plainview H

FDA Triples The Number Of Deaths It Attributes To Side Effects Of Heparin

Posted On Apr 9, 2008 @ 09:14 AM by SEO Admin

The Food and Drug Administration yesterday raised from 19 to 62 its estimate of the number of people who may have died after suffering allergic reactions or hypotension to contaminated Chinese-produced batches of the blood thinner heparin. Last month the FDA determined that Baxter Healthcare Corporation's drug was contaminated with an unnatural chemical during production at a plant in China. The agency is still investigating whether the chemical was added accidentally or deliberately. Further information may ultimately be uncovered during any product liability lawsuits that may be brought. Also last month, the FDA announced that Baxter had extended its recall of multi-dose vials of heparin sodium for injection to also include single-dose vials of heparin sodium for injection. As a precautionary

Taking Mirapex or Requip for Restless Leg Syndrome? Beware of "Disease Mongering"

Posted On Apr 7, 2008 @ 08:08 AM by SEO Admin

"Disease mongering" is a term coined by some drug-marketing critics to describe what they view as an effort by pharmaceutical companies to enlarge the market for a drug by convincing people that they are suffering from something that can be medically treated and encouraging them to ask their doctor to prescribe the drug in order to enlarge the market for drug treatment and promote a particular product. An example of such a tactic is advertising for Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), a neurological disorder characterized by unpleasant feelings in the legs with an associated uncontrollable urge to move when resting because of the unpleasant sensation to the legs. Consumer Reports concluded that an advertisement for the drug Requip could leave anyone who ever suffered fidgetiness when trying to go to sleep to wonder whether they have RLS and should seek treatment. Direct-to-consumer advertising has skyrocketed since the FDA changed its policy in 1997 to allow advertising of presc

NYC Construction Site Crane Accident Puts Increased Attention on the City's Buiding Department Inspection System

Posted On Apr 4, 2008 @ 03:27 PM by SEO Admin

In developments related to the March 16, 2008, crane collapse in New York City, a city inspector has been charged with lying that he had checked on the construction crane when in fact he had not. The inspection was purportedly made in response to a complaint made by a retired contractor on March 4 because he had been concerned for days about the lack of braces securing the crane at a construction site. The inspector, Edward Marquette, 46, was charged with falsifying business records and offering a false instrument for filing. If convicted, he faces up to four years in prison. It is not believed that the absence of the inspection caused the crane to fall. In addition, New York City ordered broad changes to the way it inspects and regulates tower cranes. The Buildings Department said a city inspector will now have to be present every time a crane is erected, jumped or dismantled. It also said it will require the pro

Concerns Over Danger to Children and Others From Synthetic Turf Fields Escalate

Posted On Apr 1, 2008 @ 10:21 AM by SEO Admin

This year's LandTek FieldTurf convention, held last month at a hotel in Huntington, Long Island, New York, was dedicated to addressing recent worries that the filling material, composed of ground up tires, could eventually expose athletes to life-threatening illness. The concerns have to do with the fact that the artificial fields are constructed using up to ten tons of ground-up used tires, or crumb rubber, as in-fill. The danger is that since tires typically contain toxic substances which prohibit their disposal in landfills and oceans, it seems reasonable to question whether this material is safe for use on fields where children play. More than 150 school athletic and maintenance officials attended the conference. Former New York Jet Marty Lyons is director of sales and marketing for LandTek. Recent studies conducted in various states including New York have demonstrated that there are hazardous substances contained within artificial turf field with detrimental hea

New York "Passenger Bill of Rights" Struck Down by Federal Appeals Court

Posted On Mar 29, 2008 @ 03:47 PM by SEO Admin

A federal appeals court this past Tuesday struck down New York's so-called Passenger Bill of Rights, which requires airlines to provide food, water, working toilet facilities and fresh air to passengers stuck on the ground for more than three hours. The law, which took effect January 1, 2008, and signed by then-Gov. Eliot Spitzer, was supported by consumer groups angered by lengthy delays that they said trapped passengers on airplanes for hours, sometimes without food or water. It was the first law in the nation of its kind. The decision of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a decision of New York Northern District Court Judge Lawrence E. Kahn. The appellate court said that the new law was laudable but only the federal government, and not individual states, has the authority to enact such a regulation. The appeals court in Washington wrote that if the law was allowed to stand, "another state cou

Tagged with: Consumer Issues

Jane Jarvis, Former Mets Organist, Displaced by NYC Crane Accident; She Had Seen Crane Swaying in the Wind (and other Mets nostalgia)

Posted On Mar 27, 2008 @ 11:04 AM by SEO Admin

The 146-ton crane that collapsed in New York City this past March 15, forced 300 apartments to be evacuated. One of the people displaced by the collapse is Jane Jarvis, who played the organ for the New York Mets at Shea Stadium from 1964 through 1979. Weeks before the crane toppled, Ms. Jarvis, who is now 92 years of age, said that she saw it swaying in a windstorm, and we were praying to God that it wouldnt fall. Ms. Jarvis is remembered at Shea for playing an alternate theme song, "Let's Go Mets", as the team took the field before before every game, as well as for her renditions of the Mexican Hat Dance during the seventh-inning stretch. Before the Mets, Jarvis was organist for the Milwaukee Braves for 8 years. When she left the Mets, she was replaced by a machine. After the Mets gig, she decided to concentrate on jazz piano. She becam

Doctors Successfully Repel Aetnas Unwarranted Intrusion Into How They Perform Colonoscopies

Posted On Mar 24, 2008 @ 10:45 AM by SEO Admin

After coming under attack from doctors, Aetna has withdrawn its intention, announced late last year, that in New Jersey, effective April 1, 2008, it would drop its coverage of propofol, the anesthesia typically used during colonoscopies, calling the same medically unnecessary. In reality, it is not the propofol that Aetna minds paying for; what Aetna wants to cut-out is the $300 to $1,000 cost that Aetna pays for an anesthesiologist to be present at a colonoscopy. Propofol, also known by the trade name Diprivan, is more powerful than other sedatives traditionally used to help patients endure the discomfort of a colonoscopy. Because of the powerful effects of the drug, good and accepted medical practice usually necessitates the presence of a qualified anesthesiologist during the procedure. Aetnas plan caused much consternation amongst New Jersey doctors, who were so outraged t

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