The phenomenon of rural hospital closures has gotten a fair amount of attention in the last few years with all the Affordable Care Act finger-pointing. But as the University of North Carolina’s Cecil G. Sheps Center notes, the problem really emerged and caught the attention of policymakers in the late 1980s.
For a few years, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published an annual report, but closures slowed down about 20 years ago, and interest waned. The pace of closures picked up again during the Great Recession of 2008-09, before the ACA’s passage. Continue reading
Too many physicians are prescribing opioid medications for hospitalized older adults who may not need them. A new study found that one-third of 10,000 older patients were prescribed opioid pain medications, including Percocet and OxyContin, while hospitalized for non-surgical conditions.
These patients had a longer length of stay (six days vs. four) and were more often readmitted within 30 days. They were also more likely to be restrained or have bladder catheters while hospitalized, according to the retrospective analysis. Continue reading
The demands that technology places on care providers often are at odds with the human connection necessary for them to do their jobs properly. How to strike a balance?
That was the question panelists discussed at the compelling panel, “Humanizing Medicine in a High Tech World,” during AHCJ’s Health Journalism 2017 in Orlando.
Analia Castiglioni, M.D., explained how medical schools could serve as a model in this area. Castiglioni is director of clinical skills and simulation center and associate professor at the University of Central Florida’s College of Medicine. Continue reading
For three years, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have penalized hospitals when the institutions show unacceptably high rates of potentially avoidable complications, such as blood clots, bed sores, and infections, Jordan Rau reported last month for Kaiser Health News.
The federal agency this year added penalties for two hospital-acquired infections that result from germs resistant to antibiotics: methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (known as MRSA) and Clostridium difficile (C. diff). Continue reading
We may need a new hashtag to supplement #surprisemedbills. Perhaps #shockingmedbills would fit because some bills are just that.
Recent coverage about a new mom in Utah who was charged $39.35 just to hold her newborn is a good example. Continue reading