While Ebola stokes public anxiety, more than one in six hospitals — including some top medical centers — are having trouble stamping out less exotic but sometimes deadly infections, federal records show.
Nationally, about one in every 25 hospitalized patients gets an infection, and 75,000 people die each year from them—more than from car crashes and gun shots combined.
Nationally, about one in every 25 hospitalized patients gets an infection, and 75,000 people die from them each year.
In 13 states and the District of Columbia, a quarter or more of hospitals that the government evaluated were rated worse than national benchmarks the CDC set in at least one infection category, the KHN analysis found.
The missteps Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital made this month in handling an Ebola patient echo mistakes hospitals across the nation have made in dealing with homegrown infections. Continue reading
The Patient Cost Estimator is available to Virginia Mason patients as well as others who are just shopping around to find out where to find the most affordable medical procedures. Some health care facilities might provide estimated prices or charges for a procedure, but those can be a much different amount than the cost the patient actually ends up with because there are a variety of bills that might come from hospitals, labs, physicians and elsewhere.
Q: What brought about the decision to split up?
A: It was the view of the UW that in order to continue our participation in the WWAMI program we had to be “100 percent in,” and that was the term that was used by UW. And by that they meant we could not continue in the WWAMI program while pursuing aspirations to have a second medical school in the state.
From Washington State Department of Health
Harborview Medical Center has volunteered to become one of the hospitals willing to consider receiving U.S. patients evacuated from Western Africa for treatment of Ebola.
The decision follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s request last week to find hospitals around the country that could treat citizens who have been on the frontlines of the international crisis.
“Consistent with Harborview Medical Center’s mission and role of serving the public in Seattle, King County and our region, we’re willing to consider accepting U.S. residents who may be infected with Ebola,” said Dr. Timothy Dellit, associate medical director of the Seattle hospital. “It will depend on the hospital’s current capacity and our ability to maintain our critical functions.”
There are no patients with Ebola in Washington, and there are no plans to evacuate patients to the region in the near future.
Medicare is fining a record number of hospitals – 2,610 – for having too many patients return within a month for additional treatments, federal records released Wednesday show.
Even though the nation’s readmission rate is dropping, Medicare’s average fines will be higher, with 39 hospitals receiving the largest penalty allowed, including the nation’s oldest hospital, Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia.
The federal government’s penalties, which begin their third year this month, are intended to jolt hospitals to pay attention to what happens to their patients after they leave.
Last year, nearly 18 percent of Medicare patients who had been hospitalized were readmitted within a month.
Others are still struggling to meet the new expectations. Before the program, some hospitals resisted such efforts because they weren’t paid for the services, and, in fact, benefited financially when a patient returned. Continue reading
With more people obtaining health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, places like Harborview Medical Center are providing much less “charity” (uncompensated) care. The Emergency Department there is as busy as ever, though.
Neglected to pick up your prescription? Now, there’s a good chance your doctor will know and do something about it, thanks to a slew of new partnerships between CVS Health and various health systems.
One of the most recent, which is slated to begin by early next year, will integrate the electronic medical records from MedStar Health’s 10 hospitals and 4,000 doctors – located in Washington, D.C. and Maryland — with CVS pharmacies as well as the chain’s 900 Minute Clinics located across the country.
It makes coordination easier, said Bob Gilbert, MedStar’s president of ambulatory services. When someone gets care at a pharmacy or retail clinic, it will be entered in the patient’s MedStar records for the doctor to see.
If a MedStar patient receives CVS service in another state, practitioners there will still be able to see the patient’s records.
Counting the MedStar partnership, CVS now has 41 such health-system agreements in place, with the last nine encompassing the retailers’ pharmacies. CVS hopes the other existing arrangements – which linked the systems with the Minute Clinics — will follow this course. Continue reading
A report released today by the Department of Health and Human Services projects that hospitals will save $5.7 billion this year in uncompensated care costs because of the Affordable Care Act, with states that have expanded Medicaid seeing about 74 percent of the total savings nationally compared to states that have not expanded Medicaid.
Fred Hutch and SCCA experts weigh in on the good, bad and ugly of the electronic cigarette quandary
By Diane Mapes / Fred Hutch News Service
“Our patients are highly motivated to quit, but they’re confused about the mixed messages of e-cigarettes,” said Donna Manders, a certified tobacco treatment specialist at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. “A lot of them believe the hype that is out there, that these must be safe because they’re being sold everywhere.”
Unfortunately, there are far more advertisements, celebrity spokesmodels (like anti-vaccine advocate Jenny McCarthy) and new brands of e-cigs than strong, evidence-based studies.
“There’s a lot of excitement but very little data,” said Jonathan Bricker, psychologist and smoking cessation researcher in the Public Health Sciences division of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. “The FDA has to regulate the device before a researcher can conduct a trial on its efficacy for smoking cessation and the devices aren’t regulated yet. We’re in a Catch-22.” Continue reading
From Seattle Children’s Hospital
Parents strongly encouraged to take precautions, seek medical attention for troubled breathing, wheezing in babies, children, teens
SEATTLE – Sept. 19, 2014 – Seattle Children’s Hospital announced today that two children have tested positive for Enterovirus D-68 (EV-D68).
The children, whose names were not released, have preexisting health conditions that exacerbated their condition but were stable enough to be discharged from the hospital earlier this week.
The presence of EV-D68 in the two children was confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on Thursday.
Results for three other children who were tested for EV-D68 were negative. Two of those children have been discharged; one is deceased.
No children in Washington or the United States have died of EV-D68 related illness. Continue reading
By Jordan Rau
About a quarter of the 243 groups of hospitals and doctors that banded together as accountable care organizations under the Affordable Care Act saved Medicare enough money to earn bonuses, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced Tuesday.
Those 64 ACOs earned a combined $445 million in bonuses, the agency said. Medicare saved $372 million after accounting for the ACOs that did not show success, including four that overspent significantly and now owe the government money.
The bonuses, losses and Medicare savings are teensy sums in the context of a program that spends half a trillion dollars a year on care for the elderly and disabled.
But the Obama administration views the results so far as evidence that reorganizing the financial incentives for doctors and hospitals — a key element of the health law – can translate to substantial savings if the program expands nationwide. Continue reading
The 7th annual Seattle Brain Cancer Walk will take place on Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014 at Seattle Center’s Fisher Pavilion.
Founded in 2008 by a group of committed volunteers and families, the Seattle Brain Cancer Walk has raised over $2.5 million for research, clinical trials and comprehensive care for brain cancer patients in the Pacific Northwest.
100% of the walk proceeds go directly to patient care and research. Continue reading
UW officials say the study wildly over-estimated the cost per student to attend medical school at UW.
They also claim a new medical school would suck resources from the existing medical program known as WWAMI, which is named for the five states it operates in: Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. Washington State University is part of the program.
Doctor shortages and economic development: Those were the two major issues Washington State University officials emphasized Monday after last week’s release of a feasibility study that examined the prospects for a new medical school in Spokane.