Periodically Washington State Department of Health issues an update on disciplinary actions taken against health care providers, including suspensions and revocations of licenses, certifications, or registrations of providers in the state.
The department also suspends the credentials of people who have been prohibited from practicing in other states.
A study of autoworker claims found that hospitals with the highest prices tended to have the strongest reputations and tight holds on their local markets yet showed little evidence of providing better quality care.
Market dominance is one of the major explanations for why some hospitals are able to extract higher prices from insurers during negotiations, since the insurers are reluctant to irk consumers by leaving these hospitals out of their networks.
Obama to GOP: Let’s See Your Health Plan – “If you have specific plans to cut costs, cover more people, and increase choice, tell America what you’d do differently,” Obama said. “Let’s see if the numbers add up, but let’s not have another 40-something votes to repeal a law that’s already helping millions of Americans.”"
Making babies: You may be doing it wrong, doctors say – “Most women no doubt know how babies are made. But a new survey suggests many are confused or misinformed on some of the fine points. Half wrongly believed that having sex more than once a day increases chances of conceiving. Sperm counts actually decrease with such frequent sex, the researchers say. About 40% wrongly believed that using certain sexual positions and lying on one’s back with raised hips after sex can help. Nearly two-thirds wrongly believed having sex in the two days after ovulation (the release of an egg from an ovary) increases chances for conception.”
Researchers turn adult cells back into stem cells – “n a step that has implications for stem cell research, human biology and the treatment of disease, researchers in Japan and at Harvard University have managed to turn adult cells back into flexible stem cells without changing their DNA.”
State senator suggests abolishing Office of Insurance Commissioner – Puget Sound Business Journal – “Republican state Sen. Randi Becker wants to abolish the state Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC) and replace it with a 10-person state insurance board. Becker introduced a bill Monday that would eliminate Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s position as an elected official and place power over the state’s insurance industry in the hands of a board that would be largely selected by the Legislature.”
Exposure to conflicting news about the health benefits of certain foods, vitamins and supplements often results in confusion and backlash against nutrition recommendations, finds a recent study in the Journal of Health Communication: International Perspectives. Continue reading →
January 28, 2014 – Deaths due to prescription pain medication overdoses in Washington state dropped by a third, 27%, between 2008 and 2012, the Washington State Department of Health said Tuesday. Continue reading →
Dr. Charles Denham giving a keynote address to the Cleveland Clinic. After Denham was accused of taking kickbacks, the National Quality Forum launches a review of its widely used patient safety guidelines. (SafetyLeaders/Flickr)
When the team of patient safety experts volunteering for the National Quality Forum met in 2009, it was no exaggeration to say lives were on the line.
The dozen committee members were updating “safe practice” guidelines that are taken as gospel by the nation’s hospitals, where mistakes and preventable complications cause hundreds of thousands of patient deaths a year.
Dr. Chuck Denham, one of the country’s most visible advocates for patient safety, co-chaired the session.
Denham resembles a trim version of Dr. Phil but talks faster, lacing his speech with a mix of self-help and business jargon.
Though he lacked the deep research credentials of some others on the panel, Denham had more than made up for it with evangelistic zeal, including a featured role in a patient safety documentary with the actor Dennis Quaid.
A transcript of the meeting shows that when discussion turned to preventing hospital infections, Denham twice brought up a studythat endorsed a particular formula for antiseptic skin cleansers.
What the committee didn’t know: A business run by Denham had contracts worth $11.6 million from a company whose market-leading product, ChloraPrep, used that same formula. Continue reading →
January 28, 2014 – Washington Healthplanfinder today announced that 323,762 Washingtonians have newly enrolled in private health coverage or in the state’s Medicaid program, Washington Apple Health since enrollment began October 1st.
More than 86,000 residents have now enrolled in private health plans – an 18 percent increase since Jan. 9, officials said.
Obamacare increases incomes of poorest, study finds – “he Affordable Care Act will “significantly” increase the incomes of Americans who fall in the bottom one-fifth of the income levels, while slightly decreasing — by .8% — the incomes of senior citizens, a new study finds. Those in the bottom one-fifth will see income measurements rise 6%; those in the bottom one-tenth will see an increase of more than 7%, according to researchers at the Brookings Institution, a non-partisan think tank.”
Drug critic slams FDA over antibiotic oversight in meat production | Reuters – “The United States Food and Drug Administration allowed 18 animal drugs to stay on the market even after an agency review found the drugs posed a “high risk” of exposing humans to antibiotic-resistant bacteria through food supply, according to a study released Monday by the Natural Resources Defense Council.”
Kids vitamins often surpass daily recommendations | Reuters – “Vitamin supplements marketed for infants and children often contain more than the recommended amount of individual vitamins, according to a new study.Researchers found that in all but one case, the average vitamin content of those supplements exceeded whats recommended.”