Extra Extra : Health Care

Veterans languish and die on a VA hospital's secret list

At least 40 U.S. veterans died waiting for appointments at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care system, many of whom were placed on a secret waiting list.

The secret list was part of an elaborate scheme designed by Veterans Affairs managers in Phoenix who were trying to hide that 1,400 to 1,600 sick veterans were forced to wait months to see a doctor, according to a recently retired top VA doctor and several high-level sources.

For six months, CNN has been reporting on extended delays in health care appointments suffered by veterans across the country and who ...

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VA pays out $200 million for nearly 1,000 veterans’ wrongful deaths

In the decade after 9/11, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs paid $200 million to nearly 1,000 families in wrongful death cases, according to VA data obtained by The Center for Investigative Reporting.

In that time, CIR found the agency made wrongful death payments to nearly 1,000 grieving families, ranging from decorated Iraq War veterans who shot or hanged themselves after being turned away from mental health treatment, to Vietnam veterans whose cancerous tumors were identified but allowed to grow, to missed diagnoses, botched surgeries and fatal neglect of elderly veterans.

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Oklahoma veteran center doctors have records, substance abuse problems

Veterans centers in Oklahoma routinely hire doctors and other licensed medical personnel with a record of problems to treat the state’s sickest, most vulnerable veterans.

Officials with the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs say money is the culprit, claiming it’s difficult to find suitable applicants with clean records to work at the state’s seven veterans centers.

Healthcare quality for poor varies from state to state

A review of data from the nation's 306 healthcare markets, as well as interviews with scores of experts and visits to communities from Maine to Hawaii, points to many common features of America's healthiest places.

More people have health insurance. Doctors and hospitals cooperate more closely, ensuring patients get preventive care and don't fall through the cracks. Civic and business leaders help drive community efforts to expand access to healthcare, measure results and improve quality.

Florida trauma centers charging patients expensive ‘trauma response fees'

Trauma patients, who have no choice in where the ambulance takes them, are being charged as much as $33,000 the moment they enter a Florida trauma center. That money doesn’t account for X-rays or treatment; it’s just a cover charge, and thousands of patients have been billed more for it than for their actual medical care. The Tampa Bay Times, in an unprecedented data analysis, found that this fee, pushed a decade ago by industry lobbyists, has spiraled out of control. Taking it to unprecedented heights: One of the nation’s largest for-profit hospital chains, Hospital Corporation ...

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In New York, a Heart Surgery Factory With 'Obscene Levels' of Pay

Reports of scheduled ER visits raised a concern internally that some cardiologists might be using the emergency department to get the costs of uninsured patients’ procedures covered, according to hospital correspondence. In some cases, the government’s Medicaid program and private insurers will pay for procedures done via an emergency-room visit that wouldn’t be covered otherwise, Bloomberg News reports.

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Arizona ranks in bottom third of states for new born screening requirements

Arizona’s screening now tests for 29 diseases or conditions, including hearing loss. That number places Arizona in the bottom third of states.

As of 2011, at least 15 states tested for more than 50 conditions, according to the Save Babies Through Screening Foundation, a national non-profit that advocates for newborn screening.

Extra Extra Monday: American Indian casinos, oil field fatalities, student absenteeism

Suicide rate hits 25-year high in region | Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Journal

Craig Russell Wishnick is one of 238 residents of Dutchess and Ulster counties to die by suicide in the five years ending in 2011, 73 more than in the five years ending in 2003, according to a Poughkeepsie Journal analysis of death certificates over a 13-year period. That is an increase in harder-hit Dutchess of 62 percent and the first hike in the county rate after a quarter-century of steady and solid decline.

 

Does Utah’s air pollution increase school absences? | The Salt Lake Tribune

Health problems are a ...

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Trauma transfers risky procedure at Central Mississippi Medical Center

A for-profit hospital in south Jackson repeatedly transferred emergency patients it was paid by the state to treat, possibly violating state hospital regulations and federal law, a Clarion-Ledger investigation found.

The Clarion-Ledger obtained hospital transfer logs, patient charts and other documents leaked by whistle-blowers that depict a pattern of decisions at Central Mississippi Medical Center that may have put lives at risk.