Extra Extra : Health Care

300,000 Oregonians depend on an addiction treatment system that’s broken

More than 300,000 people go untreated for alcohol or drug abuse in a state that has little knowledge about the effectiveness of its treatment clinics, The Oregonian found.

The paper spent months reviewing government records and interviewing officials and recovering addicts in Oregon. It found that while treatment clinics frequently report patient statistics to the state’s Addictions and Mental Health Services Division, the agency never uses the data.

The Oregonian looked at the numbers and found abysmal success rates. The ineffectual system costs nearly $6 billion a year, the paper found.

Some non-profit mental health providers spend heavily on administrative costs despite service cuts

Despite a decline in public funding, many non-profit mental health agencies have continued to hand out six-figure salaries and bonus-and-incentive packages.

The Arizona Republic reviewed financial records for 28 non-profit mental health providers and their clients and found that administrative costs at these underfunded agencies have climbed while services dwindle. Families said they have been denied services or waited months to get them because of the cuts in funding.

Extra Extra Monday: Drug-addicted nurses, police shootings and lottery winners

Addicted nurses steal patients’ drugs | The News Leader (Staunton, VA)

A statewide investigation by The News Leader found about 900 nurses publicly disciplined by the licensing board from 2007 to mid-2013 for drug theft and use at work.

Across Virginia, scores of patients in pain during the last decade were denied necessary medication because a nurse was stealing it.

 

In 179 fatalities involving on-duty NYPD cops in 15 years, only 3 cases led to indictments — and just 1 conviction | New York Daily News

A Staten Island grand jury’s decision not to indict white NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo for the ...

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Extra Extra Monday: Baby boomers, school shootings and health licensing boards

Review shows health licensing boards voted improperly | The Boston Globe

Four Massachusetts health licensing boards met nearly three dozen times over five years without enough members present, casting a legal cloud over numerous votes on disciplinary proceedings, license applications, and investigations, according to an internal audit by the Department of Public Health.

The review, which confirms concerns first raised by the Globe a year ago, found the boards of pharmacy, physician assistants, dentistry, and perfusionists (who operate heart-lung machines during surgery) held 465 votes without a quorum from January 2008 to May 2013. Two observers said they were shocked by ...

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Wounded soldiers allege mistreatment in the Army’s Warrior Transition Units

Hundreds of current and former soldiers based in Texas have filed complaints over the last five years about the Army’s Warrior Transition Units, which were set up to serve soldiers with physical and psychological wounds.

The Dallas Morning News and KXAS-TV used the records, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, to describe and examine "an often challenging regimen of medical treatment and a military culture of order and discipline."

Many of the complaints involve soldiers describing harassment and mistreatment at the WTUs.

A 20-year-old’s death hints at trouble in the multi-billion dollar rehab industry

Brandon Jacques’s parents flew their son to a far-away rehab center in hopes it’d cure him of his worsening bulimia and alcoholism.

Instead, Jacques was passed around and failed by an unregulated and profit-driven system, cut off from communicating with his family. He eventually died after going into cardiac arrest at a detox center at which the family didn’t even know he was living, according to an investigation by Vice.

Across the country, legislators have struggled to keep up with the fast-growing and supremely expensive non-hospital rehab industry. Fueled by the commercialization of rehab through reality TV ...

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Extra Extra Monday: Death by deadline, online diplomas, vaccine court

Death by Deadline | The Marshall Project

An investigation by The Marshall Project shows that since President Bill Clinton signed the one-year statute of limitations into law - enacting a tough-on-crime provision that emerged in the Republicans' Contract with America - the deadline has been missed at least 80 times in capital cases. Sixteen of those inmates have since been executed -- the most recent on Thursday, when Chadwick Banks was put to death in Florida.

 

Milwaukee kickboxer Dennis Munson Jr.'s death follows cascade of errors by fight officials | Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel revealed a series of missteps by fight officials ...

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Poorly rated nursing homes got HUD-guaranteed mortgages anyway

Hundreds of the country’s worst nursing homes have received mortgages backed by The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), according to a report by the Center for Public Integrity.

HUD requires nursing homes applying for construction and rehabilitation loans to provide quality reports. Still, an analysis of loan and ratings data found that the number and volume of one-star facilities receiving HUD insurance climbed every year from 2009 to 2012.

FDA approves cancer drugs without proof they're extending lives

Nearly three out of four cancer drugs introduced in the last decade were approved by the FDA without proof that they help patients survive longer.

Teaming with MedPage Today, which provides physicians a clinical perspective on breaking medical news, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel analyzed 54 cancer drugs put on the market in the last decade. They found that instead of using the gold standard – patients surviving longer – the FDA based approval on surrogate measures such as a tumor shrinking.

To read the full story, click here.

Wall Street Journal publishes free ‘Deadly Medicine’ e-book

Last December, The Wall Street Journal told the world the story of Amy Reed, a Boston doctor who had a hysterectomy to treat what doctors thought was a benign fibroid tumor, only to find out later that she had cancer and that a device called a power morcellator had caused it to spread.

Now, the Journal has published an ebook, drawn from its investigative coverage throughout 2014. It tells the story of Amy and other women who have been made sicker or who have died because of this device. The ebook can be downloaded for free from the Journal website.