On Sunday, The Charlotte Observer published a package of stories showing that North Carolina's largest hospital system continues to file hundreds of lawsuits against patients, despite new state and federal laws aimed at reining in aggressive collection practices. The Observer's review found that a number of the lawsuits by Carolinas HealthCare System were filed against low-income patients who lacked health insurance. That appears to defy the intent of new laws aimed at protecting vulnerable patients.
Extra Extra : Health Care
Crain’s Chicago Business conducted an unprecedented examination of state records for every hospital in Illinois and found nearly 4 out of every 10 beds lying vacant. Buffeted by population shifts and changes in health insurance, the hospital industry in Illinois has far more capacity than it needs. Crain’s tells the story behind the numbers in an industry socked by drastic transformation.
The Dental Board of California aims to close disciplinary cases within a year and a half, but an investigation by U-T San Diego found that it actually takes the board twice as long. The delays allow for injuries and even deaths to occur.
It took the board 13 years to resolve a case involving a meth-using dentist. A review of dental board data found that it takes an average of 1,185 days to complete an investigation.
While the board has hired more investigators, delays occur when the office cannot find qualified dental experts to analyze the board's findings.
Business tangles with wage enforcement system for decades | Rocky Mountain PBS I-NEWS
More than 30 years of public records and internal documents dealing with Bradley Petroleum, one of Colorado's oldest employers, show the company has repeatedly been investigated for violating federal and state labor law, Rocky Mountain PBS I-News has found. In particular, for a pattern of suspending employees for shortages, reporting them to the police for alleged theft, and then permanently withholding the employee's final check despite a lack of evidence of any wrongdoing
No new conviction, but sent back to prison | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
More than ...Read more ...
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.
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.
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.
A Staten Island grand jury’s decision not to indict white NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo for the ...Read more ...
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 ...Read more ...
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.
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 ...Read more ...