December 24, 2009
May you all have a happy and healthy season this year!
December 22, 2009
Health Insurance Stock At Highest Levels In A Year
Kill the Public Option and the Health Insurance Industry’s stocks soar!!! Obviously, the Insurance Industry cares a lot about the Public Option and even more obviously than that, it would have created a real competition without which, the profits will continue to soar!
December 22, 2009
Local hospitals have billions of dollars in cash and have seen their revenues increase (some as much as 30% in the past year) all the while they are claiming to be in financial difficulties when come time to discuss health care.
If you listen to hospital lobbyists in Washington, the industry teeters on the brink of financial ruin, depending on how health care reform plays out.
But the rhetoric does not match the balance sheets of some of Chicago’s largest hospital operators. Many are spending unprecedented amounts on new buildings and seeing some of their best improvements in cash since the dot-com boom of a decade ago.
Critics say large hospital operators that are amassing cash are doing so at the expense of patients, charging higher prices when that money could be used to lower costs or subsidize hospitals in a hole.
December 17, 2009
Most of the time, what we call “neglect or abuse” results from a simple lack of nursing home staff interest. Staff does not provide for residents’ basic needs including water, food, or a clean and healthy environment. This form of neglect can also lead to more serious forms of illnesses, diseases and medical conditions. Bed sores are a typical example of conditions that are relatively easy to prevent but far too common in many nursing centers. Seniors can develop bed sores at a higher frequency due to inactivity, the thinning of skin, poor circulation, and malnutrition.
December 14, 2009
Sen. Leahy on Taking Away Insurance Cos. Anti-trust Exemption; Wants Public Option
No one knows why the Insurance Industry has an exemption from the rules of Capitalism to allow the forces of the market to set the price. It is time that Insurance Industry’s exemption from the anti-trust laws.
December 14, 2009
Moreover, the term “frivolous lawsuit” has no application in medical negligence cases. Does Ms. House really believe that lawyers file frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits? Such a claim frankly is incredulous for several reasons: First, the law requires that a patient must file an affidavit with the court indicating that he/she has a letter of merit from physician(s) supporting the allegations of negligence. Without it, the lawsuit gets dismissed. Secondly, these cases are extremely expensive. Expert witnesses for both the patient and the health care providers are expensive to retain and to consult. That expense is borne by the attorney since the injured patient many times has no means of financial support. No lawyer is going to advance thousands of dollars to promote a case of futility. Finally, any lawyer who takes on a health care provider must educate himself with regard to the basic issues of medicine involved in the particular case. This research is extremely time consuming but absolutely essential if the lawyer is going to represent the client effectively.
Why would I or any other lawyer invest so much energy into a frivolous matter?
December 10, 2009
This is amazing! More and more we scrutiize the idea of Tort Reform as the answer to all ills, more and more we find out that the Notion is simply based on lies at worst and miss-information at best! Why don’t we hear about this on CNN? Read on…
“A few weeks ago the Congressional Budget Office released an analysis that said tort reform would save the federal government $54 billion over ten years. That sounds like a great argument for tort reform. But if you read the analysis more carefully, you see the picture is not so simple. For example, on page 4 of the analysis you can find this little bombshell:
“CBO’s estimate takes into account the fact that because many states have already implemented some of the changes in the package, a significant fraction of the potential cost savings has already been realized.“
The fact is, more than half of the states already have “reformed” tort. The CBO is saying that federal tort reform would not give us an additional $54 billion in savings. Rather, we’re already enjoying a significant fraction of the $54 billion in savings because tort is already “reformed” in most states.
Wait, you didn’t notice that health care costs are dropping because of state tort reforms? That’s because they aren’t.”
December 9, 2009
We see results like this all the time, yet the mythical Tort Reform as the answer to all ills continues to be proffered to the public by all those who are either miss-informed or are only looking out for the profit and interests of Insurance Industry. I particularly like the Texas results since the idea that all is well in Texas has been publicized–the problem with the publicity given to Texas and its supposed success resulting from the passage of Tort Reform is that it has resulted in less lawsuits–The US Chamber of Commerce seem to be only concerned with that fact–however, the US Chamber of Commerce does not seem to be concerned with the consumers who have been injured not being able to get compensation from the insurance company for their injuries… That concern has been passed along to us the tax payer because if a person who has been handicapped as a result of medical malpractice is not able to work and to support himself, ultimately, it is the tax payer who will be left holding the bag–and that seems to be the MO of the Right Wing and Conservative Movement.
The health care debate drones on in the Senate. The first words out of the mouth of many conservative legislators against the proposed health legislation are “Tort Reform.” Medical Malpractice Liability Reform has been a poster child for opponents to overall reform.
The theory is that if medical malpractice premiums decline for doctors and other providers, those savings will be passed on to patients. It hopes that limitations on liability and reductions in malpractice premiums will translate to physicians dropping the practice of defensive medicine.
In fact, more than half of the states have already implemented “tort reform” on the state level. If the Conservative theory holds water, examination of expenditures data should show a positive result.
Texas, in particular, has been cited as a state which has seen drops in malpractice premiums and new doctors moving into the region as “tort reform” has taken hold after implementation in 2006.
Documented results on health expenditures paid run several years in arrears, but according to analysts at the Department of Health and Human Services, it would be expected they run parallel to more readily available Medicare usage statistics. Seven of the top twenty most costly metropolitan areas to get health care are in Texas.
Nineteen most expensive Medicare areas have tort reform:
The nineteen most expensive Medicare service areas are Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, and Alabama. In each state, medical malpractice liability reform has passed the state legislature and been signed into law.
To be fair, there are wide variances in premiums charged by malpractice insurance companies for similar policies in the same medical specialty across the country. These can be as high as 400-500 percent. Certainly, this functions as disincentive for physicians to provide certain services in high premium states. Causation of the variations has more to do with a lack of competition in certain jurisdictions than by specific awards made.
Physicans afraid of litigation
Doctors, in particular, are terrified of being sued. Although higher than average malpractice premiums contribute to this fear, the premiums and awards combined contribute to less than 2 percent of overall medical expense. Malpractice premium relief alone does not seem deter the practice of costly defensive medicine.