What Health Insurers Don’t Want You to Know

In a recent article, “Coding & Billing: 10 Things Insurers Don’t Want You to Know”, Karlene Dittrich, CBCS, lists 10 things health insurers don’t want you to know. These 10 things include: Insurance companies may not be focused on quality care or what’s best for their customers. Insurance companies are required by law to pay … Continue reading

Is going part-way for patient safety good enough?

This is the question that I have been asking myself ever since the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety posted an article encouraging Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to include continuous electronic monitoring of patients using patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) pumps. “Patient Controlled Analgesia (PCA) pumps” says Pat Iyer, president of www.avoidmedicalerrors.com, “were developed to address … Continue reading

Monitoring Technology for PCA Pumps Can Prevent Adverse Events with Patient-Controlled Analgesia (PCA): So Why Are Hospitals Not Using It?

This article has also been published in SurgiStrategies, which can be read here.) According to its newly-updated, “How-to Guide: Prevent Harm from High-Alert Medication”, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) looked at high-alert medications, which are “more likely than other medications to be associated with harm”. One of the areas that the IHI singles out is narcotics. The … Continue reading

What’s Driving the Costs of Malpractice Claims?

What are the costs of the malpractice claims? According to the study published in Health Affairs, “National Costs of the Medical Liability System”, concluded that the costs are $55.6 billion a year, which is 2.4% of annual healthcare spending. This $55.6 billion is divided as follows: $45.6 billion in defensive medicine costs $5.7 billion in … Continue reading

Improving Patient Safety in Hospitals: Can Hospitals Afford to Give Away Money? So Why Do Preventable Adverse Events Still Occur in Hospitals?

This is the question that I posed to lawyers, insurers, and healthcare professionals attending a major healthcare conference, the Crittenden Medical Conference. According to the Institute of Medicine, each preventable adverse event costs about $8,750 — and this excludes potential litigation costs. Can hospitals afford to give away money? So, why do preventable adverse events still occur … Continue reading

Who should set medical standards — doctors or lawyers?

In this article I wrote with lawyer Peter A. Corsale (Gallop, Johnson & Neuman, L.C.), we ask the question, “Who should set medical standards — doctors or lawyers?” I believe that medical standards should be set by doctors. After all, medicine is what doctors are trained to do. As Peter and I argue, the alternative … Continue reading

Is patient safety inadequate?

In its much publicized and discussed 1999 report, “To Err is Human”, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) found that made 44,000 to 98,000 lives a year in the U.S. were lost due to medical errors and, consequently, made patient safety a priority. Since that time, has patient safety improved? In their study recently published in … Continue reading

Should all patients after surgery be monitored?

In a survey conducted by the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety, almost all healthcare providers (90%) say that “continuous electronic monitoring of oxygenation and ventilation should be available and considered for all patients”. This monitoring “would reduce the likelihood of unrecognized clinically significant opioid-induced depression of ventilation in the postoperative period.” Dr. Marc Popovich … Continue reading

Patients with chronic pain may face a medication double jeopardy

We as a society either take too much or too little prescription medication — and, interestingly, sometimes both too much and too little in the same patient. In a recent article, “America’s fatal addiction to prescription drugs”, the author (Dr David Kloth) describes rather poignantly this plight with prescription medications: Misuse of legal medications kills … Continue reading

How is a patient’s customer value proposition related to patient adherence?

A recent study, published in the American Journal of Cardiology, illustrates the connection between a patient’s customer value proposition and that patient’s adherence. Researchers examined Medicare data on more than 13,000 adults who had been hospitalized for a heart attack or severe chest pain caused by caused by diseased heart arteries. More than 70% received heart bypass surgery or … Continue reading