hospitals

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Know America's Costliest Health Condition? No Way

Deadly but treatable, Sepsis is a complication of infections

(Newser) - Most Americans have never heard of sepsis, but the condition hospitalizes a million patients every year—more than heart attack and stroke hospitalizations combined—and is the nation's costliest reason for hospitalization, the Conversation reports. Yet it's hard to diagnose and many doctors don't look for, let... More »

These Hospitals Give Care That Costs $100, Charge $1K

Study identifies the 50 worst price-gougers

(Newser) - Hospital pricing is a murky business, and a study published in Health Affairs this week tries bring clarity to an ugly part of it: "price-gouging," as study co-author Gerard Anderson puts it. Of our 5,000 hospitals, researchers identified the 50 with the highest markups, ones that charge... More »

Death Rates for Babies Who Have Heart Surgery a Secret

More than half the hospitals that do these procedures don't report, CNN finds

(Newser) - No parents would ever want their child to have heart surgery, but if it's necessary, at least they can go online and check out which hospitals have the best success rates, right? Not exactly, according to a CNN investigation , which finds that of the 109 hospitals countrywide that perform... More »

Emergency Room Visits Rising Under ObamaCare: Poll

Three-quarters of emergency doctors cite increase

(Newser) - Backers of ObamaCare have said it would reduce the number of visits to emergency rooms, the Wall Street Journal notes, but in fact, a poll of ER doctors finds that number has been climbing. "Visits are going up despite the (Affordable Care Act), and in a lot of cases... More »

Hospitals Giving 'Death Test' to Seniors

Analysis could help families, doctors deal with terminal illness

(Newser) - Seniors had better brace themselves: Some US hospitals are now administering the "death test," which estimates an elderly patient's chance of dying over the next 30 days. Invented in Australia, the test weighs 29 different criteria —including blood pressure, respiratory rate, and medical history—to determine... More »

Calif. Patient Tested for Ebola

Health officials confident they can prevent disease spread

(Newser) - A patient in Sacramento is being tested for Ebola, but health experts still say there is little chance the disease will spread in the US. "We should take this one case not as something to inspire fear but to tell us the system is working,” one expert tells... More »

Hackers Hit Hospital Network, 4.5M Patients' Data

Community Health Systems runs 206 hospitals

(Newser) - Hackers hit Community Health Systems, a company that operates 206 hospitals across the United States, accessing the records of some 4.5 million patients, reports CNN . What they got, as per the AP : patient names, addresses, birthdates, and phone and Social Security numbers. That affects anyone treated at any location... More »

Rural America Is Losing Its Hospitals

Some blame states' failure to expand Medicaid

(Newser) - The closing of a hospital in rural North Carolina may not seem like a huge deal—on its own. But the shuttering of Pungo Hospital in the largely black town of Belhaven is just another example of a US rural hospital closing up shop, Al Jazeera reports. Last year, 14... More »

Our Hospitals Have a Serious Saline Problem

If shortage gets bad enough, it could claim lives

(Newser) - Sometimes, you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone. Such is the case with saline, a pharmaceutical-grade salt water that is in short supply across the US. The reasons for the shortage appear to be numerous, one being that the simple solution, used to mix... More »

In a Single Year, Basic Hospital Prices Soar

And experts aren't sure why

(Newser) - Over the course of a single year, hospitals charged noticeably more for a range of standard procedures, the New York Times finds. Medicare data show that for 91 of 98 common ailments, hospitals' 2012 prices increased more than the rate of inflation from a year earlier: Chest pain charges jumped... More »

Hospital-Stay Infections, Still Bad? Try 650K a Year

Infection rate is down, but 200 Americans still die daily

(Newser) - About 4% of US hospital patients acquire an infection while hospitalized, which added up to 648,000 people in 2011—75,000 of whom died, the Washington Post reports. The most common infections, according to a CDC survey : pneumonia (22%), surgical site injections (22%), and gastrointestinal infections (17%). Hospitals have... More »

Report: Aborted Babies Used to Heat UK Hospitals

British TV show reveals practice in two major hospitals

(Newser) - British hospitals have incinerated more than 15,500 aborted and miscarried fetal remains over the years, at times to generate power for heat in "waste-to-energy" plants, the Telegraph reports. A UK television show revealed the practice tonight, but health officials beat them to the punch by banning the practice... More »

Doctor Breaks Neck, Sees Reality of Hospital Care

A Harvard physician undergoes treatment for nightmare injury

(Newser) - Arnold Relman was in pretty good shape for a 90-year-old—until the day he fell down the stairs and fractured three vertebrae in his neck, he writes in the New York Review of Books . He was rushed to Massachusetts General, where a crack medical team saved his life by performing... More »

Suits: How a Hospital Chain Schemed to Boost Profits

'NYT' looks at lawsuits against Health Management Associates

(Newser) - The New York Times today takes a look at whistle-blower lawsuits claiming for-profit hospital chain Health Management Associates employed a strategy to up admission—whether or not patients needed care—in order to boost Medicare and Medicaid payments. The paper shares one tactic, in which ER scorecards were posted daily,... More »

Why Hospitals Can Charge $500 Per Stitch

'NYT' takes an extensive look at hospital billing

(Newser) - Hospital billing is notoriously complicated—and treatment at a US hospital is notoriously expensive. The New York Times highlights those issues in an extensive piece today, and uses stitches and similar treatments as an example of both points: One patient at a California hospital was billed $2,229.11 to... More »

'Definition of Evil': Lab Tech Guilty of Infecting Patients

David Kwiatkowski gets 39 years for infecting people with hepatitis C

(Newser) - A hospital lab technician in New Hampshire was sentenced today to 39 years in prison for using syringes that later infected at least 46 people with hepatitis C, ABC News reports. David Kwiatkowski, 34, admitted that he stole syringes intended for patients, injecting their anesthetic fentanyl into his arm and... More »

US Most Expensive Place to Give Birth in the World

Average delivery is $9,775

(Newser) - The average hospital baby delivery in the US costs $9,775—$15,041 if it's a Caesarean—more than any first-world country in the world, the New York Times reports. It's $3,541 in France, and $2,641 in Britain. And the price hike is not because US... More »

Icky Hospital Problem: Getting Staff to Wash Hands

Many are trying high-tech monitoring, or even prizes as incentives

(Newser) - And the award for Heebie-Jeebiest Story of the Day goes to this gem from the New York Times , headlined: "Hospitals Struggle to Get Workers to Wash Their Hands." Turns out that, left to their own devices, hospital workers don't wash their hands all that often while interacting... More »

When Hospitals Botch Things, They Profit: Study

Preventable mistakes in surgery earn $30K more

(Newser) - Hospitals are literally profiting from their own mistakes. A new study of 12 hospitals found they made an average of $30,500 more when a patient had preventable surgical complications, because insurers pay for the longer stays and extra care that ensue, the New York Times reports. The researchers emphasize... More »

How Hospital Bills Are Killing the US

Trumped-up bills 'drive the federal deficit': Steven Brill of Time

(Newser) - Getting Hodgkin's lymphoma was bad enough. Then Ohio resident Sean Recchi received his hospital bill: $83,900. You can blame his limited health insurance, but Steven Brill at Time looked behind the numbers to see why MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston charged so much. What Brill found: shocking... More »

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