March 7, 2012

30 New York-area hospitals hit with poor ratings - New York Daily News

From the New York Daily News March 1:

THIRTY NEW York-area hospitals were given a code blue for patient safety by Consumer Reports -- and the Bronx's Jacobi was labeled worst in the country.

Local hospital officials insisted the ratings were misleading, based on older data that don't reflect more recent strides to protect patients.

Read the rest of the article at the New York Daily News website.

St. Francis Hospital, Mercy Medical Center win patient safety kudos | Long Island Business News

From today's Long Island Business News:

A medical malpractice insurer has singled out two Catholic Health Services of Long Island hospitals for a collaboration they say improves care and could be a model for other medical centers.

St. Francis Hospital, with 364 beds, and Mercy Medical Center, a 375-bed hospital, were honored for an electronic reporting system they developed to identify serious patient and visitor incidents.

Read the rest of the article at Long Island Business News website.

February 13, 2012

Attorney General Seeks Support for Narcotics Prescription Database

From an AG press release February 13:

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman today launched a new website, "Share Your I-STOP Story," that showcases personal stories from New Yorkers who have been impacted by the growing epidemic of prescription drug abuse. As momentum builds for legislative action to address the problem, the site urges doctors, pharmacists, addiction sufferers and their families to put a human face on the issue, and help persuade state lawmakers to pass Schneiderman's Internet System for Tracking Overprescribing (I-STOP) plan aimed at reining in prescription drug abuse. I-STOP connects doctors and pharmacists to a real time, online database that tracks the prescribing and dispensing of frequently abused narcotics.

Read the entire press release on the AG's website.

Former Insurance Superintendent James Wrynn Joining Goldberg Segalla

From the Department of Financial Services press release February 10th:

Benjamin M. Lawsky, Superintendent of Financial Services, today announced that James J. Wrynn, Deputy Superintendent of Financial Services, is leaving state service to accept a position with Goldberg Segalla LLP as Managing Director of the firm's New York City office and will serve as a Senior Partner with its Global Insurance Services practices group.

Read the rest of the press release on the DFS website.

Study Finds New York Hospitals Flout Charity Rules -

From today's New York Times:

New York's charity care system, partly financed by an 8.95 percent surcharge on hospital bills, is one of the most complicated in the nation, but many states have wrestled with aggressive debt collection by hospitals in recent years. Like New York, several passed laws curbing hospitals' pursuit of unpaid bills, including Illinois, California and Minnesota.

But a new study of New York hospitals' practices and state records finds that most medical centers are violating the rules without consequences, even as the state government ignores glaring problems in the hospitals' own reports.

Read the full article on the New York Times website.

February 8, 2012

Health Budget Hearing today/21-day Amendments

The Joint Legislative Public Hearing on the Health portion of the 2012-13 Executive Budget proposal is being held today, beginning at 10 am, in Hearing Room B of the Legislative Office Building in Albany.

Additionally, the 21-day amendments to the Executive Budget proposal were released last night and are available here.

February 6, 2012

Unintended (or Intended?) Consequences

In case you missed it -- In a recent NY Times "Opinionator" column, Ezekiel Emanuel and Jeffrey Liebman (both former advisers to President Obama) predicted that health insurers will be "extinct" by 2020 because ACOs will make them "superfluous." To support that theory, the authors explained why they think ACOs will have more permanence and do a better job of controlling costs and improving care than the HMOs that came before them. Read the column here.

January 25, 2012

HANYS Study: Gloomy Forecast on Physician Shortage

Released January 24, 2012:

Hospitals across the state are facing a serious physician shortage that is expected to worsen as the pace of pysician departures and retirements accelerates, and hospitals are having problems recruiting new doctors, according to a new report by the Healthcare Association of New York States (HANYS).

Read the HANYS press release, then click through to the full report on the HANYS website.

January 24, 2012

Hospital "Amenities Units" in the Spotlight

The January 22 issue of the NY Times featured an article written by a journalist after her "unofficial visits" to hospital rooms specially designed to attract patients paying cash.

Read "Chefs, Butlers, Marble Baths: Hospitals Vie for the Affluent" here.

January 19, 2012

Private Health Insurers Are Being Driven Out Of The Markets, Affecting Millions - Forbes

Well. Who would've guessed?

In New York, Empire BlueCross BlueShield said it is no longer offering health insurance plans that cover about 20,000 businesses. Mark Wagar, president and CEO of Empire, said that the company will eliminate seven of the 13 group plans it currently offers to businesses which have two to 50 employees. The move is expected to have a great and potentially "catastrophic" impact on small businesses in New York, according to James L. Newhouse, president of Newhouse Financial and Insurance Brokers in Rye Brook, NY.

Read the full article at the Forbes website.

January 18, 2012

Cuomo Offers Budget With More Trims Than Deep Cuts -

Today's NY Times highlights some pieces of Governor Cuomo's state of the State:

Mr. Cuomo also proposed saving more than $750 million by limiting planned increases on mental health programs and social services, including eliminating an automatic cost-of-living increase for nonprofit providers of services like foster care, adoption and family counseling.

Addressing a major concern of local governments, Mr. Cuomo proposed that the state gradually take over yearly increases in Medicaid expenses that are now shouldered by county governments and New York City.

Read the full article at the New York Times website, or visit the Governor's executive budget webpage directly.

January 12, 2012

2012-13 Budget Presenation Scheduled

Governor Cuomo will give his 2012-13 Executive Budget presentation next Tuesday, January 17.

WHEN: Tuesday, January 17, 2012

TIME: 2:00 PM

WHERE: Hart Theatre, Egg Center for Performing Arts

Albany, NY 12224

January 6, 2012

Study of Medicare Patients Finds Most Hospital Errors Unreported -

Hospital adverse events are woefully underreported, if a new inspector general report covered in today's New York Times is to be believed:

Hospital employees recognize and report only one out of seven errors, accidents and other events that harm Medicare patients while they are hospitalized, federal investigators say in a new report.

Read the full article on the New York Times website.

State Health Department Awards $500,000 in Doctors Across New York Funds

From the DOH website December 29, 2011:

State Health Commissioner Nirav R. Shah, M.D., M.P.H., today announced that five health care providers have been awarded grants totaling up to $500,000 over two years to support physicians who practice medicine in underserved communities through the "Doctors Across New York" Program.

Read the rest of the press release on the DOH website.

December 29, 2011

St. John's Episcopal Hospital Laboratory Permit Suspended for 30 Days

From the Department of Health website December 16th:

The New York State Department of Health (DOH) has suspended the laboratory permit of St John's Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway, Queens, for blood transfusion and related testing.

Read the DOH press release online at the DOH website.

For additional posts, see the archive headings in the right hand column.