Business of Medicine

Progress For Bill To Bolster Medicare Patients' Hospital Rights

Jul 29, 2015

The Senate unanimously approved legislation Monday night requiring hospitals across the nation to tell Medicare patients when they receive observation care but haven't been admitted to the hospital as inpatients.

The distinction is easy for patients to miss — until they get hit with big medical bills after a short stay.

How Much Does It Cost To Have A Baby? Hospital Study Finds Huge Price Range

Jul 17, 2015
George Ruiz via Flickr/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Which hospital parents pick to deliver their baby can have serious cost consequences, according to a new study.

Hospital costs for women who had no maternal or obstetric risk factors to complicate childbirth ranged from less than $2,000 to nearly $12,000, the analysis of discharge data found. The wide variation in cost means that for expectant parents, it can pay to shop around.

Some parents pick out a name for their child as soon as the pregnancy test turns positive. For others, the choice of a name is a game-time decision, taking minutes, hours or even a day or two after birth.

My own baby went unnamed for about 20 minutes as my husband and I tried to figure out which of our top choices best fit her screamy little face.

Talk about sticker shock: Some U.S. hospitals charge patients more than 10 times the rates paid by Medicare.

Of the 50 U.S. hospitals with the highest charges, 49 are for-profit institutions, 20 operate in Florida, and half are owned by a single chain, according to a study published in the journal Health Affairs Monday.

Calming Dementia Patients Without Powerful Drugs

Jun 1, 2015

In California nursing homes, just over 15 percent of dementia patients are on antipsychotic drugs. That’s far more than advocates say is necessary. But that number is down from almost 22 percent just three years ago.

If you're in the hospital or a nursing home, the last thing you want to be dealing with is bedbugs. But exterminators saying they're getting more and more calls for bedbug infestations in nursing homes, hospitals and doctor's offices.

A hospital closure can send tremors through a city or town, leaving residents fearful about how they will be cared for in emergencies and serious illnesses.

A study released Monday offers some comfort, finding that when hospitals shut down, death rates and other markers of quality generally don't worsen.

Across the country, nurses are the most likely to be injured doing their jobs. For many nurses, back and joint pain is a fact of life but so is the risk of violence. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, health care workers are at a 5 times greater risk for assault than people in other professions. 

A hospital can be a stressful place and patients can be unpredictable.

Whatever lands you in the hospital or nursing home also puts you at risk for acquiring an infection, possibly one that's resistant to antibiotic treatment.

Staph infections are common problems in health care facilities, and many Staphylcoccus aureus bacteria are now resistant to drug treatment.

Chances are you've heard of MRSA, which is the kind of staph that isn't susceptible to methicillin, the antibiotic that used to be a silver bullet.

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