Small Hospitals Turn to Telemedicine for ER Services

From mHealthIntelligence:

A rural Canadian hospital is looking to telemedicine to keep its ER open 24 hours a day. It’s a business plan being adopted by small and large health systems across North America.

CVS slashes price of Impax’s EpiPen rival

From Reuters:

Drugstore chain CVS Health Corp (CVS.N) has cut the price of a generic version of Impax Laboratories Inc’s (IPXL.O) emergency allergy injection, a device similar to Mylan NV’s (MYL.O) controversial EpiPen.

Mylan, which has been lambasted by consumers and lawmakers for raising EpiPen prices six-fold in less than a decade, said last month it would start selling a generic version of EpiPen for $300 per two-pack, a more than 50 percent discount.

CVS’s move comes after health insurer Cigna Corp (CI.N) revised its coverage list to include the generic version of Epipen instead of the branded version.

Emergency Department Violence Fact Sheet

From the American College of Emergency Physicians:

Main Points

  • Protecting emergency patients and staff from violent acts is fundamental to ensuring quality patient care.
  • More than 75 percent of emergency physicians experienced at least one violent workplace incident in a year.
  • ACEP encourages all states to enact legislation that establishes maximum categories for offenses and criminal penalties against individuals who commit violence against health care workers.

What is the magnitude of the problem and why should we care?

  • The majority of assaults on health care workers were by patients or visitors.  Pushing/grabbing and yelling/shouting are the most prevalent types of violence. Eighty percent of incidents occurred in patient rooms.
  • More than 70 percent of emergency nurses reported physical or verbal assault by emergency patients or visitors (2013). The violence happened most frequently while the nurses were triaging patients, restraining or subduing patients or performing invasive procedures. Most of the violence occurred at night between 11pm and 7am.

There is significant stress to emergency department staff, and to medical patients who seek treatment in the emergency care system, if the emergency department is a site of frequent violence. This risk also increases the difficulty of recruiting and retaining highly qualified personnel. Patients with medical emergencies deserve a place of care that is free of physical dangers from other patients, and care from staff that is not distracted by individuals with behavioral or substance-induced violent behavior.

New state rules are forcing opioid prescribers to confront ‘doctor shopping’

From the Post:

Over the objections of many doctors and their powerful advocacy groups, states are moving to force physicians to check on patients’ narcotic purchasing habits, one of the more effective ways of curbing opioid abuse as the deadly drug epidemic continues.

Eighteen states have adopted comprehensive mandates in the past four years requiring doctors who prescribe opioids and other controlled substances to check databases that show whether their patients are getting drugs elsewhere. About 13 other states have weaker mandates that cover more limited circumstances, according to a recent review by the Pew Charitable Trusts and Brandeis University.

PRO Ambulance takes doctor to scene

From Commercial News:

Presence PRO Ambulance announced the launch of the Physician Response Vehicle for the Champaign-Urbana and Danville area communities on Thursday.

The vehicle will rapidly provide a licensed medical doctor for high acuity, trauma or mass injury calls, supplementing first-response medical technicians with greater medical expertise at the emergency site.

Presence Regional EMS Medical Director Kurt Bloomstrand, M.D., has been responding to calls since March 2016. Now, with a dedicated and specially-outfitted emergency medical vehicle, he will be able to respond more immediately; supported by a greater selection of emergency medical equipment and supplies.

American Hospitals Are Disappearing — and Repealing Obamacare Will Make It Worse

From Bloomberg (Hat Tip: Dr. Butts):

Hospitals have been disappearing as government pressure to drive down costs moved care to standalone units, doctors’ offices and even patients’ homes. Now, with the election of Donald Trump and his promise to repeal Obamacare, they find themselves more vulnerable than any other health-care providers to the major disruptions ahead, as they could lose government funds and face an increase of uninsured or less-profitable patients.

“It’s been a very tough environment for hospitals,” said Jason McGorman, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst. “They have to get into other areas and businesses to free up cash and generate better margins than inpatient care, which has become a slow-growth business.”

Man shoots himself in hospital emergency room

From the Review:

A man walked in through ambulance bay in at a hospital in Grand Forks on Thursday, pulled a gun and shot himself in the head, said the president of the B.C. Nurses Union.

Speaking at a news conference Friday in Burnaby, Gayle Duteil said the man was airlifted from Boundary District Hospital to a hospital in Vancouver.