NY Times: Doctors Press Senate to Undo Medicare Cuts

From the New York Times:

Congress returns to work this week with Medicare high on the agenda and Senate Republicans under pressure after a barrage of radio and television advertisements blamed them for a 10.6 percent cut in payments to doctors who care for millions of older Americans.

The advertisements, by the American Medical Association, urge Senate Republicans to reverse themselves and help pass legislation to fend off the cut.

How to pay doctors through the federal health insurance program is an issue that lawmakers are forced to confront every year because of what is widely agreed to be an outdated reimbursement formula. But the dispute, which showcases the continued potency of health care issues, has reached a new level of urgency this year. Some doctors are reassessing their participation in the program and powerful interests on all sides are in a lobbying frenzy.

Senate Returns to Wrestle With Medicare Pay Cuts for Docs

From the Wall Street Journal Health Blog:

Congress is back in session today after a weeklong recess, and dealing with those pesky Medicare cuts is high on the to-do list. The story lands on the front page of this morning’s New York Times; the WSJ has a story news story as well as an editorial. Here are the key pieces of the puzzle….

Secret Shopper

From the Chicago Tribune:

The middle-age woman walked into the emergency room complaining of headache, numbness, slurred speech and difficulty moving her left side.

Immediately thinking stroke, staff members at University Medical Center at Princeton quickly ordered a CT scan.

Although the test came back negative, the attending physician insisted she be admitted for further evaluation. The woman, dressed in a flowing dress and earth sandals, refused and signed herself out of the hospital.

There were no medical repercussions. The patient was faking.

Fireworks Mishap

From CNN.com

A Fourth of July fireworks shell misfired in a northern Iowa town, sending a fireball skidding down a street into a crowd of spectators and injuring 37 people, officials said Saturday.

Most of the people treated after the Friday night accident in Charles City suffered minor injuries, city Fire Department spokesman Eric Whipple said.

It appears there was a misfire involving 13 racks of firework tubes during the finale of the city-sponsored show, Assistant Fire Chief Dave Boehmer said Saturday.

Officials didn’t yet know why the fireworks malfunctioned, Boehmer said. Inspectors from the state fire marshal’s office in Des Moines visited Charles City on Saturday.

“It appears they went horizontally across the ground, some of them,” Boehmer said of the fireworks.

Witnesses told the Charles City Press that a large fireball veered toward the crowd gathered downtown on lawn chairs and blankets.

“It was like a bunch of little fireworks just coming toward us,” said spectator Emily Watson. “They started to explode. It was just like skating right across the street and then I saw them exploding right in the street here. … In a split second, it started coming at me.”