Odd but true: Hospitals ask state to tax them

From the Des Moines Register:

Iowa hospitals are making an unusual request to the Legislature: Tax us. Please.

The hospitals aren’t just being good citizens in the state’s time of budgetary need. Most of them expect to come out ahead on the deal.

The request is part of a complicated plan to bring in more federal money for health care. Here’s how it would work: Legislators would impose a “provider assessment” on the hospitals, raising about $40 million. The state would spend most of the proceeds on Medicaid, the joint federal and state health insurance program for the poor.

The impact of frequent attenders on a UK emergency department

From the European Journal of Emergency Medicine:

Background: Previous studies have identified that there is a cohort of frequent attenders to the emergency department (ED). Recent initiatives aim to provide care closer to home and alternatives to ED attendance. This study aims to identify what impact frequent attenders still have on the ED.

Methods: A chart review of frequent attenders to the ED was carried out over a 12-month period. Inclusion criterion was 10 or more attendances. Information collected comprised age, sex, postcode, next of kin, number of attendances, day of the week, time, referral source, mode of arrival, triage category, disposal, association with alcohol and drug use, presenting complaint, and diagnosis.

Results: Forty-four frequent users met the study criterion accounting for 1.9% of departmental activity. Sixty-four percent of frequent attenders were male with an average age of 49 years (range 19-83). The majority lived within 5 miles of the ED. Sixty percent of attendances arrived at the ED through ambulance. Documentation of either concurrent alcohol use or history of alcohol dependence and illicit drug use was reported in 54.6 and 15.9% of patients. The admission rate of this group was 38.5% higher than the total ED admission rate of 22%.

Conclusion: There remains a cohort of frequent attenders that use the ED for their healthcare needs. A significant proportion of these attendances are associated with alcohol use, chronic disease or mental health problems. Reduction of attendances may be achieved by case management strategies and improving access to primary care and drug and alcohol services.

Toddler Sucks On a USB Cable, Ends Up in the Hospital

From Gizmodo:

Here’s a sad reminder that USB cables belong plugged into peripherals, not children. Toddler Trinity Anderson was playing with a USB cable plugged into a laptop and put it in her mouth, which shocked her and knocked her out.

Trinity remains at Children’s Hospital with third-degree burns on her tongue, palate and lips. She is on sedatives and paralyzing drugs to prevent her from moving and disturbing her breathing tube, Jeffrey Anderson said. She needs the tube because her tongue is so swollen it blocks her airway.

The Laws of Emergency Medicine

From Movin’ Meat (reposting a classic from 2006):


  1. The Patient will always lie.
  2. (Corollary to #1) If the Patient is unable to lie, the family will do so for them.
  3. If you allow them to, the Patient will likely hurt you.
  4. Never, ever, under any circumstances, take off the shoes.