BMW X6 xDrive50i “Emergency Physician” Showcar

From Automobile:

ImageBMW unveiled this customized X6 show car at this year’s RETTmobil emergency vehicle show. Most would think an X6 is more likely to become a doctor’s personal vehicle than a first responder. However, this X6 xDrive50i “Emergency Physician” Showcar was designed with the tools necessary to quickly transport a doctor or paramedic to the scene of an accident before the ambulance arrives.

Doctors despair at drunken ‘idiots’ clogging hospital emergency beds

From The Age:

Emergency doctors have slammed the increasing number of drunk ”bloody idiots” filling Australian hospitals after a study found up to one in three emergency department patients last Saturday was there because of booze.

States With Legislated Coverage for Telemedicine Services

From Becker’s (hat tip; Dr. Menadue):

Many states have enacted legislation mandating coverage for telemedicine services by both commercial insurers and/or Medicaid, according to a report from the American Telemedicine Association.

Congress Poised To Permanently Fix Its Medicare Payment Glitch

From NPR, via Kaiser Health News:

The two-year budget deal approved by the Senate on Wednesday is aimed at preventing another government shutdown.

It also includes a familiar annual rider — language to avert a steep pay cut to doctors who treat Medicare patients. But this time might be different, with a fix that lasts. After more than a decade of temporary solutions, it appears Congress might be on the verge of permanently solving its persistent problem in the way it makes Medicare payments to doctors.

Medicare to Expand Telemedicine Use

From MedPage Today:

Medicare officials and members of Congress are taking steps to expand the use of telemedicine services by dropping — or proposing to drop — restrictions on their use.

Both the 2014 Medicare physician fee schedule and legislation to repeal the program’s sustainable growth rate (SGR) payment formula have provisions designed to improve access to telemedicine.

“Many of the states [through Medicaid] do a much better job of using telehealth than does the Medicare program,” Gary Capistrant, senior director of public policy at the American Telemedicine Association, told MedPage Today. “Medicare may be the last to move forward.”

A Map of the ERs Near You That Will Treat You the Fastest

From Gizmodo:

Emergency rooms are notorious for unpredictable—if not excruciatingly long—wait times. But when you’re in the throes of a medical emergency, you don’t exactly have the time to call up every hospital in the area for a traffic report. Fortunately, ProPublica has just announced a new tool that could make two-hour-long surprise wait times a thing of the past.

The interactive map, dubbed ER Wait Watcher, allows you to see either the average wait time per state or, by inputting your current address, which emergency room will place you into a doctor’s tender, loving hands the fastest.

Sex Accidents Send Victims to Emergency Room Twice a Week

From ABC:

About twice a week, sometimes more often, Dr. Jordan Moskoff attends to a sex accident at his Chicago emergency room: objects stuck in places they shouldn’t be, broken penises caused by inept lovers and even severed organs they jokingly call “Lorena Bobbit” cases.

“[Penile] rings are really problems,” Moskoff told ABCNews.com. “That should be a public service announcement: Don’t use anything that doesn’t have a hinge or is not made of rubber, or it’s not coming off.”