Revenue cuts put hospitals in a squeeze

From DJournal:

…a slew of changes in health care funding are turning many Mississippi hospitals from cash cows into dinosaurs.

As cash cows, hospitals became economic engines for the state and their communities. A 2012 study by the Mississippi Hospital Association showed the economic impact: $11.9 billion total impact on the state economy; 60,143 full-time-equivalent employees (5.7% of total statewide employment); an additional 34,557 jobs outside of hospital facilities; and payrolls totaling $3.2 billion per year.

This impact is now threatened and will likely diminish in coming years.

The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) reduced payments to hospitals for uncompensated care, expecting Medicaid expansion to begin covering low-income Mississippians who show up at hospitals without the means to pay for treatment. About 138,000 adults could have gotten Medicaid, but when Gov. Phil Bryant and the state’s Republican leadership opposed Medicaid expansion, they were left uninsured and hospitals were left holding the bag.

Emergency Physician gets prison time for giving painkillers for sex, cash

From Ohio:

A former Akron doctor was sentenced to one year in prison for prescribing painkillers to strip club dancers and their friends in return for money and sexual favors.

U.S. District Judge Patricia Gaughan sentenced 29-year-old Gregory Ingram on Tuesday and said it’s “absolutely necessary” he spend time behind bars given that the dancers had no medical need for the drugs. He pleaded guilty in August to 48 counts of illegal dispensing of a controlled substance.

Ingram wrote prescriptions for more than 1,700 tablets of oxycodone and morphine between November 2012 and October 2014, when he worked as an emergency room doctor at Akron General Medical Center, according to prosecutors.

Troponin Tests in Ambulance Marginally Hasten Time to Discharge or Admission in Non-STEMI Chest Pain

From TCTMD:

Point of care (POC) troponin tests performed in the ambulance may shorten time to discharge or admission for chest-patient patients, a new study suggests, although the actual time saved compared with usual care is minimal.

Experts say other “systems opportunities” related to patient management and triage should be explored in order to streamline decision-making and “unclog” overcrowded emergency departments.