Doctors plan to purchase three rural Louisiana hospitals

From Fierce Healthcare:

A group of doctors and its corporate partner have made a move to purchase three rural community hospitals in Louisiana that faced an uncertain future after the company that owned them declared bankruptcy.

The doctors. who have formed the Central Louisiana Hospitals group, plan to buy the Avoyelles Hospital, Winn Parish Hospital and Oakdale Community Hospital from its current owner Progressive Acute Care, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy back in May, according to a report on AvoyellesToday.com. The group will pay $10.55 million in cash for the properties.

Bill Aimed At Stopping ‘Doctor Shopping’ Moves Forward

From KPBS:

Doctor-shopping for prescription painkillers is a major contributor to the nationwide epidemic of drug overdose deaths.

Both houses of the California legislature have approved a bill designed to limit the practice.

The measure, SB 482, would require doctors to check the state’s prescription drug database, known as CURES, before prescribing controlled substances, including opioid painkillers like Vicodin and OxyContin.

California’s bill would exempt emergency room physicians from the requirement, as long as they prescribed no more than a seven-day, non-refillable supply of opioids.

Illinois’ First Freestanding ED

From the Pantagraph:

Streator-area residents facing life-threatening emergencies can again be treated locally now that OSF Center for Health-Streator has opened an emergency center.

The state’s first emergency center not attached to a hospital is being staffed 24/7 to meet health emergencies of area residents, OSF HealthCare announced Thursday.

Streator Mayor Jimmie Lansford welcomed the news.

“Delivery of health care to rural areas is constantly changing…as Streator experienced when, after 125 years, the local hospital closed and our future health care was uncertain,” Lansford said, referring to the controversial decision by Springfield-based Hospital Sisters Health Systems (HSHS) to close St. Mary’s Hospital, 111 Spring St., on Jan 4.

Hackers Could Make a Killing After Finding Vulnerability in Medical Device Tech

From Gizmodo:

After finding serious security vulnerabilities in St. Jude Medical’s pacemakers and defibrillators, cybersecurity and research company MedSec decided to take that information to a short-seller (Carson Block of the investment firm Muddy Waters) which then bet against the company in the stock market. This was instead of disclosing the vulnerability, in theory something that could endanger lives, to the manufacturer St. Jude.

California Lawmakers Aim To Tackle Rural Health Challenges

From California Healthline:

Two proposals meant to ease burdens faced by California’s rural patients and their health care providers are breezing through the state legislature as lawmakers finish up for the year.

One measure passed Wednesday requires Medi-Cal to cover patients’ transportation to medical appointments. Another bill would allow small rural hospitals to hire doctors directly, which supporters say could reduce health care costs and make it easier to keep physicians in areas where there are few. To get to the governor’s desk, the hospital employment measure would need to pass the Senate and go back for a second Assembly floor vote before Aug. 31.