Obama Says Hospitals Must Allow Visitation Rights

Obama Says Hospitals Must Allow Visitation Rights

President Obama issued a memo last night instructing HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to write rules that will allow patients to designate visitors at facilities that accept Medicare and Medicaid. This move would benefit same-sex couples, unmarried heterosexual couples, widowed adults, members of religious orders and others who want to have someone other than an immediate family member as a visitor or decision maker for medical care, notes the WSJ Health Blog. [More]

Hospital Says "Grandma's Dead," Grandma Disagrees With Diagnosis

Hospital Says "Grandma's Dead," Grandma Disagrees With Diagnosis

Imagine the scene: Your beloved grandmother has been hospitalized for a respiratory illness. And then comes the bad news — A nurse at the hospital calls to say your grandmother has passed away. You go to her room to gather her personal items, and that’s when your dead grandmother wakes up. [More]

Your Medical Records: Ask For Them!

Your Medical Records: Ask For Them!

Hospitals can be slow to respond for health records, writes CNN, which can cause serious problems if you’re moving a patient from one facility to another. Here are steps from that article on how to make sure you get your data as quickly as possible. [More]

Senate Passes Health Care Reform Bill

Senate Passes Health Care Reform Bill

In case you missed it, Senate Democrats managed to succeed at their goal of pushing through some sort of health care reform bill before Christmas Day–the chamber voted this morning 60-39 along party lines and passed the bill. Up next: the Senate and House have to get together and negotiate some final version. If you want to compare what’s in the House and Senate versions, the New York Times has put together an excellent side-by-side comparison tool.

Geek Squad Contributes To Society, Opens Outlet In Children's Hospital

Geek Squad Contributes To Society, Opens Outlet In Children's Hospital

The announcement that Best Buy plans to open a Geek Squad outlet inside the Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis seems, at first, incongruous. “Geek Squad?” we said. “Haven’t these families already suffered enough?” Except this Geek Squad isn’t there to profit off sick kids—they’re there to help. No, really.

Want Your Name On A Building? Now It Costs Less

Want Your Name On A Building? Now It Costs Less

Have you always dreamed of having your name on a building to honor your philanthropy and general awesomeness, but just didn’t have the cash on hand? You may be in luck: the threshold for building or wing names at colleges, hospitals, and other nonprofits is falling as charitable giving slumps. If you have money, now may be the best time for immortality.

Homes With Cats 8 Times More Likely To Contain MRSA

Homes With Cats 8 Times More Likely To Contain MRSA

You may have thought you could only get MRSA at hospitals and the beach, but apparently researchers have discovered that it can be transmitted via pets and lead to repeat infections, reports the New York Times. One recent case involved a baby elephant and 20 human caretakers at the San Diego Zoo last year, but at the domestic level it looks like cats (and dogs, but not to the same degree) somehow contribute to cycle of infection at home.

Forget Co-Pays, Your Bill Is Due Now

Forget Co-Pays, Your Bill Is Due Now

$10 copays are history in some doctor’s offices these days, as some clinics are requiring the entire out-of -pocket cost up front. But what if you get overcharged?

Note To Seniors: Proposed Medicare Reform Does Not Include Plans To Kill You

Note To Seniors: Proposed Medicare Reform Does Not Include Plans To Kill You

Yesterday, Consumer Reports noted that an anti-health reform politician is trying to convince senior citizens that they’ll be required to take lessons in euthanasia if any reform is passed. Regardless of what side you come down on with health care reform, this is flat out wrong. We care about this lie, which is still bouncing around the media, because it might interfere with the very real and useful tasks of setting up living wills and determining health care proxies—things that matter to both the elderly and the terminally ill.

Need An Ambulance? If You're Overweight, It's Going To Cost An Extra $543

Need An Ambulance? If You're Overweight, It's Going To Cost An Extra $543

An ambulance ride with American Medical Response in Topeka, Kansas will soon cost an extra $543 for folks weighing 350 pounds or more. Though AMR already owns cots that can support up to 500 pounds, they claim that because of rising demand from so-called “bariatric patients,” they now need to buy winches and “extra large and reinforced cots.”

http://consumerist.com/2009/06/22/a-cancer-unit-at-the/

A cancer unit at the V.A Medical Center in Philadelphia “operated with virtually no outside scrutiny and botched 92 of 116 cancer treatments over a span of more than six years.” The team even continued to perform surgeries for a year after a key piece of equipment broke. [New York Times] (Photo: OakleyOriginals)

Mayo Clinic: Coming Soon To The Mall Of America

Mayo Clinic: Coming Soon To The Mall Of America

(Photo: gwydionwilliams)

http://consumerist.com/2009/06/10/no-health-insurance-the-emergency/

No health insurance? The emergency room usually shouldn’t be your first stop. Here’s where you should go for help.

http://consumerist.com/2009/05/12/hospitals-are-expanding-their-growth/

(Photo: yinnxp)

Blue Cross Blue Shields On Twitter

Blue Cross Blue Shields On Twitter

A few Blue Cross Blue Shield divisions recently started Twittering, talking about health issues, saying nice things about their company and proactively reaching out to patients complaining about their services: @BCBSIL, @BCBSNM, @BCBSTX, @BCBSOK.

Nurse Laid Off In The Middle Of Surgery

Nurse Laid Off In The Middle Of Surgery

When Dean Health System in Madison, Wisconsin announced last week that it “planned to ‘immediately’ lay off 90 employees,” it wasn’t kidding around. One of them was a nurse who was pulled out of surgery to be told the news.

Haggle With Hospitals

Medical bill too high? Have you tried haggling? NYT writes:

"Affordable" Health Insurance Can End Up Costing Big Bucks

"Affordable" Health Insurance Can End Up Costing Big Bucks

Some health insurance plans marketed as “affordable” are as affordable as buying a “cheap” car that doesn’t have any wheels or seats. While the price is low, they can offer extremely limited coverage. One plan for instance, has a max of 30 hospital days at a max of $750. I think that about covers the cost of getting pushed from your room to the OR. for what to look for when considering these plans.