Hospitals

News and updates about hospitals and clinics.

Lindsey Moon / Side Effects Public Media

Iowa is among the states with the fewest COVID-19 cases, but it still has over 175 confirmed cases and the total increases every day. The state’s hospitals, large and small, face a common problem as they get ready for a possible spike in patients: finding enough equipment.

flickr/niaid/CC BY 2.0

A new Illinois statute aims to boost flu shot rates among healthcare workers by making it harder for employees to decline the vaccine.

Lawmakers say this is important in light of last year’s flu season that killed more people than car crashes and drug overdoses. But some on the frontlines of public health worry that a law that’s not enforced will have little effect.

7 Years After Joplin Tornado, Mercy Builds Hospitals With Disaster In Mind

Jun 19, 2018
SARAH FENTEM | ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO

A visitor to the new wing of the Mercy hospital in Festus can likely tell immediately where the old building ends and the new part begins. The atrium still smells of fresh paint, and instead of dark, winding hallways, windows let in natural light.

Builders designed it to be prettier and more user-friendly. But Mercy Hospital Jefferson is safer, too.

Making its new hospitals safer has become a top priority for St. Louis-based based Mercy health system after one of the most destructive tornadoes in recent memory hit St. John’s Hospital in Joplin in 2011.

Would Indiana Hospitals Be Ready For A Las Vegas-Style Mass Shooting?

Oct 3, 2017

Indiana has at least a dozen trauma hospitals which could respond in the event of a mass shooting like the one in Las Vegas Sunday night. But those campuses have varying capabilities.

Only three hospitals are rated as “trauma one”– the highest rating, with doctors specializing in certain types of surgery that may be required after a severe wound.

Dying At Home In An Opioid Crisis: Hospices Grapple With Stolen Meds

Aug 25, 2017
Kaiser Health News

Nothing seemed to help the patient — and hospice staff didn’t know why.

They sent home more painkillers for weeks. But the elderly woman, who had severe dementia and incurable breast cancer, kept calling out in pain.

You've Seen Tiny Houses - Now Some Communities Are Getting Tiny Hospitals

Aug 2, 2017
St. Vincent Neighborhood Hospital

In an effort to respond to patients’ desires for speed and convenience, health networks are thinking small.

 


Microhospitals — which typically offer limited procedures and acute care services in a building with a significantly smaller footprint than traditional hospitals — have proven popular in other states, and a handful of the facilities are planned to open in Indiana.

Too often, people return home from the hospital only to find themselves heading back soon after. Sometimes the need arises because, despite the best care, it is difficult to slow the progression of disease. But other times, it's because we in the health care system fail to communicate, coordinate and orchestrate the care that people need to successfully make the transition from hospital to home.

In Appalachia, Two Hospital Giants Seek State-Sanctioned Monopoly

Jul 24, 2017
Phil Galewitz / Kaiser Health News

Looking out a fourth-floor window of his hospital system’s headquarters, Alan Levine can see the Appalachian Mountains that have defined this hardscrabble region for generations.

Bram Sable-Smith / Side Effects Public Media

$1.25 million.

That’s the size of the bill that could have shuttered the only public hospital in rural Pemiscot County, Missouri in August 2013.

Hoosier Hospitals Using Federal Data To Tackle Opioid Problems

Jun 23, 2017

Federal data released this week sharpens focus of the opioid crisis’ impact on emergency departments and hospitals and who is being affected.

The rate of opioid-related visits to Indiana emergency rooms went up by 50 percent between 2009 and 2014. That increase puts Indiana mid-range nationwide.  Yet Indiana Hospital Association’s Jennifer Hurtubise says the epidemic looks different on the local level.

Hospitals Now Tap Lawyers To Fulfill Patients’ Legal Needs

Jun 7, 2017

Every Friday, Christine Crawford has a counseling session at a clinic at New York City’s Mount Sinai Health System as she moves ahead with plans for gender transition surgery later this year. In addition to the many medical and psychosocial issues, there are practical ones as well. So, Crawford was thrilled when a Mount Sinai representative said they would assign a lawyer to help her legally change her name to Christine.

Doctors can save thousands of lives a year if they act promptly to identify sepsis, an often lethal reaction to infection. Sometimes called blood poisoning, sepsis is the leading cause of death in hospitals.

A 4-year-old regulation in New York state compels doctors and hospitals to follow a certain protocol, involving a big dose of antibiotics and intravenous fluids. It's far from perfect — about a quarter of patients still die from sepsis. But early intervention is helping.

Drug And Device Makers Find Receptive Audience At For-Profit, Southern Hospitals

Jun 29, 2016

Where a hospital is located and who owns it make a big difference in how many of its doctors take meals, consulting and promotional payments from pharmaceutical and medical device companies, a new ProPublica analysis shows.

A higher percentage of doctors affiliated with hospitals in the South have received such payments than doctors in other regions of the country, our analysis found. And a greater share of doctors at for-profit hospitals have taken them than at nonprofit and government facilities.

Environmental services worker Jeanna Hibbert scrubs the hospital room to get rid of C-diff bacteria.
Michelle Faust / Side Effects Public Media

It’s usually doctors and nurses who are seen as the life-savers at hospitals. But when it comes to preventing certain lethal infections, the hospital’s cleaning staff play a vital role.  

The most common hospital-borne infection in U.S. hospitals is a stubborn spore that’s spreads easily and is tough to remove.


Some Nonprofit Hospitals Amassing Hundreds Of Millions

May 13, 2016
hospitalpenn.jpg
D Gorenstein

Pretty much any hospital executive will tell you it’s a thin-margin business.

But a new report out in the journal Health Affairs finds that there are hospitals out there making fat margins, worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Seven of the top 10 most profitable hospitals in 2013 were nonprofits, including one in Wisconsin with more than $300 million, according to the study.

Johns Hopkins economist Gerard Anderson said these hospitals tend to spend their money in several ways. 

When The Cost Of Care Triggers A Medical Deportation

Apr 13, 2016

In an emergency, hospitals, by law, must treat any patient in the U.S. until he or she is stabilized, regardless of the patient's immigration status or ability to pay.

Yet, when it comes time for the hospitals to discharge these patients, the same standard doesn't apply.

Though hospitals are legally obligated to find suitable places to discharge patients (for example, to their homes, rehabilitation facilities or nursing homes), their insurance status makes all the difference.

Study Says Patients Can Manage Complex Care At Home — And Cut Costs

Mar 21, 2016
IMG_7134web.jpg
Lauren Silverman

The Holy Grail in health care is finding a way to cut costs and improve outcomes. Researchers at Parkland Hospital in Dallas say they’ve uncovered a way to do both — so that patients who typically have to stay in the hospital for more than a month can go home and care for themselves.

Warren J. Smith III didn’t want to lose his leg, but an infection just kept coming back.

It all started with a motorcycle accident in 2009. Since then, he’d had dozens of operations, round after round of antibiotics and countless days in a hospital bed --isolated in sterile rooms.

Hands Off That Frozen Pizza! Docs Advise Customers As They Shop

Dec 23, 2015
Lisa Tamura discusses her shopping habits with Dr. Phil Cecchini, a family doctor in Orange County. Cecchini spends the afternoon at a Laguna Hills supermarket advising shoppers on what foods to buy and what to avoid.
Heidi de Marco / KHN

When Lisa Tamura goes to the grocery store, she usually picks up a few frozen pizzas for the nights she doesn’t want to cook.

But on a recent Thursday afternoon at the Ralphs supermarket in Laguna Hills, California, she strolled right by the frozen food and headed straight to the fruits and vegetables.

That’s because she had some help from the ultimate personal shopper – a family doctor named Phil Cecchini.

“What do you like to eat?” he asked.

“Bad food,” she responded, laughing.

Conventional wisdom says in bigger cities, life is just more expensive. But it turns out people who live in locations with more hospitals may be getting a (relative) break when it comes to healthcare costs. That's just one finding in an new analysis of billions of dollars in health insurance claims from across the country. Money.com has more. 

Health Care Costs More in Cities with Fewer Hospitals

Health Systems Dipping Into The Business Of Selling Insurance

Nov 10, 2015
American Fork Hospital in Utah is part of the Intermountain Healthcare System, which has begun offering health insurance to its patients.
GreenwoodKL via Wikimedia Commons

In addition to treating what ails you, a number of health care systems aim to sell you a health insurance plan to pay for it. With some of the most competitively priced policies on the marketplaces, “provider-led” plans can be popular with consumers. But analysts say it remains to be seen how many will succeed long term as insurers.

There is a good chance that your once-independent doctor is now employed by a hospital. Dr. Michael Reilly, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., orthopedic surgeon, does not believe this is good for physicians, patients or society.

Hospitals Seeking An Edge Turn To Unlikely Adviser: Toyota

Aug 7, 2015
Susan Black, chief kaizen promotion officer at Los Angeles County Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, reviews the quality and safety board in the ophthalmology clinic on June 9, 2015.
Anna Gorman / KHN

TORRANCE, Calif. – The equipment closet for the operating rooms at Los Angeles County Harbor-UCLA Hospital was a mess. Nurses had to maneuver through a maze of wheelchairs, beds, boxes and lights to find the necessary surgical supplies.

“It looked kind of like a dog pile of equipment,” said Dawna Willsey, a clinical director at the hospital. “It was every man for themselves trying to find anything.”

Progress For Bill To Bolster Medicare Patients' Hospital Rights

Jul 29, 2015

The Senate unanimously approved legislation Monday night requiring hospitals across the nation to tell Medicare patients when they receive observation care but haven't been admitted to the hospital as inpatients.

The distinction is easy for patients to miss — until they get hit with big medical bills after a short stay.

How Much Does It Cost To Have A Baby? Hospital Study Finds Huge Price Range

Jul 17, 2015
George Ruiz via Flickr/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Which hospital parents pick to deliver their baby can have serious cost consequences, according to a new study.

Hospital costs for women who had no maternal or obstetric risk factors to complicate childbirth ranged from less than $2,000 to nearly $12,000, the analysis of discharge data found. The wide variation in cost means that for expectant parents, it can pay to shop around.

Some parents pick out a name for their child as soon as the pregnancy test turns positive. For others, the choice of a name is a game-time decision, taking minutes, hours or even a day or two after birth.

My own baby went unnamed for about 20 minutes as my husband and I tried to figure out which of our top choices best fit her screamy little face.

Pages