Best read of the week


Hospital staff took photos of patient with item in genitals

6ABC: The UPMC hospital suspended two doctors, sent a staff memo about its relevant policies, required surgical staff to attend a meeting on patient confidentiality issues, appointed a new nursing director of surgical services, and disciplined an unspecified number of staff.


Additional news media reports on MLH physicians and the health care industry, excerpted from MLH’s daily Morning News Report:


Main Line Health News

Feds unveil $144M volley in war against opioids

KYW Newsradio, Philadelphia Inquirer, WHYY, Daily Times: Main Line Health President and CEO Jack Lynch believes the county’s proactive stance to curb opioid death is making an impression on the Trump administration. “There’s a lot of work going on in Delaware County around prevention and treatment, and I think they’re very impressed with what they saw,” he said.


Full Radiation Dose May Not Be Necessary for Some Early-Stage Breast Cancers This is a good preliminary look at an important question for which randomized data between whole and partial breast radiation is just emerging,” said Marisa Weiss, M.D., chief medical officer and director of breast radiation oncology at Lankenau Medical Center.


Heart to Heart

Main Line Today : In April, Dr. Konstadinos Plestis, Main Line Health’s system chief of cardiothoracic and vascular surgery, repaired Police Officer Edward Bove’s ascending aortic aneurysm with a minimally invasive approach that required only a two-inch incision.


US Patent Issued to Lankenau Institute for Medical Research on Sept. 19 for “Methods and kits for measuring toxicity and oxidative stress in live cells”

US Fed News: United States Patent no. 9,766,226, issued on Sept. 19, was assigned to Lankenau Institute for Medical Research (Wynnewood, Pa.).


Thought Leaders’ Corner

Accountable Care News: Katherine Schneider, MD, president, Delaware Valley Accountable Care Organization, notes, “Behavioral health is a creitical component of holistic, patient-centered care and successful care management…The challenges in behavioral health facing an ACO – stigma, provider shortages, reimbursement issues, data sharing firewalls and more – are complex, interrelated and daunting.”


Angelo Cataldi and the Morning Team

94WIP: Dr. David Vegari, orthopedic surgeon at Lankenau Medical Center, talks about the Eagles problems with their players hamstrings and why it keeps happening.



Regional Health Care News

Doylestown Health begins major expansion of heart institute

Intelligencer: The $32.1 million heart institute expansion plan will add more cardiovascular and intensive care beds, a new area of service with an endovascular hybrid operating room, and additional rooms to further Doylestown Health’s transition to an all-private bed facility. The 100,000-square-foot addition is expected to be completed in 2019.


Independence unveils new health plan options for 2018

Philadelphia Business Journal: Independence Blue Cross said it will be offering large employers in southeastern Pennsylvania an expanded portfolio of more than 150 medical and 20 prescription drug health insurance products for 2018.



Patient Care News…

Many May Get Hospice Care Too Late

HealthDay News: Despite a growing list of debilitating symptoms during the final months of life, most seniors never receive end-of-life hospice care — or they delay doing so until their last few weeks of life, new research finds.


Caregiver Fatigue Increases Healthcare Costs

HealthLeaders Media: Tired family caregivers are associated with more ED visits and higher overall healthcare costs for the person they care for finds a new University of Michigan study published in Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.


ER Visits for These 3 Health Woes Don’t Have to Happen

HealthDay News: The top causes of preventable ER visits in the United States include alcohol abuse, dental problems and mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety, the new study says. ER visits could be reduced if patients had better access to dental and mental health care, according to researchers from the University of California, San Francisco.


Report: More Than 49,000 Patients Under Age 21 Went To ER For Opioid Addiction

CBS3: New research being presented to the American Academy of Pediatrics says between 2008 to 2013, the number of emergency room visits by opioid-addicted patients under age 21 jumped from 32,000 to more than 49,000. More than 500 children died in the emergency room or after hospitalization.


Elder Abuse: ERs Learn How To Protect A Vulnerable Population

Kaiser Health News: According to a New York study, as few as 1 in 24 cases of abuse against residents age 60 and older were reported to authorities.


How providers, payers can change the conversation about pain management

FierceHealthcare: Eric Schoomaker, M.D., Ph.D., professor and vice chair for leadership, centers and programs at the Uniformed Services University, said it’s important to encourage clinicians to try non-medication solutions—like acupuncture, yoga and meditation—to address pain. And payers must cover these programs, because drugs can’t be the only solution.


One Last Visit to See My Patient

New York Times: Hospice should actually be thought of as “game on” — now it’s time to really start taking care of the patient. And contrary to the assumption that hospice equals death, data show that early referral to hospice actually improves life expectancy.


Study: Nearly Half Of Patients Who Stop Taking Opioids For Six Months Resume Use Later

KYW Newsradio: Certain people were found to be high risk patients: they included people with back problems, substance-related addictive disorders, sleep weight disorders, depressive disorders, and anxiety disorders.


Air Pollution Tied to Kidney Disease

New York Times: Using data on air pollution from NASA and the Environmental Protection Agency, the researchers found that increases in PM 2.5 fine particulate matter corresponded directly with decreases in glomerular filtration rate, indicating worsening kidney function.



Quality and Safety News…

Report: Patient Surveys Could Be Fueling Opioid Epidemic

KYW Newsradio: A growing number of patients have been threatening poor surveys unless opioids and other narcotics are prescribed. In addition, drug seekers are using positive surveys as a way to choose physicians who might be more likely to prescribe pain medications.


The world is running out of antibiotics, WHO says

CNN: Too few new antibiotics are under development to combat the threat of multidrug-resistant infections, according to a new World Health Organization report published Tuesday. Adding to the concern: It is likely that the speed of increasing resistance will outpace the slow drug development process.


‘Mystery patient’ drills put NYC emergency rooms to the test

FierceHealthcare: The vast majority (88%) of patients were given a mask, with 1.5 minutes as the median time between the patient’s entry into the ER and when they were given the masks. The study found a median time of 8.5 minutes from entry into the ER into isolation, which is comparable with previous drills using Ebola symptoms.



Health Care Business News…

Hospitals that streamline, optimize their supply chains see billions in cost savings, study finds

FierceHealthcare: The hospitals that performed the best on supply chain savings in the study didn’t sacrifice care quality to achieve cost reductions, particularly because these facilities reduce the clinical variation that comes with less streamlined purchasing, Rob Austin, associate director for Navigant Healthcare.


Doctors in Demand: New Physicians Flooded with Job Offers

HealthLeaders Media: Seventy-six percent of primary care residents received 50 or more job solicitations during their medical training while 55% received 100 or more, survey data shows.



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