Daily Rounds: Steward Drops Seniors, RI Hospital; Hard-To-Find Hospital Data; Health Cost Supergraphic; Nurse On Guns

Steward kills agreement to buy Woonsocket hospital, blames ‘private entities’ (The Providence Journal) – “Steward Health Care System, the Massachusetts hospital chain that was going to buy Landmark Medical Center in Woonsocket, has made it official: the company on Thursday terminated the sales agreement. A Steward statement said that conditions in the agreement were not met: a memorandum of understanding with Thundermist Health Center and agreement on the purchase of the hospital’s cancer center from its part-owners. Steward had expressed willingness to waive those conditions if it could get a contract with Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, which also did not happen.”

And related: Steward cancels accord with Senior Whole Health (The Boston Globe) – “Steward Health Care System has canceled its contract with Cambridge-based health insurer Senior Whole Health, effective Jan. 1, meaning it will no longer assign its staff doctors to treat about 900 elderly, low-income patients who are plan members. Senior Whole Health, formed in 2004, is the largest of several organizations administering senior care option plans in Massachusetts. It provides nurse care managers, geriatric support services, and community resource coordinators who advise patients about benefits and interpret for those who do not speak English. It began working with Steward physicians when they were employed by Caritas Medical Group, which Steward acquired in 2010.”

What patients really need to know about hospitals (Prepared Patient blog) – “The survey information for nursing homes is some of the best consumer information around, and if patients could see similar reports for hospitals, they’d learn a lot more from them than, say, patient satisfaction scores. Learning that state regulators have dinged a hospital for not administering medicines correctly or screwing up on a blood transfusion may mean something. I have been on a quest to find the best hospital for my upcoming cataract surgery, and so far my search for helpful quality information on New York City hospitals has come up short. In fact, my investigation has turned up a lot of holes in the arguments for marketplace magic.”

Visualizing health policy: Costs (JAMA) – “This month’s Visualizing Health Policy takes a look at health care costs in the United States, including how US health care spending has surged over the past 50 years and how it continues to grow faster than the economy; how health care spending is unevenly distributed within the US population, with only half the population accounting for more than 97% of health care costs; how health care costs are putting pressure on US families, some of whom have to delay health care because of cost; how the United States spends more per person for health care than other countries; and how the cost of health insurance premiums has increased in the past decade for both workers and employers.”

The human cost of the second amendment (The New York Times) – “Wisconsin, Aurora, Virginia Tech, Columbine. We all know these place names and what happened there. By the time this column appears, there may well be a new locale to add to the list. Such is the state of enabled and murderous mayhem in the United States. With the hope of presenting the issue of guns in America in a novel way, I’m going to look at it from an unusual vantage point: the eyes of a nurse. By that I mean looking at guns in America in terms of the suffering they cause, because to really understand the human cost of guns in the United States we need to focus on gun-related pain and death.”

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