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Hospital Chain Sutter Health Settles Suit Over Anesthesia Billing

Decision on Fort Mill hospital could be released this week

By Chad Terhune November 4, 2013, 7:52 p.m. A major California hospital chain, Sutter Health, agreed to pay $46 million and disclose more pricing information to consumers to resolve a whistle-blower complaint alleging false and misleading charges for anesthesia . Sutter Health, which runs 24 acute-care hospitals in Northern California, said it reached the settlement Monday just prior to a trial starting this month over the allegations that it added thousands of dollars for "Code 37x" anesthesia charges that were already covered by other billing for the hospital operating room. Nationwide, federal officials and consumer advocates have been putting pressure on hospitals to explain their high prices, while many employers have been demanding greater price transparency in an attempt to hold down costs. Also Anthem Blue Cross is sued over policy cancellations The accord resolves a 2009 whistle-blower complaint against the Sacramento hospital company from a billing auditor, Rockville Recovery Associates. The California Department of Insurance joined the suit in 2011. The state's insurance commissioner, Dave Jones, hailed the settlement as a major victory for consumers who often face large medical bills that are difficult to decipher. As part of the agreement, Sutter agreed to disclose its actual costs and prices for each part of its anesthesia billing. The nonprofit health system also agreed to permit insurers to more readily contest its bills and to charge for anesthesia on a flat-fee basis going forward. "This settlement represents a groundbreaking step in opening up hospital billing to public scrutiny," Jones said. "This new transparency should lead to lower prices and point the way to similar billing reforms for all types of hospital services." Sutter didn't admit to any wrongdoing as part of the settlement, and spokesman Bill Gleeson said it opted for the agreement to avoid spending significant resources contesting the allegations at trial.
Source: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-sutter-hospital-billing-20131105,0,6539910.story

Gary Kubiak Conscious, At Hospital After Collapsing On Field: Colts Rally To Beat Texans 27-24

Among recent departures were assistant head coach Alex Gibbs (for Seattle) and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan went to join his father, Mike, in Washington. Last year, the Texans announced contract extensions for both Smith and Kubiak, rewarding them for taking the team to the playoffs last year for the first time. Kubiak's three-year agreement has him under contract through 2014. McNair said at the time he offered Kubiak a four-year deal, but the coach preferred to make it for three. Kubiak made his mark as Denver's offensive coordinator under Mike Shanahan, winning two Super Bowls. An eighth-round pick out of Texas A&M, he spent nine years as John Elway's backup. He finished his career 4-1 as a starter, all in emergency relief of Elway. ___ Loading Slideshow Gary Kubiak Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak, center, his helped after he collapsed on the field during the second quarter of an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) Gary Kubiak Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak, center, is helped after he collapsed on the field during the second quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov.
Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/04/gary-kubiak-hospital-collapsing-colts-texans_n_4210597.html

Poll: 48% say federal launch of Obamacare was poor Dr Ferguson said he was pleased that the unit eliminates the need for the use of a processor to develop the images and so it decreases the turnaround time. "It also allows physicians to access the images remotely. That is important because once you can remotely access the images it means that it is easy to get a second opinion, not just in Jamaica but any part of the globe. And this is why once you start to put this kind of infrastructure in place, you begin to establish a platform for tele-medicine, a platform for all the kinds of modern medicine that our people deserve," he stated. Expressing gratitude for the unit, Chief Executive Officer of the hospital Colleen Wright said the new machine is "like a blessing to us" noting that the previous unit, which also served Port Antonio in Portland, broke down frequently, and patients were inconvenienced by having to go into Kingston to access X-ray services. In his remarks, Chairman of the South East Regional Health Authority Lyttleton Shirley noted that last year, approximately 8,000 X-rays were done at the hospital, which, he said, is a true testament of the demand for this service. "I have no doubt that the new state-of-the-art unit, which is the first of its kind in the South East region, will go a long way in providing improved X-ray services to the residents of S. Thomas and I am particularly pleased that the unit will not only increase the turnaround time for images but it will also allow for images to be accessed remotely," he said. For his part, Chairman of the NHF Sterling Soares said the Princess Margaret Hospital is one of the many health entities to benefit from the fund's institutional benefits programme.
Source: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Princess-Margaret-Hospital-gets-state-of-the-art-digital-X-ray-unit_15386278

Princess Margaret Hospital gets state-of-the-art digital X-ray unit

A CMC-Fort Mill hospital would allowed them to get health care closer to home, Carolinas Healthcare attorneys said. CMC officials estimated that they are already serving more than 50 percent of the patients in the Fort Mill-Tega Cay area. It is an area rich with a high percentage of insurance-carrying patients. Quality of health care was also debated. Doctors testifying for Piedmont said the loss of patients could affect their medical skills because of their need to have a certain number of cases to maintain their proficiency, especially in the more complicated specialties. During DHECs review of applications, Piedmont officials said a continued loss of patients and revenues to Carolinas HealthCare hospitals in Pineville, N.C., and/or Fort Mill could force PMC to close its neonatal, infusion and wound care centers, as well as make cuts in the emergency department. PMC, however, is expanding it emergency department. The emergency department is the largest source of hospital admissions. The emergency department expansion is part of Piedmonts strategy to compete with Carolinas HealthCare in York County.
Source: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/11/03/4438720/decision-on-fort-mill-hospital.html

Florida Hospital Apopka relocating, doubling in size: report

Florida Hospital Apopka is buying land for a new bed tower, which would add jobs and provide opportunities for the construction industry. 1 that the hospital is buying property in Apopka for a larger new replacement hospital. The land is on Harmon Road, near Ocoee Apopka Road, near the intersection of State Roads 414, 429 and 451. The plan is to double the current number of beds at the hospital from 50 to 100. The news means opportunities for contractors, architects and trade groups, as well as work for an as-yet unknown number of construction workers. Additionally, the expansion, if approved, would add new health care jobs to the Orange County economy. According to the Health Council of East Central Florida, Florida Hospital Apopka had a 54 percent occupancy rate for its acute care beds in second-quarter 2013. The most important design driver for our relocation was to stay within and continue to serve the Apopka community, said Jennifer Wandersleben , vice president and administrator of Florida Hospital Apopka in a news release. Our community desires and needs a full-service hospital close to home that offers the latest technology and a comprehensive medical staff to serve the health care needs of our community. Additionally, the entire new hospital would have private rooms, whereas now 80 percent of the rooms are semi-private in the current location. Surgical services also would be a part of the new hospital, including the recruitment of new surgeons to the area, according to the release. Jennifer Roberts , spokeswoman for Florida Hospital, said the hospital must get state permission for the expansion. Check here for more details.
Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/blog/2013/11/florida-hospital-apopka-to-get-new-bed.html

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