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Joint Commission

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The infections that patients pick up inside hospitals can be debilitating and even deadly. Yet many hospitals fail to follow simple protocols, and access to information is limited. Here are five tips for reporting on hospital infections.

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Mission Hospital is one example of how hospitals – even some with shining reputations and awards and special certifications – can fail to follow protocols aimed at preventing dangerous infections that can easily start and spread inside their facilities.

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Health insurers will often limit the size of provider networks to control costs, frustrating patients who suddenly find their doctor is now out-of-network. But do such "narrow networks" mean poorer quality care and access? Not necessarily, says a recent study of California plans.

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Dr. Scott Bickman lost his California medical license, but not before federal, state and local authorities missed numerous chances to prevent harm to patients. Do we need an Amber Alert for dangerous, back-alley clinics?

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So how can a hospital be judged so deficient by federal inspectors, yet rank among the best in U.S. News & World Report?

It's all in the methodology.

 
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The new filing by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency against Dr. Scott Bickman for his role in a California painkiller mill reveals a very sad truth. Maria Garcia’s death could almost certainly have been avoided.

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You probably have been to a restaurant near a hospital and seen a doctor, nurse or medical assistant wearing scrubs and standing in line for a sandwich. You probably didn’t give this a second thought, but Dr. David C. Martin thinks you should be alarmed.

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This story is Part 10 of a 15-part series that examines health care needs in Gary, Ind.

Methodist Hospitals’ financial turnaround has impressed hospital analysts and bond ratings agencies.

In May, New York bond-rating firm Standard & Poor’s changed its outlook on Methodist’s long-term bonds from negative to stable, reflecting its “improved operating performance and an improved balance sheet in fiscal 2009.”

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Records show that the financial troubles that forced the closure of Mee Memorial Hospital began as early as a year prior. Despite ambitions to deliver adequate patient care, the hospital's money problems continued to worsen.

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Prescription drug abuse is growing nationwide, but West Virginia was one of the first places hit by the problem. When I picked this topic, I didn't realize how complex it was. The drugs are widely available. Doctors are struggling to treat pain with effective medications without supplying drug abusers. And prescription drug crimes have proven difficult to prosecute.

This is the second in a four-part series examining prescription drug abuse in West Virginia.

 

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The COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in soaring levels of food insecurity and unmet needs in families across the nation. In our next webinar, we’ll explore fresh angles for deeper reporting on vulnerable families in your community. Sign-up here!

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