hospitals

Medical Bills
5:03 am
Fri December 19, 2014

When Nonprofit Hospitals Sue Their Poorest Patients

Keith Herie is swamped in debt from medical issues he and his wife encountered starting about a decade ago. Heartland hospital is seizing 10 percent of his paycheck and 25 percent of his wife's wages, and has placed a lien on their home.
Steve Hebert for ProPublica

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 10:32 am

On the eastern edge of St. Joseph, Mo., lies the small city's only hospital, a landmark of modern brick and glass buildings. Everyone in town knows Heartland Regional Medical Center — many residents gave birth to their children here. Many rush here when they get hurt or sick.

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Hospitals
5:56 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Waterbury Hospital CEO Calls on Gov. Malloy to Help Salvage Tenet Deal

Darlene Stromstad, CEO of Waterbury Hospital.
Credit fosters.com

Five hospitals in Connecticut are contemplating their next steps after Texas-based Tenet Healthcare withdrew a bid to buy the hospitals last week.

The CEO of one of the biggest hospitals in the failed deal said they're now looking to Hartford for help. 

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Health Care Consolidation
7:32 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Tenet Withdraws Hospital Bid

Credit vichie81/iStock / Thinkstock

Texas-based Tenet Healthcare has withdrawn a bid to buy five hospitals in Connecticut, citing regulatory demands. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Connecticut's Response to the Ebola Threat

Dr. Jewel Mullen, Commissioner of CT DPH
Chion Wolf WNPR

The world is facing the largest and most widespread Ebola outbreak in history. On August 8, 2014, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa was declared by the World Health Organization to be a "public health emergency of international concern" because it was determined to be an "extraordinary event" with public health risks to countries around the globe.

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Health Care
11:32 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Operating Profits Drop at Connecticut Hospitals: New Report

Windham Hospital in Willimantic.
Credit C-HIT

Connecticut’s acute-care hospitals saw gains from their operations tumble 35 percent in the last fiscal year, with seven of 29 hospitals reporting operating losses, according to a new state report.

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Treating Cancer
11:20 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Doctors Are Slow To Adopt Changes In Breast Cancer Treatment

New evidence on the effectiveness of medical treatments can take a long time to influence medical practice.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 4:58 pm

Cancer doctors want the best, most effective treatment for their patients. But it turns out many aren't paying attention to evidence that older women with early stage breast cancer may be enduring the pain, fatigue and cost of radiation treatment although it doesn't increase life expectancy.

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Business of Health Care
12:55 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Small, Independent Connecticut Hospitals Want Legislative Help

The Griffin Hospital emergency department.
Credit Turner Construction

A group of small, independent hospitals in Connecticut said the increasing cost of providing health care coupled with lower reimbursement rates from insurance providers and the government is making it harder for them to survive, and they’re seeking help from state lawmakers.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Supporting Survivors of Cancer

Ellen Dornelas is a psychologist for Hartford Healthcare Cancer Institute
Chion Wolf

More than a million people get cancer every year in the United States, with about 22,000 new cases in Connecticut in 2014. But, thanks to better detection and more advanced treatment, the number of people surviving cancer is growing rapidly. There are 13 million survivors alive today.

So, most of us likely know someone with cancer...a neighbor, a friend, or more often, a member of our family.

The American Cancer Society says that three-out-of-four families have at least one person in their family who has survived cancer...and that number is rising every year. 

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The Business of Health Care
2:27 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Hospitals Hike "Facility Fees" on Privately-Insured Patients

scantaur/iStock Thinkstock

Hospital groups in Connecticut have defended the increasing practice of charging facility fees. These are charges that may be billed separately to patients, and vary depending on where the care was delivered.

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Public Health
1:06 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Connecticut Legislative Hearing Focuses on Ebola Response

State Rep. Susan Johnson, center, co-chairs the state legislature's Public Health Committee. Pictured is a discussion of hospitals and health care discussion last month.
Connecticut House Democrats

Connecticut lawmakers held a hearing on Monday to learn more about the state's protocols for handling any future Ebola cases. 

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Infection Control
11:52 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Half of Connecticut Hospitals Exceed Infection Rates, New Data Show

Phalinn Ooi Creative Commons

State health inspectors visiting Stamford Hospital in late 2012 turned up several infection-control violations, including the improper drying and storage of endoscopes, instruments used to look inside the body.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon December 1, 2014

What It's Like to Be Detained in Russia; Public Confidence in Local Hospitals

Greenpeace's Arctic Sunrise.
Apples and oranges Creative Commons

It’s been just over a year since Russian authorities arrested 30 activists aboard Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior III -- a ship protesting Russia’s controversial oil rig in the Arctic. Among those arrested was the ship’s captain, Peter Willcox, a Greenpeace veteran and resident of Norwalk, Connecticut. 

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Medical Plans
12:38 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Employers Can't Skip Insurance Coverage For Hospitalization

Some employers said that leaving out hospital coverage helped protect low-wage workers from big deductibles.
Amriphoto iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed November 5, 2014 12:44 pm

Closing what many see as a loophole that could trap millions of people in sub-standard insurance, the Obama administration said Tuesday that large-employer medical plans lacking hospital coverage will not qualify under the Affordable Care Act's toughest standard. It also offered relief to workers who may be enrolled in those plans next year.

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Language
4:36 am
Mon October 27, 2014

In The Hospital, A Bad Translation Can Destroy A Life

Dr. Angela Alday talks with Isidro Hernandes, via a Spanish-speaking interpreter, Armando Jimenez. Both patient and doctor say they much prefer an in-person interpreter to one on the phone.
Jeff Schilling Courtesy of Tuality Healthcare

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 8:58 am

Translating from one language to another is a tricky business, and when it comes to interpreting between a doctor and patient, the stakes are even higher.

Consider the story of 18-year-old baseball player Willie Ramirez.

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New York
10:30 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Recently Returned From Africa, Doctor Tests Positive For Ebola At NYC Hospital

Police officers stand outside the home of Craig Spencer, a Doctors Without Borders physician who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa, on Thursday in New York. Spencer tested positive for the virus, according to preliminary test results, city officials said.
John Minchillo AP

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 10:29 am

A patient at a New York City hospital has tested positive for Ebola, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference Thursday.

According to a statement from Doctors Without Borders, a doctor returned to the United States Oct. 12 after working with Ebola patients in Guinea.

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Ebola Outbreak
5:27 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

New Haven Patient Tests Negative in Preliminary Result After Isolation for Ebola-Like Symptoms

Dr. Thomas Balcezak of Yale-New Haven Hospital.
Credit NBC Connecticut

Yale-New Haven Hospital confirmed Thursday that a patient hospitalized with Ebola-like symptoms tested negative for the virus, according to a preliminary notification.

The hospital admitted and isolated the patient, a doctoral student who recently returned from an Ebola research trip in Liberia, late Wednesday night pending an evaluation.

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Ebola Outbreak
12:45 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Nurse Nina Pham To Be Transferred To NIH For Ebola Treatment

During a news conference on Sunday, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Daniel Varga answers questions about a health care worker who now has Ebola after providing care for Thomas Eric Duncan. Varga is expected to testify before a House panel looking into Ebola response.
Brandon Wade AP

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 7:23 am

Updated at 7:53 p.m. ET

Nina Pham, the 26-year-old nurse who became infected with Ebola after treating a patient with the disease at a Dallas hospital, will be transferred to a high-level containment facility at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in testimony before a House committee that Pham will be admitted to the NIH tonight.

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Public Health
10:54 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Lessons From Ebola School: How To Draw Blood, Wipe Up Vomit

At a CDC training session for clinicians headed to West Africa, a medical worker practices sanitizing hands after drawing blood from a mannequin portraying an Ebola patient.
Brynn Anderson AP

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 3:16 pm

How can health workers stay safe while treating an Ebola patient?

The CDC is embroiled in a controversy over that very question. After the infection of two nurses at a Dallas hospital, the agency is facing criticism about whether initial guidelines provided to U.S. facilities were stringent enough.

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Ebola Outbreak
8:45 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

CDC: Second Dallas Nurse 'Should Not Have Traveled'

The entrance to the emergency room at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, where Thomas Eric Duncan was treated before he died from Ebola a week ago. Two health care workers who treated Duncan have tested positive for the disease.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 5:35 am

Updated at 8:43 p.m. ET

A second health care worker who has tested positive for the Ebola virus was airlifted from a Dallas hospital, where she became infected, to Emory University hospital in Atlanta for continued treatment on Wednesday.

Dr. Thomas Frieden, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says Amber Vinson, whom public records indicate is a nurse in Dallas, is "clinically stable" and that she was "quickly isolated" after her first test for Ebola came back positive on Tuesday.

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Ebola Outbreak
3:25 am
Mon October 13, 2014

On Front Lines Against Ebola, Training A Matter Of Life Or Death

Dr. Patrick Kamara adjusts his googles on the final day of training and the first "dress rehearsal" before being sent out to Ebola treatment units. The World Health Organization is ramping up to train up to 500 new health workers a week as part of the effort to stem the spread of Ebola.
John W. Poole/NPR

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 7:20 pm

One of the biggest roadblocks in West Africa to containing the Ebola outbreak is the lack of isolation wards for people who are infected.

President Obama has announced plans to build 17 new Ebola Treatment Units in Liberia. Those new medical facilities will require thousands of additional workers who are trained and willing to work in them.

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Disease
12:33 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

4 Things We've Learned About Enterovirus D68, And 1 Mystery

Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., was the first to report a surge of children with serious respiratory illness in August.
Andy Pollard Children's Mercy Kansas City

Originally published on Mon October 13, 2014 8:15 am

On Aug. 15, doctors and nurses at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., realized they had a problem.

Children were coming into the emergency room with an illness that caused wheezing and breathing problems so severe that some children ended up in the ICU on ventilators. And it was spreading fast.

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Ebola Outbreak
9:14 am
Thu October 9, 2014

Hospital: Condition Of Spanish Nurse With Ebola Is Deteriorating

A vehicle that picks up hospital waste arrives at Teresa Romero Ramos' house in Alcorcon, outside Madrid, on Wednesday. The Spanish nurse was the first case of human-to-human Ebola contagion in Europe.
Borja Garcia EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu October 9, 2014 1:08 pm

Updated at 11:35 a.m. ET

Hospital officials in Spain are saying that the condition of a nurse quarantined with Ebola has worsened.

Yolanda Fuentes, an official at the Carlos III hospital in Madrid, says of Ebola patient Teresa Romero Ramos: "Her clinical situation has deteriorated but I can't give any more information due to the express wishes of the patient."

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Europe
10:10 am
Wed October 8, 2014

Spanish Nurse Says She Reported Her Ebola Symptoms Several Times

Spanish police block animal rights activists protesting Wednesday outside the apartment building of the Spanish nurse who contracted Ebola in the city of Alcorcon, outside Madrid.
Susana Vera Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 11:16 am

Updated at 2:30 p.m. ET

Here's a roundup of the latest developments on Ebola. We'll update this post as news happens.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest confirmed that the U.S. will conduct additional screenings of passengers arriving from the Ebola-infected region of West Africa. JFK, Newark, Chicago O'Hare, Dulles and Atlanta's Hartsfield airports will implement measures that would affect about 150 passengers a day.

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Ebola Outbreak
7:45 am
Wed October 8, 2014

One U.S. Hospital's Strategy For Stopping Ebola's Advance

Ideally, the best place to care for someone ill with Ebola is at the end of a hall in a room with its own bathroom, anteroom and entrance, says Dr. Jack Ross of Hartford Hospital.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Originally published on Wed October 8, 2014 12:22 pm

Dr. Jack Ross is used to seeing potentially lethal viruses, and he is used to putting patients into isolation. Still, Ebola is different.

"I think, for any hospital today, Ebola represents one step higher than anything else, if we had to do it," says Ross, who directs infection control for Hartford Healthcare's five hospitals in Connecticut.

On a tour of Hartford Hospital, Ross explains how his Ebola control plan would affect various parts of the facility — from the emergency room, to the intensive care unit, to the floors of rooms where patients stay.

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Insurance Reimbursement
9:22 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Five Connecticut Hospitals Leave Anthem Network in Pay Dispute

Hartford Hospital is one of the five that is now out-of-network for Anthem customers
Credit Elipongo / Creative Commons

Five Connecticut hospitals have left the network of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, after they failed to reach an agreement with the insurer. 

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Disease
2:16 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

12 Cases of Enterovirus Confirmed in Connecticut

Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford.
C-HIT

The Connecticut Department of Health announced the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed 12 cases of enterovirus D68 in the state. The most recent confirmation came from cases at Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford. The virus causes breathing problems but nationally, there are some cases that have other troubling symptoms, as well.

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Rural Communities
12:07 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Task Force Tackles Opiate Addiction in Litchfield County

Charlotte Hungerford Hospital in Torrington.

Earlier this year, the heroin epidemic in this country was front and center. It's not in the headlines anymore, but that doesn't mean the problem of opioid addiction, fueled by abusing prescription drugs or heroin, has gone away.

Torrington received a lot of attention for the number of overdose deaths there in 2013.  Late last year, community stakeholders came together to form the Litchfield County Opiate Task Force. One of the task force's biggest initiatives to combat the problem throughout the entire county was the creation of a community case manager to work at the local hospital.

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Hospitals
10:46 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Avoid The Rush! Some ERs Are Taking Appointments

Michael Granillo and his wife Sonia await treatment at an emergency room in Northridge, Calif.
Anna Gorman, Kaiser Health News

Originally published on Sat September 27, 2014 12:19 pm

Three times in one week, 34-year-old Michael Granillo returned to the emergency room of the Northridge Hospital Medical Center in Southern California, seeking relief from intense back pain. Each time, Granillo waited a little while and then left the ER without ever being seen by a doctor.

"I was in so much pain, I wanted to be taken care of 'now,' " says Granillo. "I didn't want to sit and wait."

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Newborn Health
2:41 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Listen: For Connecticut Parents in Distress, a Safe Haven

Kelly Pabilonia
Jeff Cohen WNPR

The recent discovery of a dead newborn in trash can in East Hartford has restarted a conversation about the state's Safe Haven law. It allows parents in distress who are unable to care for their infants to leave them at a hospital emergency room. 

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Storm Preparedness
2:09 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Connecticut Hospitals Struggled During Sandy

Credit scantaur/iStock / Thinkstock

A new federal report finds hospitals in Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey were not prepared to meet the challenges of Superstorm Sandy. 

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