Will One Nonprofit Hospital’s Move To Stop Suing Poor Patients For Unpaid Bills Start A Trend?
In other news, The Wall Street Journal reports National Institutes of Health doctors are protesting a shake-up at the agency's renowned hospital and the Los Angeles Times reports on scope-related deaths at a Pasadena hospital.
ProPublica and NPR:
Nonprofit Hospital Stops Suing So Many Poor Patients: Will Others Follow?
For years, Heartland Regional Medical Center, a nonprofit hospital in the small city of St. Joseph, Missouri, had quietly sued thousands of its low-income patients over their unpaid bills. But after an investigation by ProPublica and NPR prompted further scrutiny by Sen. Charles Grassley, the hospital overhauled its financial assistance policy late last year and forgave the debts of thousands of former patients. (Kiel and Arnold, 6/1)
The Wall Street Journal:
Senior NIH Doctors Protest Hospital Restructuring
A high-level revolt is erupting among National Institutes of Health doctors who are disputing an outside panel’s assessment that an unsafe culture existed at the agency’s renowned hospital, and are protesting a shake-up of senior leadership based on the findings. Central to the quarrel is NIH Director Francis Collins, an eminent gene scientist who announced plans in May to replace the top three officials at NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Md., with a new management structure. His decision came after an expert panel in April concluded that drug-sterility problems had occurred because doctors there allowed patient safety to be “subservient to research.” (Burton, 6/1)
Los Angeles Times:
11 Deaths At Huntington Hospital Among Patients Infected By Dirty Scopes, City Report Says
Pasadena health officials said Wednesday that 16 patients were infected by dangerous bacteria from medical scopes at Huntington Hospital from January 2013 to August 2015, including 11 who have now died. Many of those patients were already severely ill, including some with cancer. Health officials said that only one of the 11 death certificates listed the bacteria as the cause. It was not clear if infection was a factor in any of the other deaths. (Petersen, 6/1)