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Week in Review

by Kroger Burrus on April 2nd, 2013

Kroger | Burrus Week in Review

CASES

Texas Health and Human Services Commission v. Advocates for Patient Access
Patient advocates filed suit against the state seeking to invalidate a rule requiring that a relative accompany Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment patients under 15 in order to receive Medicaid coverage for transportation costs. The advocates allege the state stopped permitting parents to authorize a non-relative to accompany their children after a perceived overutilization of the service, impeding patient access to treatment. The Austin appellate court found that there was sufficient evidence presented to support a temporary injunction against enforcement of this rule.

Desrochers v. Thomas
A plaintiff whose case was dismissed pursuant to a no evidence motion for summary judgment appealed on the basis that her request for additional time for discovery was improperly denied and that the court erred in granting summary judgment. The San Antonio appellate court affirmed the trial court’s decisions, noting that the plaintiff failed to comply with an order to present an expert for deposition and was properly refused additional discovery time. The Court also noted that the plaintiff did not timely respond to the summary judgment motion and dismissal was appropriate.

NEWS

Texas Lab Loses Deadly Virus
The Galveston National Library has lost track of one of five vials containing the deadly Guanarito virus. The Venezuelan virus causes hemorrhagic bleeding, similar to the Ebola virus, and can infect humans but typically only spreads among Venezuelan rodent populations. Officials suspect the vial may have been inadvertently destroyed through a clerical error and do not believe a security breach occurred.

CHRISTUS Building Medical Plaza in San Antonio
CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital is building a $12 million medical-office complex in San Antonio. The new facility will house physicians and medical providers, including the CHRISTUS Santa Family Health Center, a patient-centered medical home.

CHRISTUS’ New Braunfels Hospital Designated Trauma Facility
CHRISTUS Santa Rosa — New Braunfels has been designated a Level IV Trauma Facility by the Texas Department of State Health Services. This designation authorizes the hospital to stabilize seriously injured and critically ill patients on a 24-hour basis.

Outlook for Cardiac Arrest Survivors Better Than Believed
The odds of survival for cardiac arrest patients resuscitated in a hospital setting have increased significantly over the past decade and are higher than anticipated, according to a recent study. The study suggests 22% of patients whose hearts stop while in the hospital will survive through discharge, compared to 14% a decade ago. Among those who are successfully resuscitated, 60% are likely to survive at least one year.

Minimally Invasive Surgery Could Save $14 Billion
A study of six surgical procedures found that minimally invasive alternatives could have saved $14 billion in 2009. This figure represents lower costs associated with some of the procedures as well as shorter recovery periods that translate to less worker absenteeism. Procedures evaluated include coronary revascularization, uterine fibroid resection, prostatectomy, peripheral revascularization, carotid revascularization and aortic aneurysm repair.

Harris County Receives Mixed Health and Wellness Rating
Harris County received a mixed rating for health outcomes among Texas counties evaluated by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Harris County ranked 70 out of 232 counties for low birth weight, and the number of poor physical and mental health days. The county ranked 132 for health factors that include physical inactivity, children in poverty, and the number of uninsured.

Report Finds Nurses, Midwives Play Important Role in Improving Health Outcomes
Nurses and midwives can play a critical role in reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes, according to a World Health Organization report. The report encourages nursing schools to offer curricula emphasizing the valuable role nurses can play in encouraging healthy lifestyles.

Group Appointments Could Ease Physician Shortage
A growing number of people are participating in group medical appointments. During these sessions physicians respond to questions from patients with a common condition, such as diabetes, and share information about their health care issues.

SCOTUS Hears Arguments on ‘Pay to Delay’ Generic Drug Practice
The Supreme Court heard arguments Monday regarding whether brand-name drug makers may pay generic drug manufacturers to keep their products off shelves to settle patent disputes. The Federal Trade Commission has challenged this practice, known as “reverse settlements” in the industry, on the basis that it amounts to a form of anti-competitive collusion.

Wireless Personal Health Monitoring System Could Revolutionize Healthcare
Developers of a wireless health monitoring system believe it could revolutionize the healthcare industry by facilitating constant analysis of patients’ status. The mHealth system is expected to prove useful in determining if stroke and cardiac patients are exercising appropriately and identifying signs of trouble.

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