Skip to content

Week in Review

by Kroger Burrus on March 27th, 2014

Kroger | Burrus Week in Review


Cedar Senior Services v. Nevarez
A resident at a skilled nursing facility filed suit alleging he developed a pressure ulcer and became dehydrated as a result of substandard care. Four months after filing suit, the resident discovered that the facility had been purchased by a health care entity a year earlier and amended his petition to allege that the defendants were the past and current owners of the facility. The former owner sought dismissal on the basis that it was not named in the resident’s expert report. The San Antonio appellate court affirmed the trial court’s denial of the motion to dismiss, finding that by implicating the conduct of the skilled nursing facility, the report also implicated the former owner. The court held it was not necessary for the expert to offer an opinion on which entity owned the facility.


Hundreds of Thousands of Patients’ Data Stolen in California
The Social Security numbers and billing information of almost 170,000 patients in California were stolen after a break-in at a billing contractor, according to Los Angeles County authorities. County officials report that they are not aware of another breach of this size having ever occurred.

Study Finds Ventilator Patients at Risk for Psychological Problems
Patients who receive mechanical ventilation are at considerable risk for developing psychological problems, according to a recent Danish-American survey. The study found that one in seven ventilator patients were prescribed medication for psychological problems within the first three months after their hospital admissions, including sleeping medicine, anxiety medication, and antidepressants.

Statins Recommended for Half of Adults Over 40 Under New Cholesterol Guidelines
New guidelines for preventing heart attacks and strokes would more than double the potential number of statin-takers to 56 million people, if followed. The guidelines, formulated by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, recommend that everybody with known heart disease should be taking statins, rather than only patients whose LDL cholesterol levels exceed 130.

FDA Finds Medical Device Recalls Doubled Over Past Decade
Medical device recalls have doubled over the past decade, according to the FDA. In 2012, 57 recalls of devices carrying a reasonable probability of death occurred, compared to only seven in 2003.

Physicians Influenced by Requests for Advertised Drugs
Physicians often comply with patients’ requests for drugs that have been advertised, a new study suggests. In the study, actors portraying patients requested either a specific drug or made a general request for something that would alleviate their pain. One in five of the actors who requested oxycodone for sciatica pain would have received it, compared to 1% of those who made no specific request. Half of the actors who requested Celebrex would have received it, compared to about 25% of those who made no specific requests.

Study: Emergency Departments Dispensing More Narcotics
Although there was only a small increase in the percentage of visits for painful conditions at emergency departments between 2001 and 2010, the number of narcotic painkiller prescriptions increased by 49%, according to a recent study. Experts suggest that concerns that pain was being undertreated may have contributed to this trend. Some hospitals’ pay incentives are linked to patient satisfaction surveys, which some speculate may pressure ED physicians to comply with patients’ requests for strong painkillers.

Health Information Exchanges Reduce Admissions
Emergency department patients whose doctors consulted their records through a health information exchange were 30% less likely to be admitted, according to a Cornell study. The study found that savings associated with the use of the health information exchanges totaled $357,000.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google Buzz
  • LinkedIn
  • Google Bookmarks
  • email

From → Week in Review