Economic Downturn Taking Toll On Patients And Communities Hospitals Serve: New Survey Finds

April 28, 2009

Six out of ten hospitals nationally are seeing a greater proportion of patients without insurance coming through their emergency departments, according to a new survey from the American Hospital Association (AHA). At the same time, nearly half of hospitals reported they have cut staff. Recent employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics confirms that hospital employment is no longer growing and that the number of mass layoffs for hospitals reported in February was more than double what it was a year ago.
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Senators Expected To Add Health Disparities-Related Amendment To Economic Stimulus Package

February 6, 2009

Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chair Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) on Wednesday are expected to try to amend the economic stimulus package’s health information technology section to include a measure that seeks to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities, CongressDaily reports. The amendment aims to ensure that electronic medical records collect data based on race, ethnicity and gender. AARP and several minority and consumer groups intend to support the proposal, according to CongressDaily (Noyes, CongressDaily, 2/4).
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Senators Expected To Add Health Disparities-Related Amendment To Economic Stimulus Package

February 6, 2009

Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chair Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) on Wednesday are expected to try to amend the economic stimulus package’s health information technology section to include a measure that seeks to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities, CongressDaily reports. The amendment aims to ensure that electronic medical records collect data based on race, ethnicity and gender. AARP and several minority and consumer groups intend to support the proposal, according to CongressDaily (Noyes, CongressDaily, 2/4).
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Economic Cost Of Poor Health And Safety , UK

January 17, 2009

Statistics released recently by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reveal that poor health and safety practices could be placing extra strain on the economy during these harsh financial times.

Official statistics show that during the period 2007/08 a total of 229 workers were killed at work and 299,000 sustained reportable injuries. The HSE also report that an astonishing 34 million working days were lost through injury and ill health, which equates to 1.4 days per worker.
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Economic Stimulus Package Likely To Cost As Much As $850B, Include Funds For Medicaid, Health Care IT

January 16, 2009

Aides to President-elect Barack Obama have told lawmakers that a two-year economic stimulus package they plan to consider in January 2009 could cost as much as $850 billion, rather than the $600 billion currently under consideration, congressional officials said on Wednesday, the AP/Contra Costa Timesreports (AP/Contra Costa Times, 12/17).

According to the Los Angeles Times, the economic stimulus package “could shape the course of Obama’s presidency” and “help lift the economy out of recession, giving him the space to enact his ambitious energy, education and health care plans” (Nicholas, Los Angeles Times, 12/17). Lawmakers and lobbyists have said that the package “would let states and localities, rather than the federal government, decide how to spend the bulk of the money” to avoid the “more time-consuming practice of loading the measure with thousands of … earmarks,” Bloomberg/Detroit Free Pressreports (Woellert/Greiling Keane, Bloomberg/Detroit Free Press, 12/18).
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CQ’s Carey Discusses Economic Stimulus Bill, Senate Efforts To Draft Health Care Legislation, Rep. Waxman’s Victory In House Panel Race, More

January 11, 2009

Mary Agnes Carey, associate editor of CQ HealthBeat, examines Congress’ failure to pass a second economic stimulus package that would have provided additional Medicaid funding for states, senators’ efforts to develop comprehensive health care reform legislation, Rep. Henry Waxman’s (D-Calif.) taking over as chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and President-elect Barack Obama’s reportedly naming former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) to the position of HHS secretary in this week’s “Health on the Hill from kaisernetwork.org and CQ.”
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During These Times Of Economic Crisis A Cardiologist Warns Against Signs Of A Cardiac Crash

January 7, 2009

Rising unemployment rates, the worst Wall Street crises since the end of World War II, record home foreclosures. There is plenty of stress to go around. What effect is stress having on our health and what can we do about it?

“Prolonged stress, both emotional and physical, impacts the overall cardiovascular status of our patients, particularly their blood pressure,” said Keith Churchwell, M.D., executive medical director of the Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute.
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