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When health insurers play games, patients lose

When health insurers play games, patients lose

Dr. Theodore Corwin jumps through numerous hoops to get UnitedHealthcare to pay for a patient's breast reduction — only to finally be told the surgery wasn't covered by her policy. A 26-year-old woman recently came to his office complaining of back, neck and shoulder pain, as well as numbness in her hands and arms, resulting from her unusually ample bust. She's 5-foot-6, not overweight, Corwin said. She wanted a breast reduction. More »

LABOR: Board finds in favor of nurses’ union

LABOR: Board finds in favor of nurses’ union

The National Labor Relations Board has upheld a judge’s ruling that found that management of Fallbrook Hospital did not negotiate in good faith with a union representing registered nurses, and has also ordered the hospital to reimburse the union for its expenses. —Riverside Press Enterprise, 04/16/14 More »

National Health Groups Join Call for Comprehensive Health Study on Keystone Pipeline

National Health Groups Join Call for Comprehensive Health Study on Keystone Pipeline

Washington, DC - Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), announced today during a press conference call that two national public health groups, the American Public Health Association and the National Association of County and City Health Officials, sent a letter to Secretary of State, John Kerry, joining the request for the Obama administration to complete a comprehensive human health study on the Keystone pipeline. —U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, 04/11/14 More »

Earth Day Parade and Rally In San Francisco On April 19, 2014

Earth Day Parade and Rally In San Francisco On April 19, 2014

Join nurses on Saturday, April 19 in San Francisco to highlight issues of environmental justice and public health, and to lift up climate solutions. —California Nurses Association, 04/10/14 More »

Levine, nurses lobby for delay in Palm Drive vote

Levine, nurses lobby for delay in Palm Drive vote

State Assemblyman Marc Levine met with nurses and labor advocates Saturday to discuss his legislative effort to keep open Sebastopol’s fiscally ailing Palm Drive Hospital. The San Rafael Democrat said he’s introduced a bill that would allow the hospital to refinance its debt so bonds could be paid off at lower interest rates. AB582 already has won unanimous, bipartisan support in its first committee hearing and is awaiting approval of the full Senate in the next month or so, he said. —Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 04/07/14 More »

On the Ground With RNRN: In the Wake of the 2013 Philippine Floods

On the Ground With RNRN: In the Wake of the 2013 Philippine Floods

By DAVID ABELES, RN--The archipelago of Philippines consists of 7107 islands with a population of close to a 100 million people lying within the Pacific Rim of Fire where 81% of the world’s largest earthquakes occur. In addition, the large tropical typhoons (locally known as bagyos) season lasts from June thru November. On October 15, 2013 an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 struck the Visayans Island of Bohol killing several hundred people, injuring thousands, and laying waste to thousands of homes. —RN Response Network / NNU, 04/03/14 More »

Nurses Seek Health & Safety Evidence for Keystone XL Pipeline

Nurses Seek Health & Safety Evidence for Keystone XL Pipeline

Katy Roemer, RN, remembers the fire that took place in 2012 at the Chevron oil refinery in Richmond, Calif., a 12-mile drive from the Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center, where she works as a maternity nurse. The fire burned out of control for more than five hours, spewing a huge black cloud of toxic chemicals, including sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, into the air. Bay Area residents were advised to stay inside, close windows and doors, turn off air conditioners and heating units, and have duck tape on hand in case it was needed to further seal the windows and doors. Pets and children were to be kept inside. —The ONC, 03/31/14 More »

Could This Tax on Wall Street Turn Back America’s Tide of Inequality?

Could This Tax on Wall Street Turn Back America’s Tide of Inequality?

How will you honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. this April 4, the anniversary of his assassination? How about by demanding that Congress get out of Wall Street’s pocket? How about by letting your representative know that you support economic equality and a just distribution of wealth in America? As Dr. King himself said, “This is America’s opportunity to help bridge the gulf between the haves and the have-nots. The question is whether America will do it. There is nothing new about poverty. What is new is that we now have the techniques and the resources to get rid of poverty. —The Nation, 03/31/14 More »

Hospital administrators in Connecticut tout the financial benefits of mergers

Hospital administrators in Connecticut tout the financial benefits of mergers

Several studies, as well as data from the federal Medicare program, suggest that mergers and for-profit conversions may lead to higher prices. But the state has yet to study the impact of mergers on patient pricing, and has no requirement that hospitals try to hold patient costs steady after a merger or conversion. The state also has no comprehensive blueprint guiding hospital configuration or limiting the number of takeovers or networks it will allow. —CTpost.com, 03/24/14 More »

California nurses have no regrets about mandatory nurse-to-patient ratios

California nurses have no regrets about mandatory nurse-to-patient ratios

Nurses, members of Local 97 of the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union, say that mandatory ratios are necessary. Too often the nurses are understaffed, putting patients' health and even lives at risk. Capital Health, their employer, argues that mandatory ratios are too costly to implement and not effective. Bargaining has reached a standstill, a mediator has been appointed and the countdown to a strike has started. —Halifax Media Co-op, 03/21/14 More »

Sanity on ‘malpractice reform’—from Florida, of all places

Sanity on ‘malpractice reform’—from Florida, of all places

"Tort reform"--read that as "shutting the courthouse door to malpractice victims"--again is rearing its ugly head as a means to reduce healthcare costs, most recently as a plank in the recent GOP healthcare proposals. —Los Angeles Times, 03/20/14 More »

Carson City Council Voting to Place an Immediate Moratorium On all New Oil and Gas Drilling

Carson City Council Voting to Place an Immediate Moratorium On all New Oil and Gas Drilling

Nurses join others, including Food & Water Watch, in Carson where the city council is voting tonight on a temporary ban on oil drilling following fracking concerns. —California Nurses Association, 03/18/14 More »

Re: “Fallbrook Healthcare District seeks to financially assist hospital”

Re: “Fallbrook Healthcare District seeks to financially assist hospital”

As registered nurses and Fallbrook Healthcare District residents, red flags went up for us when we read last week’s Village News. How can this be? For those who may not know, our little community hospital is operated by the largest for-profit corporation in America – Community Health Systems (CHS), which made $265 million in profits in 2013, according to Fortune magazine. It seems the healthcare district has already spent some of our money on a consultant’s report and held months of closed-door meetings leading up to the article. —Fallbrok Bonsall Village News, 03/18/14 More »

Nebraska Nurse Concerned About Health Impact of Keystone XL

Nebraska Nurse Concerned About Health Impact of Keystone XL

I am a Nebraska citizen from Holt County. I have been speaking out against KXL since my first editorial in April 2009. I drink water from the aquifer, 52 feet down, absolutely pure, no treatment or filtration needed. The first route would have been 2 miles to the west of our private well and I was terrified. I called the EPA and an environmental scientist told me he would be concerned also. My concerns were confirmed when I heard Dr Goeke, a UNL water specialist (who now the pipeline proponents quote as having no concern to the water) testify at a NE legislative hearing Dec 1, 2010 that contaminants could migrate up to 2 miles in our groundwater! —Cindy Myers, RN, 03/17/14 More »

Marin General nurses petition administration to address patient care concerns

Marin General nurses petition administration to address patient care concerns

Nurses at Marin General Hospital are demanding action to resolve what they say are potentially dangerous patient care issues at the county's largest hospital. Ten nurses voiced their concerns at Tuesday night's meeting of the Marin Healthcare District board. The district board oversees Marin General; but a separate board deals with the hospital's day-to-day operations. Ninety nurses have signed a petition calling on the hospital to respond to a detailed list of issues affecting patient care. The nurses say many of the problems stem from inadequate staffing and continued difficulties utilizing the hospital's new computerized physician order entry system. —Marin Independent Journal, 03/12/14 More »

Understaffing, Failure to Provide Adequate Care

Understaffing, Failure to Provide Adequate Care

SAFE STAFFING VERDICT: Arlene Townsend, 63 suffered a stroke and required 24-hour care. She was admitted to Auburndale Oaks Healthcare Center, a nursing home owned by Trans Healthcare, Inc. In the three years leading up to her death, Townsend suffered numerous fall resulting in broken bones and lacerations, infections, significant weight loss, chronic constipation, skin breakdowns, dehydration, and other problems. —Trial Magazine, 03/11/14 More »

The Truth About Tar Sands

The Truth About Tar Sands

I recently had the pleasure of attending one of the most important press briefings that has happened in a long time: Senator Barbara Boxer-Keystone Pipeline and the Threat to Human Health. The briefing took place at the Dirksen Senate Building and featured Senator Boxer (D-CA), Senator Whitehouse (D-RI), health experts, and community leaders dealing with this issue firsthand from around the country and Canada. The main message of this briefing was that people need to know the truth about tar sands and its effects on people’s health. —Denée Reaves’s Blog, 02/28/14 More »

District One Hospital holds community meetings to discuss Allina deal in Faribault

District One Hospital holds community meetings to discuss Allina deal in Faribault

Nearly 50 people gathered at Faribault City Hall Wednesday night to learn more about District One Hospital's pending merger with Allina Health. During his presentation, Pribyl reviewed District One's dismal financial status while also showcasing how the hospital is trying to turn itself around by slashing the budget, improving technology and, most notably, merging with Allina. Wednesday's meeting was the second forum held with the public. Pribyl and members of the hospital's Board of Directors also hosted a meeting with Rice County elected officials and have gone to service club meetings like Rotary Club and the Knights of Columbus to discuss the same topics. —Faribault Daily News, 02/21/14 More »

Profits Over Patients

Profits Over Patients

Much is wrong with the process of pricing and providing health care in America. The National Nurses United, the largest nurses organization, recently released a study that shows the top 100 most expensive U.S. Hospitals have a charge-to-cost ratio of 765 percent and higher. The worst offender in Ohio is right here in Summit County – Summa Barberton at a mind-numbing 654 percent. It is followed in fourth place by Summa Western Reserve at a whopping 577 percent. What has become obvious is the health-care establishment here and across the country is more concerned with profits than patients. —OpEd in the Akron Beacon Journal Online, 02/21/14 More »

Labor Leaders React to Volkswagen Loss; Some Express Frustration with Democrats

Labor Leaders React to Volkswagen Loss; Some Express Frustration with Democrats

National Nurses United executive director RoseAann DeMoro, whose union has organized 7,000 nurses in southern states like Texas and Florida in the past three years, asked why Democratic politicians did not forcefully challenge Corker, who threatened that unionization would destroy jobs, and the right. “Why aren’t Democrats 100 percent for labor?” she asked. “Where are our allies? Who’s standing with us visibly, forcibly? Democrats know the value of organized labor. They might say it sometime.” —In These Times, 02/21/14 More »

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