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Metro Health’s Proposed Partner Operates 25 Hospitals Accused of ‘Price-Gouging’

Metro Health’s Proposed Partner Operates 25 Hospitals Accused of ‘Price-Gouging’

Of 50 U.S. hospitals identified as having the highest price markups for uninsured patients, half are owned by the health system that plans to merge with Metro Health. Community Health Systems Inc., a for-profit system based in Franklin, Tenn., operates 25 of the hospitals on the list, according to an article in The Washington Post. —Sue Thoms, MLive Media Group, 06/10/15 More »

No Vote on Trade Pact Needed to Protect U.S. Interests

No Vote on Trade Pact Needed to Protect U.S. Interests

San Diego congressional representatives Susan Davis and Scott Peters remain undecided about pending international trade measures that will have tremendous impacts on San Diego. —Brenna Norton & Deborah Burger, San Diego Union Tribune, 06/09/15 More »

Many U.S. hospitals mark up prices 1,000 percent: study

Many U.S. hospitals mark up prices 1,000 percent: study

Even the astronomical price markups that consumers regularly pay for, say, wine in restaurants pale beside those in some U.S. hospitals: The price for procedures is often 10 times the cost, according to a study published on Monday in the journal Health Affairs. —Sharon Begley, Reuters, 06/08/15 More »

Feds, State Settle Part of Big Hospital Kickback Scheme

Feds, State Settle Part of Big Hospital Kickback Scheme

Part of a big Georgia hospital kickback case will be settled for nearly $1 million, while a related criminal investigation into a major national hospital company continues. —Atlanta Business Chronicle, 06/08/15 More »

Unionized Nurses at EMMC Vote to Authorize Strike

Unionized Nurses at EMMC Vote to Authorize Strike

Unionized nurses at Eastern Maine Medical Center voted Thursday to authorize a strike if the hospital fails to better address their patient safety concerns, including “unsafe staffing.” —Jackie Farwell, Bangor Daily News, 06/05/15 More »

Lawsuit Alleges Improper Hospital Billing Practices

Lawsuit Alleges Improper Hospital Billing Practices

A lawsuit filed Wednesday in Washington County Circuit Court contends the company that owns Northwest Medical Center and operates nine other hospitals in Arkansas has been skipping insurance carriers and going after payment directly from patients or other sources that pay more. —Ron Wood, Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 06/04/15 More »

Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital, Nurses Settle on Contract

Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital, Nurses Settle on Contract

Fifteen months of fighting has ended abruptly but more amicably for both sides of a contract dispute at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital. Late Thursday, the hospital Board of Directors voted unanimously to approve a five-year contract with nurses of the California Nurses Association. —Roberto M. Robledo, The Californian, 05/29/15 More »

Hospital Hospice Services to End Next Month

Hospital Hospice Services to End Next Month

A program that has been available for decades through a Lackawanna County hospital will soon be coming to an end. Eyewitness News has learned that the owners of Regional Hospital of Scranton will stop providing inpatient and home hospice services at the end of next month. —National Nurses Organizing Committee , 05/27/15 More »

Sanders Bill Signals Growth of Broad Robin Hood Tax Movement

Sanders Bill Signals Growth of Broad Robin Hood Tax Movement

Seven years after Wall Street gamblers wrenched the U.S. economy into the worst economic swoon since the Great Depression, the movement to make the high rollers pay some restitution to people and communities harmed by their profligacy is gaining stream. —RoseAnn DeMoro writing for Common Dreams, 05/27/15 More »

Recent DOJ Enforcement Actions Demonstrate that the Focus on Mental Health Services Fraud Continues

Recent DOJ Enforcement Actions Demonstrate that the Focus on Mental Health Services Fraud Continues

Two recent actions announced by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), one civil and one criminal, along with a recent speech by Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell, illustrate the current climate of government enforcement related to mental health services (i.e., intensive outpatient psychotherapy (IOP) and partial hospitalization program (PHP) services). —Amanda Enyeart and Laura B. Morgan, Mondaq, 05/20/15 More »

Fallbook Hospital Spanked by Court

Fallbook Hospital Spanked by Court

On May 8, Fallbrook Hospital (which closed in December) got a spanking from the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. —Don Bauder, San Diego Reader, 05/19/15 More »

NLRB rightly ordered obstinate employer to pay union’s negotiating expenses

NLRB rightly ordered obstinate employer to pay union’s negotiating expenses

“Far from the run-of-the-mill failure to bargain,” a health care employer deliberately obstructed any meaningful negotiations with the union that won an election to represent employees at one of its acute-care hospitals. —Lisa Milam-Perez, J.D., Wolters Kluwer, 05/13/15 More »

Nurses Take to Downtown Streets in Protest

Nurses Take to Downtown Streets in Protest

Before marching on the state Capitol, CNA nurses rally in the lobby of the California Hospital Association in downtown Sacramento. —Lezlie Sterling, The Sacramento Bee, 05/12/15 More »

D.C. Circuit Says Hospital Must Pay Union’s Negotiating Expenses

D.C. Circuit Says Hospital Must Pay Union’s Negotiating Expenses

A U.S. appeals court on Friday affirmed a rare decision by the National Labor Relations Board ordering an employer to pay a unions' negotiating expenses, saying the board has broad discretion to decide the types of egregious conduct that warrant the unusual remedy. —Daniel Wiessner, Reuters, 05/11/15 More »

When Hospitals Move, Who Gets Left Behind?

When Hospitals Move, Who Gets Left Behind?

A growing number of hospitals are relocating to wealthier towns, citing financial necessity, but many see it as a choice to abandon the residents of poorer areas. —Phil Galewitz for The Atlantic, 05/11/15 More »

Apple Vally Nurses participate in 3-hour picket

Apple Vally Nurses participate in 3-hour picket

Registered nurses at St. Joseph Health, St. Mary participated in a three-hour informational picket in front of the hospital Wednesday, claiming that cuts to staffing and supplies have hurt patient care. —Shea Johnson, Victorville Daily Press, 05/07/15 More »

Nurses ratify contract with University of Chicago

Nurses ratify contract with University of Chicago

University of Chicago Medical Center nurses have ratified a four-year labor contract that raises wages by up to 3 percent annually, increases health care costs for nurses and ends rotating shifts, according to the union and the hospital. —Alejandra Cancino, Chicago Tribune, 05/07/15 More »

Guest Commentary: Good Reasons to Keep Thunder Road Open

Guest Commentary: Good Reasons to Keep Thunder Road Open

Thunder Road must remain open. The agency provides a vital and absolutely mandatory service to at-risk youth, ultimately saving lives and costs of incarceration and medical expense incurred by the county and the community. —Michael Wachter, Contra Costa Times, 05/05/15 More »

Nurse Ann Wayt wins $2 million union organizing case against Massillon hospital

Nurse Ann Wayt wins $2 million union organizing case against Massillon hospital

MASSILLON, Ohio – Ann Wayt recently won a $2 million award against Affinity Medical Center after the hospital fired her and attempted to ruin her reputation for helping unionize nurses. Many may think the size of the jury award the most important words in that sentence. For Wayt, a registered nurse for 38 years, one word stands out as the most important -- "reputation." She had always excelled at nursing, especially in patient care. The hospital had even admitted that, giving her its Nurse Excellence Award in 2008. —Cleveland Plain Dealer, 04/27/15 More »

San Bernardino County Supervisors Approve 2-year Agreement with Nurses Union

San Bernardino County Supervisors Approve 2-year Agreement with Nurses Union

San Bernardino County supervisors this week approved a two-year agreement with the union representing 1,200 registered nurses employed by the county. —Jim Steinberg, The Sun, 04/24/15 More »

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