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Study finds jump in ER-related admissions

Study finds jump in ER-related admissions

Efforts to shift patients to lower-cost healthcare settings appear to flounder as the emergency department continues to play a larger role in where and how care is delivered. —Modern Healthcare, 05/21/13 More »

Dem proposes federal regulation of nurse-to-patient ratios in hospitals

Dem proposes federal regulation of nurse-to-patient ratios in hospitals

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) on Tuesday proposed legislation that would require hospitals to maintain a minimum nurse-to-patient ratio at all times, and allow the government to audit and penalize hospitals that fail to comply with this rule. —TheHill.com, 04/26/13 More »

National Report Highlights Worker Fatalities, Need for Stronger Workplace Safety Measures

National Report Highlights Worker Fatalities, Need for Stronger Workplace Safety Measures

More than 4,600 workers were killed on the job in 2011 – the latest year for which we have complete data – spanning many ages, industries, and causes of death, an analysis by the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH) has found. —COSHnetwork.org, 04/24/13 More »

Coverage limits are harsh reality for amputees

Coverage limits are harsh reality for amputees

Those who lost limbs in the Boston Marathon bombings now need care to learn to navigate the world in a new way — and navigate a thorny area of health care coverage, too. In the case of the Boston bombings, pledges and offers of support have poured in to help with the health care costs of the 14 people who reportedly lost all or part of a limb. But for some amputees, covering the staggering cost for prosthetics care can be a struggle. —Politico.com, 04/23/13 More »

Chained CPI Proposal Would Cut Social Security Retirement Benefits by About 2 Percent, on Average

Chained CPI Proposal Would Cut Social Security Retirement Benefits by About 2 Percent, on Average

The President’s new budget proposes to use the chained Consumer Price Index (CPI) for computing cost-of-living adjustments in Social Security and certain other federal benefits, as well as for indexing key parameters of the tax code. —Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 04/23/13 More »

The Higher Health Insurers’ Claim Denial Rate, the Higher the CEO Pay

The Higher Health Insurers’ Claim Denial Rate, the Higher the CEO Pay

When you're shopping for health insurance, wouldn't it be great if you could find out every insurer's claim denial rate? And how much each one spent on lobbying and advertising -- and how much they paid their CEO? —Huffington Post, By Wendell Potter, 04/23/13 More »

Texas Plant Explosion Reveals Wide Gaps In Workplace Safety Laws

Texas Plant Explosion Reveals Wide Gaps In Workplace Safety Laws

WASHINGTON -- The staggering death toll continues to rise -- not in Boston, but in the small town of West, Texas. Buried by the extraordinary developments in the marathon bombing case, the confirmed deaths of at least 14 people and the injuries of 200 more have been all but lost in the breaking terrorism news. But about 1,800 miles from Boston, rescuers and investigators are sorting through the wreckage of the devastating industrial disaster. —Huffington Post, 04/22/13 More »

A Robin Hood Response to the Austerity Lie: Tax Wall Street

A Robin Hood Response to the Austerity Lie: Tax Wall Street

Congressman Keith Ellison, D-Minnesota is reintroducing his Inclusive Prosperity Act, a proposal to add a small “financial transactions tax” on high-volume, high-speed trading by Wall Street speculators. The tax—similar to one that the US imposed until 1966, and to taxes maintained by 40 countries worldwide—would generate roughly $1 trillion in revenue over 10 years. —The Nation, By Jorn n', 04/17/13 More »

9 ‘Chained CPI’ Facts They Don’t Want You to Know

9 ‘Chained CPI’ Facts They Don’t Want You to Know

The "chained CPI" proposal in President Obama's budget continues to draw much-deserved fire, which is only likely to increase as more information about it becomes known. Here are nine embarrassing facts about the chained CPI which the White House and its defenders would prefer to see overlooked. —Huffington Post, 04/11/13 More »

Consumer Groups Fear Patients Could Be Hit With Large Out-Of-Pocket Costs

Consumer Groups Fear Patients Could Be Hit With Large Out-Of-Pocket Costs

Under the federal law, starting Jan. 1 health plans must include certain benefits, such as hospital care and drug coverage, and must cap the amount consumers can be charged through deductibles, co-payments and co-insurance. That out-of-pocket cap next year is estimated to be about $6,250 for an individual. —Kaiser Health News, 04/10/13 More »

Labor Pains, Evergreen

Labor Pains, Evergreen

The battle over the tar sands pipeline among unions has been XL on drama. "For too long we have allowed some corporations to hold a gun to our heads and demand that we choose jobs or choose the earth.” That’s what Terry O’Sullivan, the general president of the Laborers International Union of North America, told green groups and fellow unions at a green-jobs conference in February 2009, just a few months after the union—one of the largest in the country—joined the Blue-Green Alliance, a group organized to advocate for a “clean economy.” —The American Prospect, 04/09/13 More »

Lack of paid sick leave is unhealthy for America

Lack of paid sick leave is unhealthy for America

Ian Rizzio was a 24-year-old mechanical engineering student in Portland, Oregon, managing a sandwich shop to pay his tuition. One day, he woke up sick, but went to work anyway, as he later testified to the Portland City Council. After vomiting in the bathroom, Rizzio spent two hours trying — unsuccessfully — to reach his boss before going home to rest. When Rizzio came into work the next day, he was fired immediately. With $35,000 in student loans, he feared he’d have to withdraw from school. —The Washington Post, 04/03/13 More »

The Tar Sands Disaster

The Tar Sands Disaster

Canada’s tar sands formations, landlocked in northern Alberta, are a giant reserve of carbon-saturated energy — a mixture of sand, clay and a viscous low-grade petroleum called bitumen. Pipelines are the best way to get this resource to market, but existing pipelines to the United States are almost full. So tar sands companies, and the Alberta and Canadian governments, are desperately searching for export routes via new pipelines. —The New York Times, 04/02/13 More »

SOUTH FLORIDA NURSES WIN FIRST UNION CONTRACTS

SOUTH FLORIDA NURSES WIN FIRST UNION CONTRACTS

South Florida registered nurses this week are celebrating their first ever collective bargaining agreement at Florida Medical Center (FMC) and Palmetto General Hospital, with terms they say will both improve patient care as well as secure economic gains for nurses and their families. —Caribbean Today, 04/02/13 More »

Federal healthcare law could boost some California premiums by 30%

Federal healthcare law could boost some California premiums by 30%

The federal healthcare law will help cause insurance premiums to rise 30% on average for many middle-income Californians next year, but lower-income consumers could save up to 84%, a new government report says. —LAtimes.com, 03/28/13 More »

Our Voice: Not-for-profit hospitals should provide their fair share of charity

Our Voice: Not-for-profit hospitals should provide their fair share of charity

Until 1969, the federal government required not-for-profit hospitals to meet the 5 percent standard. However, after Medicare and Medicaid were enacted in 1965, hospitals argued that the need for charity care would decline so that hospitals could not meet the IRS standard and that they should be awarded more flexibility. The IRS dropped the 5 percent rule but established a “community benefit standard.” —MyDesert.com, 03/22/13 More »

Bill seeks nonprofit hospital charity boost, Eisenhower Medical Center on list

Bill seeks nonprofit hospital charity boost, Eisenhower Medical Center on list

RANCHO MIRAGE — A new bill under consideration in Sacramento would require not-for-profit hospitals such as Eisenhower Medical Center to raise charity spending to 5 percent of their net revenue. —Palm Springs Desert Sun, 03/18/13 More »

Apple Valley Nurses Hold Vigil to Address Staffing Concerns

Apple Valley Nurses Hold Vigil to Address Staffing Concerns

APPLE VALLEY-Nurses held a candlelight vigil Wednesday night at St. Mary Medical Center in Apple Valley, calling for improved nurse staffing throughout the St. Joseph Health System. —Daily Press, 03/15/13 More »

US ‘Corporate Tax Dodgers’ Keeping More Money Overseas

US ‘Corporate Tax Dodgers’ Keeping More Money Overseas

At a time of record corporate profits, U.S. "corporate tax dodgers" are parking more of their profits offshore, taking advantage of tax loopholes to shield billions from U.S. taxes, according to new analyses in the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg. —Common Dreams, 03/11/13 More »

Medicare Uncovered: What the president said, and didn’t say

Medicare Uncovered: What the president said, and didn’t say

The president’s State of the Union message may have sort of resolved the question: “Will he or won’t he touch Medicare? The answer: he probably will, a conclusion based on his cryptically grand rhetoric. The president called for those who care deeply about Medicare to “embrace the need for modest reforms—otherwise our retirement programs will crowd out the investments we need for our children.” Vague enough! —Columbia Journalism Review, 02/14/13 More »

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