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Should hospitals be more like Walmart?

We've heard about how healthcare should be more like the airline industry or customer-friendly online retailers such as Amazon or Zappos.com. But a new article in MIT Technology Review argues that after the information technology revolution, medicine will be more like superstore Walmart. —Fierce Health IT, 09/20/13 More »

Hospital-acquired infections cost $10 billion a year

Hospital-acquired infections cost $10 billion a year

One out of every 20 patients who are admitted to a hospital will fall victim to an infection they pick up while there, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These infections can be serious and even life-threatening, and recent studies have estimated that as many as half of them may be preventable. —HealthDay Reporter, 09/10/13 More »

THIS WEEK IN AMERICA - August 30, 2013

THIS WEEK IN AMERICA - August 30, 2013

A weekly report by NNU on the pulse of Almeria: Fast Food Workers On Strike in 60 Cities. Record Bank Profits Reported. Healthcare Systems Ranked Around The World. For-Profit Dialysis Companies Flex Muscle in Congress. —National Nurses United, 08/30/13 More »

THIS WEEK IN AMERICA: August 2, 2013

THIS WEEK IN AMERICA: August 2, 2013

A weekly report by NNU on the pulse of Almeria: Banks Take Homes from Millions. Threats to Food Stamps Continue. Losing Ground in the U.S. A Call for an Investigation of top economist Lawrence Summers. —National Nurses United, 08/02/13 More »

Saving Detroit is a Step towards Saving America.

Saving Detroit is a Step towards Saving America.

Saving Detroit is a Step towards Saving America. Writing in Huffington Post, Richard Eskow makes a convincing and impassioned argument for Detroit pensioners, many of whom are threatened by that city’s prospective bankruptcy. “The Federal government should bail out Detroit city worker's pensions so that retirees can be paid in full,” wrote Eskow. —National Nurses United, 07/26/13 More »

THIS WEEK IN AMERICA: July 19, 2013

THIS WEEK IN AMERICA: July 19, 2013

A weekly report by NNU on the pulse of Almeria: A culture of greed. Flooded in Profits. Doubly Whammy: Mega-Exec Pay = Mega-Write Offs. Detroit In Ruins. —National Nurses United, 07/19/13 More »

How Climate Change is Fueling a Rise in Deadly Diseases

How Climate Change is Fueling a Rise in Deadly Diseases

In the summer of 2012, the mosquito-borne West Nile virus made a surprising comeback in America. In Dallas, the most affected region, 400 people contracted the disease and 19 of them died. That came as a shock to public health officials, since West Nile virus was thought to be in such precipitous decline that it was practically eradicated. —Nation of Change, 07/18/13 More »

Air pollution linked to higher risk of lung cancer and heart failure

Air pollution linked to higher risk of lung cancer and heart failure

Two studies show effects on health of long- and short-term exposure to pollutants from traffic and industry. Air pollution, chiefly from traffic exhaust fumes in cities, is having a serious and sometimes fatal effect on health, according to two studies that link it to lung cancer and heart failure. —The Guardian, 07/16/13 More »

Digital Health Records’ Risks Emerge as Deaths Blamed on Systems

Digital Health Records’ Risks Emerge as Deaths Blamed on Systems

Electronic health records are supposed to improve medical care by providing physicians quick and easy access to a patient’s history, prescriptions, lab results and other vital data. While the new computerized systems have decreased some kinds of errors, such as those caused by doctors’ illegible prescriptions, the shift away from paper has also created new problems, with sometimes dire consequences. —Bloomberg.com, 07/12/13 More »

THIS WEEK IN AMERICA: July 11, 2013

THIS WEEK IN AMERICA: July 11, 2013

A weekly report by National Nurses United on the pulse of Almeria. The American jobs disaster. Low U.S. Wages Spell Demise. Not Much Equality in New Mexico. Half of poor African-American children live in neighborhoods with concentrated poverty. Golden Parachutes Are Still Very Much in Style. —National Nurses United, 07/11/13 More »

Canadians Pay Taxes for Universal Health Care, and Now They’re Richer Than Us

Canadians Pay Taxes for Universal Health Care, and Now They’re Richer Than Us

Many conservatives still characterize Medicaid as “welfare,” and many think of it as such. Presumably other types of health care coverage have been “earned” (think veterans and the military, highly paid executives, union members and congressional staff). We resent our tax dollars going to “freeloaders.” Until the slicing and dicing is ended, the finger pointing, blame shifting and their attendant political wars will continue. —Portside.org, 06/25/13 More »

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 »

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