25 y.o. whistle-blower.
Last Fall, a 24 y.o. by the name of Justen Deal, blew the whistle
on what he perceived to be profligate waste by his employers. As an IT guy at Kaiser-Permanente, he'd seen a $442 million database project scrapped by the new CEO and replaced by a sweetheart deal for one of the CEO's former contractors. Internal estimates placed Kaiser's losses on this new contract at $1.2 billion dollars per quarter
posted by vhsiv
on Apr 25, 2007 -
(for my NYC mefites) As I sit here in Chicago with a fresh case of bronchitis and unable to leave the office, I'm wishing I was back in NYC. Apparently they have plans to expand soon...
posted by allkindsoftime
on Mar 5, 2007 -
Cancer Cure Patented
A group of researchers claim that they are patenting a possible cure for cancer involving nothing more than sugar and short-chain fatty acid combination.
posted by TravisJeffery
on Jan 4, 2007 -
Few things are more sacred
to Canadians than the nation's medicare system. After years of health spending cutbacks by conservative politicians, debate rages
over whether private providers should now be allowed to compete
with the public system. In British Columbia, where the government is shovelling tax dollars into the 2010 Olympics, patients are being left to die
in emergency rooms and long-term care facilities due to overcrowding
. Is it too late to save public health care? Should it be saved?
posted by 327.ca
on Apr 27, 2006 -
about 17,000 American medical students and almost as many foreign trained doctors learn what types of doctors they will be. Yes, it’s Match Day
. Ok, while most people probably could care less about this post, it presents an intriguing look into the forces
(i.e. how the ratio between specialists and generalists arises and to note: more specialists equals more procedures and costlier health care) that shape American health care today.
And, it represents the strange culmination of years of study (at least 8+ years after high school) that many students take just to leave it up to a strange algorithm
that is under a anti-trust lawsuit
as they wake up one day in March and learn where they will be spending the next (at least) three years of their life. Also, if you see a recent graduate of an "ADORE+P" residency
-- Anesthesiology, Dermatology, Orthopedics/Optho, Radiology, ENT/Emergency Room medicine (plus, of course, Plastic surgery) -- (the professions that work great hours and make the most money) -- congratulate her or him on being the best (statistically) of the crop.
posted by narebuc
on Mar 15, 2006 -
Paul Krugman: The best places to get sick
A dozen years ago, everyone was talking about an American health care crisis. But then the issue faded from view: A few years of good data led many people to conclude that HMOs and other innovations had ended the historic trend of rising medical costs.
But the pause in the growth of health care costs in the 1990s proved temporary. Medical costs are once again rising rapidly and the U.S. health care system is once again in crisis. So now is a good time to ask why other advanced countries manage to spend so much less than we Americans do, while getting better results.
posted by Postroad
on Apr 17, 2005 -
How to think about prescription drugs.
Malcolm Gladwell's latest piece in The New Yorker
The emphasis of the prescription-drug debate is all wrong. We've been focussed on the drug manufacturers. But decisions about prevalence, therapeutic mix, and intensity aren't made by the producers of drugs. They’re made by the consumers of drugs.
posted by trharlan
on Oct 31, 2004 -
Now that Michael Moore's chosen to look at the American healthcare industry
for his next film, Big Pharma is apparently on red alert for any of his trademark guerilla tactics. On his pre-election tour, Moore has
out a company-wide memo
that he attributes to Viagra- and Vioxx-pushers Pfizer, warning employees to be prepared (and keep their gobs shut) in case of an inpromptu visit. Pfizer
denies the memo exists
, but in response, Moore says that the 'non-existent' memo also includes a Pfizer office number to report sightings. Perhaps we should call +1 212 733 2323 during New York office hours tomorrow and find out for certain? Or, alternatively, just mention that a large, unshaven man in a baseball cap has been lurking around any
of these locations
? (This one was too good to keep quiet about.)
posted by holgate
on Oct 18, 2004 -
Conscience Clauses and Health Care
--"Yes, we need to respect individual freedom of religion. But at what point does it cross the line of not providing essential medical care? At what point is it malpractice?" she asked. "If someone's beliefs interfere with practicing their profession, perhaps they should do something else." The Protection of Conscience Project
feels differently: Protection of Conscience Laws are needed because powerful interests are inclined to force health care workers and others to participate, directly or indirectly, in morally controversial procedures
, while NARAL says: ... Many of these clauses go far beyond respecting individuals' beliefs to the point of harming women by not providing them with full information or access to medical treatment. Medicine, not ideology, should determine medical decisions.
posted by amberglow
on Sep 17, 2004 -
The Freeloader Registry.
When an employer pays low wages and doesn't provide health care benefits, its employees often end up getting free care through state and federal programs. How much does this cost you, and which companies benefit from the practice? A new Massachusetts state law will provide detailed information about top corporate welchers. (This follows recent discussion of the topic in the context of Wal-Mart
Via Good Jobs First
posted by alms
on Aug 6, 2004 -
Mysterious Fax Adds to Intrigue Over the Medicare Bill's Cost
"Late one Friday afternoon in January, after the House of Representatives had adjourned for the week, Cybele Bjorklund, a House Democratic health policy aide, heard the buzz of the fax machine at her desk. Coming over the transom, with no hint of the sender, was a document she had been seeking for months: an estimate by Medicare's chief actuary showing the cost of prescription drug benefits for the elderly....
"Ms. Bjorklund had been pressing Mr. Foster for his numbers since June. When he refused, telling her he could be fired, she said, she confronted his boss, Thomas A. Scully, then the Medicare administrator. 'If Rick Foster gives that to you," Ms. Bjorklund remembered Mr. Scully telling her, "I'll fire him so fast his head will spin.'"
(NYTimes.com, reg req)
posted by jpoulos
on Mar 19, 2004 -
How is it legal to present a commercial as real news, without any indication that it is a commercial? And when did it become legal to use government money (i.e. *my taxes*) to push partisan issues, as well as try to influence election politics?
posted by rich
on Mar 18, 2004 -
The GOP is reportedly [+
] proposing $15 billion of cuts — or is it $25? — in veterans' benefits between now and 2007, and groups like the Veterans Against the Iraq War
are hopping mad. Hell, I imagine the pro-war wing is pretty peeved, too. It's part of a plan with delusions of grandeur
to deliver massive tax cuts AND kill the deficit ... you know, the one that did not exist before W was elected, as I understand it ... in six years. The original tip is from Stand Down
. The actual status of the cuts is nebulous at this point, however, with the SF Chron
reporting that they will likely fail in the Senate as the tax cut is halved and others
reporting that the die is not yet cast. The House budget resolution, for metafilter accountants who like these things, is here
posted by hairyeyeball
on Apr 1, 2003 -
"Right now there are hundreds of thousands of people in this country waiting for organs. Most of them will die before they get them. Many of them will die after they have been put on a waiting list
- Larry Kramer
actor/writer/producer/author & veteran esteemed activist, has survived nearly 12 months since his
liver transplant last December. [BTW, that's how long he said he needed to finish his mighty tome-in-progress, 'The American People'
]. The founder of Gay Men's Health Crisis
and other community action groups needed the operation due to a co-infection
with Hepatitis B Virus, a situation which is becoming increasingly common now that long-term survival rates for HIV+ folks improve, and other viruses have more deadly effects. Naturally, the coming crisis in organ transplants
leads the ultra-activist to a new, personal but less formal protest: a campaign for presumed consent.
"In a previous interview Kramer also remarked that he did not feel welcomed or wanted at Mt Sinai. Other issues such as homophobia, AIDS-phobia and ethical concerns about "wasting good organs on HIV positive patients," or the fear that donors might stop giving organs if they find out PWAs are receiving them, have all influenced and slowed HIV positive transplant progress." In a recent New York Times interview, Dr. Fung (Kramer's surgeon)stated that "homophobia has been one of the problems in moving HIV positive organ transplants forward. Such homophobia is veiled, and never openly admitted
Kramer's liver transplant "has cost Medicare, so far, over $500,000 and Empire Blue Cross, so far, over $100,000 for the continuing medications I must take, including a monthly pop of some $10,000 for something called Hepatitis B Immune Globulin, which I believe I must receive for the rest of my life. And you need to get your blood tested every few weeks. That costs a lot too." How many HIV+ folks in the US - let alone globally - can afford that?
posted by dash_slot-
on Dec 1, 2002 -
Oregon Measure 23
Oregon's single-payer-health-care referendum: Sanity
in the face of returning double-digit annual cost increases (after an HMO-induced respite), or a tax-and-spend, job-destroying nightmare
which even the public-employee unions (not well-known supporters of any for-profit system) oppose
posted by MattD
on Oct 30, 2002 -
If you can spare a moment from histrionic rhetorical arguments about far away places you have no real experience with to involve yourself with practical ways to stop the trend toward a fundamentalist totalitarian corporate dictatorship in this country and step by small pragmatic step reclaim democracy, a good first step is to support Oregon's Measure 23,
to promote comprehensive universal health care using a single payer public finance mechanism, or support healthcare for everyone
in your state.
posted by semmi
on Sep 30, 2002 -
One of the Marine Corps' greatest living heroes was dying. A donor liver had been found, but he might not live long enough to get it. Who ya gonna call? Semper Fidelis.
posted by swell
on Aug 28, 2002 -
You're the king of a small african nation. You have an annual health budget of $15 million. Two-thirds of the people in your nation are HIV positive, and two-thirds are living below the poverty line. What do you do? Why, you buy a $31 million private jet
, of course!
posted by Reggie452
on Jul 8, 2002 -
McDonald's meat from antibiotics-injected livestock is now the primary source of antibiotics for U.S. children, particularly for uninsured youths from low-income households.
"Unfortunately, some children still fall through the cracks in our health-care system, but luckily, McDonald's is there to lend a helping hand," Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson said at a press conference announcing the findings. "So even if a child's family has no health insurance and can't afford medicine, virtually anyone can afford a delicious 99-cent Big Mac with pickles, cheese, and a heapin' helpin' of [the antibiotic] quinupristin-dalfopristin."
Wherein the bastards of the bactericidal, bloody, beef business bear badinage. Fillets (boneless strips of meat specially cut for roasting)
posted by fold_and_mutilate
on Apr 26, 2002 -
Investigating the Power of Prayer
"According to Targ, the prayed-for patients had fewer and less severe new illnesses, fewer doctor visits, fewer hospitalizations and were generally in better moods than those in the control group."
Mayo Clinic researchers have found no such connection. They reported last month that in their trials of distant prayer on 750 coronary patients, they found no significant effect. Why the difference?"
posted by onegoodmove
on Apr 13, 2002 -
America, Heal Thyself.
"Racial and ethnic minorities tend to receive lower-quality health care than whites do, even when insurance status, income, age, and severity of conditions are comparable, says a new report from the National Academies' Institute of Medicine. 'Disparities in the health care delivered to racial and ethnic minorities are real and are associated with worse outcomes in many cases, which is unacceptable. The real challenge lies not in debating whether disparities exist, because the evidence is overwhelming, but in developing and implementing strategies to reduce and eliminate them.'"
posted by fold_and_mutilate
on Mar 20, 2002 -