A hearse leaves the Deeds family home in Millboro, Va., on Tuesday, after 24-year-old Austin "Gus" Deeds died in an apparent suicide.
November 21, 2013 Families seeking mental health care for a suicidal relative often face a labyrinth. First, they must obtain a legal commitment order, then they must find space on a hospital ward. State budget cuts have made it harder to get care during a mental health crisis.
November 15, 2013 Medicare has tied incentive payments and penalties to two-dozen quality measurements, including surveys of patient satisfaction and death rates. More than 1,200 hospitals are receiving bonuses. But more hospitals are being paid less for each Medicare patient they treat for the year that began Oct. 1.
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Dietary supplements are generally defined as vitamins, minerals, herbs and extracts. They're regulated as a unique category of food by the Food and Drug Administration.
November 14, 2013 The hospital says it can't guarantee the supplements' safety because of lax regulations. The Food and Drug Administration does not routinely review the manufacturing of dietary supplements, which calls their safety and effectiveness into question, doctors say.
A nurse's phone call at the right time can prevent a trip to the ER.
W. Steve Shepard Jr. /iStockphoto.com
November 10, 2013 Unlike airlines, hospitals don't offer perks or first class upgrades to people who frequently visit the emergency room. In fact, patients like these often get worse customer service, like the apocryphal boy who cried, "Wolf!"
New York University's Langone Medical Center in New York City is considered in-network for relatively few of the health plans offered in the state marketplace.
November 2, 2013 Many health plans being offered on the New York state insurance marketplace do not include some of New York City's biggest hospitals in their networks. And across the state, many doctors say they are not yet participating in exchange plans at all.
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Some patients at MultiCare Auburn Medical Center in Washington are given wristbands showing that they have a high risk of falling.
October 16, 2013 Patients fall in just a small fraction of hospital visits. But safety experts say bad falls should be called "never events" and shouldn't ever happen inside hospitals. There's a difference of opinion over the best way to reduce hazardous falls.
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Hospital intensive care units save lives, but people there often suffer from delirium.
Cal EMA / Flickr
October 3, 2013 Doctors and nurses are starting to look more carefully at delirium as a health problem for people who have been hospitalized. It may signal long term thinking problems, a study says. More emphasis is being put on preventing delirium in hospital patients by getting them walking sooner and encouraging adequate sleep.
One bad winter storm could leave Estes Park Medical Center isolated and unable to transfer seriously ill patients to facilities with intensive care units and other specialized services.
September 24, 2013 A hospital in Estes Park, Colo., escaped the flood damage that affected much of the area this month. But the small hospital in the mountains now relies on a single road to evacuate critical patients. A bad snowstorm could stop traffic and ground helicopters, leaving the hospital isolated.
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Sometimes the care that's supposed to help winds up hurting instead.
September 20, 2013 The number of people who die each year because of medical errors in hospitals may be twice as high as previously estimated. An analysis suggests that 210,000 or more people may suffer some type of preventable harm that contributes to their death.
A Boston police officer wheels an injured boy down Boylston Street as medical workers carry an injured runner after the Boston Marathon bombing in April.
September 19, 2013 Every victim who arrived at a hospital alive survived the attack. But hospitals say the experience also revealed room for improvement, and they're about to share the lessons they learned at a national conference in Washington, D.C.
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The next bed could cost you a lot if the hospital says you're there on observation.
September 4, 2013 When is an inpatient in the hospital not an inpatient in the hospital? When that patient is on observation status. Patients who are termed on observation can have trouble getting Medicare to pay if they need to go to a nursing home. The practice has sparked lawsuits and legislation.
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A brain scan followed by quick drug treatment in the right patients can stop a stroke in its tracks.
August 27, 2013 Many stroke patients are getting treatment with a drug that dissolves blood clots. The approach was once controversial. But giving the drug to eligible patients within a few hours of a stroke's first symptoms can prevent disability.
Dr. Charles Ryan checks on a patient.
August 21, 2013 When some pediatricians found out how much a hospital in Anchorage, Alaska, was billing for circumcisions, they decided to perform the routine procedure in their offices instead.
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In case of emergency, go to the strip mall or the hospital?
August 13, 2013 Free-standing emergency rooms, separate from hospitals, are popping up across the country. Many look like urgent-care centers, but the ERs charge much more. Many consumers don't realize the difference until they get the bill.
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Pretty servers hold private health data at Cerner.
Courtesy of Cerner Corp.
July 16, 2013 Secure data storage is a big selling point for Cerner. But the company also develops software for all kinds of medical settings, and it even sends tech people to hospitals to run their information systems. Founded in 1979, Cerner now employs 12,000 people, and it can't hire engineers fast enough.
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