Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Study: Insurers Create Crises to Increase Profits, Push Tort Reform

The Raleigh (NC) News & Observer reported, "A new study produced by consumer and public-interest groups claims insurance companies create periodic crises to drive up profits. The Americans for Insurance Reform study says these crises, where coverage becomes unaffordable or unavailable, are known as 'hard markets,' sending premiums sky-high." In addition, the study's authors "claim the insurance industry uses these supposedly manufactured crises to support their calls for 'tort reform' -- asking legislators for new laws making it more difficult to sue." The Insurance Information Institute disputes the study's conclusions.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Drivers Aren't the Only Ones Distracted by Their Devices--Doctors Are Too

The NY Times reported: "Hospitals and doctors’ offices, hoping to curb medical error, have invested heavily to put computers, smartphones and other devices into the hands of medical staff for instant access to patient data, drug information and case studies.  But like many cures, this solution has come with an unintended side effect: doctors and nurses can be focused on the screen and not the patient, even during moments of critical care. And they are not always doing work; examples include a neurosurgeon making personal calls during an operation, a nurse checking airfares during surgery and a poll showing that half of technicians running bypass machines had admitted texting during a procedure."  Read more.