Recently the law firm Brownstein & Nguyen LLC posted an article concerning Georgia’s Bill of Rights for Nursing Home Residents. I’ve read it and found it to contain very helpful information for families and individuals dealing with nursing home questions in Georgia and throughout the United States.
The blog post can be found here: http://bnlawatlanta.com/2014/08/georgias-bill-of-rights-for-nursing-home-residents/
West Virginia has awarded non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) broker Medical Transportation Management (MTM) the contract to coordinate non-emergency medical transport services for state residents under Medicaid. MTM replaces the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) as the “gatekeeper” between the State’s financial resources and the actual NEMT providers. Depending on the contract, which has not been produced, MTM must qualify each transportation provider before allowing the provider to transport West Virginia citizens.
West Virginia has taken this step in response to alleged fraud and mismanagement by NEMT providers on the DHHR. That this is alleged to have occurred is not, in my experience, a surprise. Most government agencies, especially dealing with public health, are not looking, nor are they set up to look for, contractor fraud. It should be recognized by West Virginia that MTM is not a non-profit organization, and has inserted itself into this situation because they believe they can make a profit. DHHR Deputy Secretary Jeremiah Samples claims to have the ability to terminate the broker contract after one year, but the reasons for termination have not been provided.
Unfortunately Mr. Staples has not elaborated on what steps, if any, MTM will take to provide safe transportation for West Virginia citizens. Additionally, there is no mention of training, drug screening, and criminal background checks for NEMT providers. If the entire focus is discovering fraud, and not on patient safety, MTM will not be incentivised to move in that direction. MTM is to begin its contract on June 1, 2014. It is too early to see if this will be a positive transition for West Virginia citizens.
Risk of impairment the morning after use of sleep aid drugs
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has finally announced that the sleep drug Lunesta (eszopiclone) should be prescribed, initially, at a lower recommended starting dose. This is due to many factors, but possibly the most important is that eszopiclone levels in some patients may be too high. This has been studied due to women being prescribed the same amounts as men, even though there is data to suggest women process medications at different rates than men, and may be more susceptible to accidental overdoses. Eszopiclone was found at levels high enough, in the morning after use, to impair activities that require alertness, including driving, even if they feel fully awake. There have been a number of accidents where the at-fault driver was under the influence of a sleeping aid taken the night before.
Additional Information About Lunesta (Eszopiclone)
Lunesta Safety Announcement
Additional Information for Health Care Professionals
Recently an article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution detailed the secrecy of medical mistakes in Georgia hospitals. The link to the story can be found here: http://www.ajc.com/news/hospital-mistakes-kept-secret-1233859.html
The tragedy is that many Georgia individuals and families cannot afford basic health care, and those who do receive care cannot find out what, if any, mistakes have happened at their facility. Accidents happen. Doctors are not infallible. This is not about blaming doctors and hospitals. It’s about knowing which facility is better at caring for its patients. There is a link here: Read Full Article