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Obstetrics safety initiatives cut medical liability costs by 90%

Obstetrics patient safety initiatives at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center significantly reduced staff errors and cut medical liability expenses by more than 90%, according to a study. The study, published in the February issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, found that patient safety measures lowered medical liability compensation for the hospital overall from an average of $27.6 million a year from 2003 to 2006 to an average of $2.6 million from 2007 to 2009 ( The figure for 2009 was only $250,000. The compensation payments were defined as all legal settlements, jury awards and defense expenses. Sentinel events at the medical center, including maternal deaths and serious newborn injuries, went from five in 2000 to zero in 2008 and 2009, the study showed. The patient safety efforts started after consultants accessed the hospital's obstetrics department. From 2003 to 2009, the department be ...

2010 the second-worst year for hospital mass layoffs in 15 years

The total of hospital mass layoffs for 2010 was the second highest for the past 15 years. The number of employees affected was the third highest, according to a government report issued Jan. 27. Mass layoffs are defined as at least 50 people losing their jobs from a single company. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not collect data on the type of eliminated jobs, although analysts have said administrative and support staff are usually most affected. The elimination of physician and other clinical staff jobs is far less common. The monthly numbers were fairly high for most of 2010, although they dipped in the final months. Three such incidents occurred at hospitals in December 2010, bringing the total for the year up to 137. At least 173 people lost their jobs in these actions in December 2010, with a total of 10,490 for the year. The highest number of mass layoffs in a single month in 2010 occurred in April, with 18. That month also had the most people -- 1,967 -- filing f ...

Arizona seeks to remove 280,000 adults from Medicaid coverage

Washington -- Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has formally asked the Dept. of Health and Human Services for permission to end Medicaid coverage for 280,000 adults beginning on Oct. 1. Brewer said the cuts are needed to help close the state's $1.2 billion fiscal 2012 budget deficit. "We are in a crisis unlike any we have seen," Brewer wrote in a Jan. 25 letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Nearly $1 billion of the deficit is due to growth in Medicaid spending, Brewer wrote. The Arizona Legislature adopted the cuts on Jan. 20, which gave Brewer the authorization to request a Medicaid waiver. If approved, the state would eliminate coverage for about 250,000 childless adults and reduce eligibility for certain parents from the federal poverty level to 50% of poverty, which would affect an additional 30,000 parents. Arizona is the first state to request such an exemption, but many states face deficits due to the expiration of Medicaid stimulus funding on July 1, the beginning of fiscal 2 ...