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HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun | March 12, 2013
State health officials have suspended surgical abortion procedures at three clinics, including one in Baltimore where a patient suffered cardiac arrest and later died at a hospital. The physician who performed the abortion at Associates in OB/GYN Care LLC on North Calvert Street wasn't certified in CPR and a defibrillator at the facility did not work, state officials said in a letter Friday to the General Assembly. Although the cardiac arrest was caused by underlying health conditions and not the abortion, investigators found that it raised questions whether doctors at the clinic can handle an abortion that goes wrong.
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NEWS
By Ben Steffen, Donna Kinzer and Patricia Tomsko Nay | August 7, 2014
A recent Baltimore Sun article ("Maryland hospitals aren't reporting all errors and complications, experts say," July 26) focused on the benefit of facility-specific adverse medical event reporting to state regulators to improve patient safety, enhance consumer decision making and increase health care facility accountability. The article noted that reporting of "adverse events" — including wrong site surgery, surgeries on the wrong person, medication errors and assaults on patients — is not made public in Maryland.
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NEWS
By Scott Calvert | scott.calvert@baltsun.com | November 22, 2010
Baltimore Behavioral Health Inc. is under investigation by the state's health inspector general for employing a psychiatrist who had been convicted several years earlier of Medicaid fraud. The doctor, Roman Ostrovsky, 53, is one of eight physicians employed by the nonprofit mental health clinic over the past decade who have been disciplined by the Maryland Board of Physicians, with sanctions ranging from reprimand to license revocation, public records show. One doctor became intoxicated while on call at BBH, board records show, and another groped a 22-year-old patient in an exam room.
HEALTH
By Meredith Cohn, Andrea K. Walker and Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | July 30, 2014
Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein said Wednesday he plans to leave his post as secretary of the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, where he drew criticism for the botched rollout of the state's health insurance exchange website. Sharfstein, a trained pediatrician who has spent his career in public service, will join the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health as an associate dean in January as the O'Malley administration ends. He took the state post three years ago after developing a national profile for his aggressive pursuit of public health initiatives in children's health, HIV and other areas.
NEWS
By Sara Neufeld and Sara Neufeld,SUN STAFF | July 28, 2004
The state yesterday ordered an operator of group homes for the developmentally disabled to shut down, the second time in a week it has taken such action against a company accused of substandard care. Diane K. Coughlin, director of the Developmental Disabilities Administration, ordered Parkville-based Netcon & Earthkins Inc. to cease operations by Sept. 15. Last week, Coughlin revoked the license of Baltimore-based Autumn Homes Inc. Each company serves about 30 people with developmental disabilities in homes throughout the Baltimore region.
NEWS
By Walter F. Roche Jr. and Walter F. Roche Jr.,SUN STAFF | April 1, 2001
A South Baltimore nursing home has taken steps to correct problems that state health inspectors said placed patients in immediate jeopardy. Three patients at Harbour Inn Convalescent Center at 1213 Light St. were transferred to other facilities and a fourth was discharged to address concerns listed in a critical inspection by the state Office of Health Care Quality, said Mary Gadd, the facility's director of nursing. Gadd said Friday that the actions eliminated "immediate jeopardy" problems the state included in its March 19 report.
NEWS
July 22, 2014
On the front page of The Baltimore Sun is an article about the Office of Health Care Quality which is apparently unable to perform its mission: "…the office, which is part of the health department, has acknowledged that it does not meet the requirements of some state or federal laws" ( "Md. health agency cutting back on facilities it inspects," July 20). Sounds like it's underperforming, doesn't it? It's scary, isn't it? On page 6 of the same edition, Gov. Martin O'Malley is quoted as saying: "We don't have to accept underperforming bureaucracies, agencies or departments.
HEALTH
By Frank D. Roylance, The Baltimore Sun | July 21, 2010
The Ravenwood Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Baltimore must pay $52,500 in state fines and risks the loss of its license in the wake of air-conditioning failures over a scorching-hot Fourth of July weekend that forced the transfer of all 150 patients from the facility. State regulators also recommended imposition of similar federal fines for lapses at the facility. Some air-conditioning pumps and compressors at the West Franklin Street center had been inoperable since last summer, and blowers and filters in the patients' rooms were dirty and clogged, investigators from the state Office of Health Care Quality found.
HEALTH
By Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun | June 2, 2011
There was a significant uptick in the number of serious problems reported by Maryland hospitals in fiscal 2010, according to the annual report on patient care and safety released by state health officials. There were 265 top level adverse events reported in 2010, compared with 190 the year before. Health officials attributed the rise to better identification and reporting rather than more problems – particularly when it came to pressure ulcers. Falls remained the No. 1 adverse event at the hospital.
NEWS
By Joan Jacobson and Joan Jacobson,SUN STAFF | August 8, 2000
Owners of a troubled assisted-living facility for the elderly in Essex promised state regulators yesterday to change management companies and re-evaluate medical care for 87 residents, many of whom have been neglected and improperly medicated, according to a state health report. The agreement to fix Martin's Glen, made between Enterprise Essex Inc. and the state's Office of Health Care Quality, came after state regulators completed a 120-page report rife with examples of patients breaking bones from falling and receiving incorrect medication by poorly trained staff with poorly kept records.
BUSINESS
Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun | July 24, 2014
Health insurers refunded more than $17 million to Marylanders last year because of a rule in the Affordable Care Act limiting the amounts the companies can spend on overhead costs as opposed to providing care, according to federal data. About 206,000 consumers in Maryland received the refunds, an average of $140 per family, according to a report from the Department of Health and Human Services released Thursday. The refunds are owed under a rule that requires insurers to spend 80 percent or 85 percent of the dollars they collect in premiums on medical care or activities that improve health care quality.
NEWS
July 22, 2014
On the front page of The Baltimore Sun is an article about the Office of Health Care Quality which is apparently unable to perform its mission: "…the office, which is part of the health department, has acknowledged that it does not meet the requirements of some state or federal laws" ( "Md. health agency cutting back on facilities it inspects," July 20). Sounds like it's underperforming, doesn't it? It's scary, isn't it? On page 6 of the same edition, Gov. Martin O'Malley is quoted as saying: "We don't have to accept underperforming bureaucracies, agencies or departments.
NEWS
By Carrie Wells, The Baltimore Sun | July 19, 2014
The Maryland health agency responsible for overseeing medical facilities, including the group home where a disabled foster child died this month, is moving to reduce the number of facilities it inspects across the state - even as it acknowledges that thousands of complaints and inspections have not been properly handled. The Office of Health Care Quality says the policy change stems in part from a long-standing, and growing, problem: a shortage of inspectors. The agency proposes to cede some oversight to accrediting organizations while focusing its inspections on facilities with a history of serious problems.
NEWS
July 18, 2014
The Sun's investigation into the death of a disabled boy under the care of LifeLine Inc. is a wake-up call for Maryland state agencies ( "Maryland lawmakers, child advocates seek probe into oversight of troubled group home," July 14). Maryland needs to analyze how so many problems arose in one small agency without a state response. Other children and adults with developmental disabilities are at risk until the state improves its quality oversight and coordination among service agencies.
NEWS
March 12, 2014
Maryland's litigation-based system for compensating families whose children suffered from birth-related neurological industries doesn't work well for anyone. It isn't great for the families, who only get the financial assistance they need if they can convince a jury that health care providers were negligent - and only then after years of litigation and expensive attorney's fees. Doctors and hospitals are faced with the risk of skyrocketing malpractice premiums as a result of jury awards that have recently run into the tens of millions of dollars.
HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun | June 6, 2013
The state suspended the medical licenses of three doctors at abortion clinics accused by state regulators of putting women's health at risk — including one case in which a woman died. The suspensions include Dr. Mansour G. Panah, the medical director of Associates in OB/GYN Care, who has been disciplined by the state three times before, including incidents in the 1980s and 1990s when he had unwanted sexual contact with patients. The Maryland Board of Physicians also suspended the licenses of Dr. Iris E. Dominy and Dr. Michael A. Basco, citing violations of the state's new abortion regulations at Associates in OB/GYN Care, which runs four facilities in the state.
NEWS
By Walter F. Roche Jr. and Walter F. Roche Jr.,SUN STAFF | November 14, 2002
A new nationwide quality rating system for nursing homes just unveiled by federal officials was released prematurely and may confuse consumers more than help them, according to the U.S. General Accounting Office. In a 40-page report issued on the same day the disputed rating system began appearing in full-page newspaper ads, the investigative arm of Congress said it had serious questions about the validity of the data used to rate the homes. "GAO has serious concerns about the potential for public confusion by the quality information published," the report states.
NEWS
By Laura Barnhardt and Laura Barnhardt,SUN STAFF | June 28, 2005
A small nursing home in Towson has announced that it plans to close next month, creating concern in nearby neighborhoods about the future of the building. The closing of Armacost Nursing Home, at Regester Avenue and Sherwood Road, follows a report in May by state inspectors who found a range of "deficiencies" in the facility, including mice, dirty bathrooms and patients who had been sponge bathed but not showered in more than a year. However, state officials say the nursing home, a Medicaid-only facility, is voluntarily giving up its license.
HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun | March 21, 2013
The Senate Finance Committee voted unanimously Thursday for a proposed law that would require state licensing of medical staffing companies after a radiographer was accused of exposing hundreds of Marylanders to hepatitis C. In a telephone call after the vote, Sen. Thomas Middleton, a Charles County Democrat, said that chances are high it will pass the full Senate as well, given the case of David Kwiatkowski, who allegedly stole syringes of drugs...
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