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NEWS
By Tricia Bishop, The Baltimore Sun | December 15, 2011
A state advisory group on Thursday recommended legislative changes to bolster oversight of coronary stent placements amid widespread concerns about unnecessary medical procedures, but it stopped short of proposing that state law regulate physician reviews in hospitals. The omission drew sharp criticism from two national cardiology groups, which noted in a joint letter to the Maryland Health Care Commission that "inadequate, voluntary, internal review" was to blame for the failure at St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson.
ARTICLES BY DATE
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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BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | August 25, 2010
State auditors say Maryland's office of financial regulation has a backlog of mortgage firms overdue for examinations, a problem officials have been grappling with for years but believe will be fixed soon. The office, part of the state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, is required by law to put each mortgage lender, servicer and broker firm under the microscope once every three years to make sure no rules are being broken. More than 360 of the state's 2,090 licensed firms were overdue for a visit as of early November, some by years, legislative auditors said.
NEWS
Doug Donovan, The Baltimore Sun | July 24, 2014
State officials said at a legislative briefing Thursday that their agencies must do more to flag financial mismanagement at group homes - problems similar to those that went unheeded at an Anne Arundel County facility where a 10-year-old disabled foster child died this month. Maryland's health and human resources secretaries appeared together before a joint committee of state lawmakers in Annapolis to answer questions about oversight of LifeLine, the operator of the group home where the boy died.
BUSINESS
By Jay Hancock | March 21, 2011
The Rev. David Sul's Korean Seventh-day Adventist Church was supposed to be in business in Columbia by now. The church's 150 members signed a deal, put money down and watched bulldozers roll. But construction stopped in late 2008 and the congregation never recouped its investment — thanks in part, church officials say, because a bond that was supposed to insure the project didn't pay off. The worshippers now borrow a building from a sister church, meeting in the afternoon after the other congregation worships in the morning.
BUSINESS
By Liz F. Kay, The Baltimore Sun | June 15, 2010
Federal regulators investigating an automatic plant shutdown in February of the Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant have found a safety issue deemed of low to moderate significance that may spur additional oversight. Both reactors at the Lusby plant, owned by Constellation Energy Nuclear Group, shut down after an electrical malfunction caused by melting snow on a leaky roof, a company spokesman said at the time. Inspectors for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said they found some equipment at the plant had been used longer than the manufacturer recommended and hadn't been tested to determine whether it was still reliable, according to an NRC spokesman.
EXPLORE
EDITORIAL FROM THE AEGIS | January 3, 2013
For many years, the officers of the various private volunteer fire and ambulance companies that provide a valuable public service to Harford County have strenuously resisted any financial or strategic oversight by the Harford County government. This is not to say that the volunteer companies are somehow rogue with regard to the very high level of services they provide. The ambulance service is under the strict supervision of the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems, and the fire side of the volunteer companies is under similar strict training regimens for the people who respond to calls.
NEWS
By Liz Bowie | liz.bowie@baltsun.com | March 9, 2010
The often-contentious 26-year-old lawsuit that attempted to provide equality for Baltimore's special-education students but ultimately helped to change the course of the public school system is nearing an end after a federal judge agreed Monday to end his oversight. U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis accepted an agreement from the school system and the Maryland Disability Law Center, which had filed suit in 1984 on behalf of several special-education students, saying they were not being offered adequate services.
SPORTS
Sports Digest | September 29, 2012
Colleges UM Board of Regents takes step to improve oversight The University System of Maryland's Board of Regents approved a measure to improve oversight of schools' athletic department finances and athletes' academic performances. The new policy requires that the universities periodically issue reports to the board containing expanded information on such topics as athletic department budget projections, athletes' graduation rates and numbers of special-admit athletes. The board created a new work group that will oversee the issue and meet three or four times a year.
NEWS
March 3, 1994
Does anyone else see the irony in the fact that the Westminster City Council, at the request of Mayor W. Benjamin Brown, met behind closed doors to discuss the need for greater public oversight of the Carroll County Narcotics Task Force? The political sensitivity of the issue is not one of the criteria under state law that allows elected officials to have secret talks. The only appropriate place to vigorously debate the creation of an oversight committee for the drug task force is the public arena.
NEWS
July 15, 2014
The death of a severely disabled foster child earlier this month while under the care of a group home in Anne Arundel County that Maryland health regulators were in the process of shutting down inevitably raises the question of whether the boy's life could have been saved if state officials had acted more quickly. The state has launched three separate investigations into 10-year-old Damaud Martin's death, but the results may not be known for months. Regardless of whether anything could have changed Damaud's fate, though, the investigative reporting by The Sun's Doug Donovan into the troubled history of LifeLine raises real questions about whether the state's oversight of such care providers is adequate to protect some of the state's most vulnerable young people.
NEWS
Doug Donovan, The Baltimore Sun | July 14, 2014
Maryland lawmakers and child advocates called Monday for an investigation into regulators' oversight of a troubled group home operator, asking why the state continued to give the company millions in taxpayer dollars despite long-standing financial and regulatory problems. State Sen. Joan Carter Conway, chairman of a committee that oversees group homes, said she would call a hearing this month to determine why state officials continued to award contracts to LifeLine even after it had filed for bankruptcy reorganization and a state audit found it insolvent.
NEWS
By Ralph Masi | May 29, 2014
Calls for the resignation of Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki over ridiculously excessive wait times for VA medical appointments and, moreover, for the falsification of data that would have illuminated these and related problems, while understandable, are premature - and will do little to address the VA's more deeply rooted problems. These problems are systemic in nature. Their solution will require a long term, strategic approach in addition to some strong-handed management reforms in the short term, to ensure that the planning for the care of military veterans - along with the care itself - is on equal footing with the planning of our military's force sizing and its plausible employment and deployment, over both the near and long terms.
NEWS
April 17, 2014
Once again, the Baltimore City Public Schools are facing a multi-million dollar budget shortfall ( "Seeing red over city schools budget," April 15). Unfortunately, this is not a new occurrence, but what is stunning to me this time is the reaction of the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners. The commissioners express surprise and "wonder" that the system got to this point. Let's consider some of the items that caused this surprise - grant funds that always have expiration dates, the highly-touted new facilities plan that will require at least $20 million per year for the foreseeable future and the new teacher evaluation system which calls for an unknowable expenditures for teacher performance.
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | April 13, 2014
To better account for hundreds of millions of grant dollars, Baltimore finance officials have a plan to overhaul city policies, train staff and keep records in a centralized database. Harry E. Black, the city's finance director, said the project should take about a year to complete and cost between $300,000 and $500,000. The city also has hired a grants coordinator to oversee the money, which accounted for about 13 percent of the budget last year, or $332 million. "Whatever we receive, we want to make certain it's aligned with the city's priorities and goals and that we are managing this process and the funds … in the most efficient and effective way," Black said.
FEATURES
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | March 14, 2014
Gay rights advocates and the state legislator who introduced legislation this session to ban so-called "gay conversion therapy" in Maryland have withdrawn the bill, saying they will instead pursue regulatory oversight of the controversial practice. "If we can do this without legislation, I am all about it," said Baltimore County Del. John Cardin, the bill's sponsor, in a statement Friday. "I am not interested in the glory. I'm interested in solving problems. " Cardin's bill would have banned mental health professionals, but not unlicensed church clergy or therapists, from engaging in efforts to change a youth's sexual orientation or gender identity.
NEWS
By New York Times News Service | June 22, 2007
For four years, Vice President Dick Cheney has resisted routine oversight of his office's handling of classified information, and when the office in charge of overseeing classification in the executive branch objected, the vice president's office suggested that the oversight office be shut down, according to documents released yesterday by a Democratic congressman. The oversight office, a unit of the National Archives, appealed the issue to the Justice Department, which has not yet ruled on the matter.
NEWS
By Marvin C. Ott | June 20, 2002
WASHINGTON - The two congressional committees that oversee America's intelligence agencies have begun what promise to be riveting hearings into what went wrong before Sept. 11. There is nothing that Congress likes better than a high-profile investigation into executive branch ineptitude and/or malfeasance. Which is not to say such inquiries are not serious business and hard work; they are both. But as Congress bores into the growing body of evidence that the CIA, the FBI and other components of the intelligence community dropped the ball, there will be a ghost at the party that it will try hard to ignore: the unacknowledged failure of congressional oversight itself.
NEWS
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | March 3, 2014
Child care workers would undergo stiffer background checks and states would spend more to improve the quality of day care under a sweeping, bipartisan bill crafted by Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski that is set for a vote in the Senate as early as this week. The legislation, which has broad support in the Senate, would impose a wide range of safety requirements on day care providers, from annual inspections of facilities to CPR training for staff. The measure would also require states to set aside millions more than they do now to improve the care young children receive.
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