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HEALTH
By Meredith Cohn and The Baltimore Sun | May 5, 2014
Testing hospital patients on their ability to perform everyday tasks before they are released could go a long way to keeping them from returning to the hospital, new research from Johns Hopkins University suggests. Tasks such as moving from a bed to a chair, eating, using the toilet and communicating are uniformly assessed after patients go to rehabilitation facilities from hospitals, but function isn't always tested in a standardized way before they go. And Hopkins researchers found that low scores on a standardized test of the tasks was a good predictor of hospital readmission.
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HEALTH
By Kevin Rector and Scott Dance and The Baltimore Sun | October 8, 2014
Federal officials announced Wednesday that they plan to screen international passengers for Ebola at five major U.S. airports, while hospitals around the country continue to isolate patients showing Ebola-like symptoms. At least four Baltimore-area hospitals recently segregated patients with travel histories and other possible indications of Ebola, though the virus was ruled out in each case. Other cases were suspected and ruled out at two Washington-area hospitals last week. Meanwhile, the first U.S. patient diagnosed with the virus died Wednesday in Dallas.
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HEALTH
Andrea K. Walker | February 8, 2012
Do you think your doctor is open and honest with you? Maybe not always, according to a new survey. Researchers from Harvard Medical School and the Mongan Institute for Health Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston surveyed 1,891 physicians nationwide and one-tenth said they had told a patient something untruthful in the last year. Nearly 20 percent of physicians surveyed said they had not fully disclosed an error to a patient in the previous year because they feared a malpractice case.
HEALTH
By Scott Dance and The Baltimore Sun | October 4, 2014
Officials at two Washington, D.C.-area hospitals said Friday they had isolated patients over fears of Ebola after the nation's first case of the deadly virus was confirmed in Dallas this week. But officials at one of the hospitals, Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Rockville, determined late Friday that their patient had malaria, not Ebola, hospital officials said in a statement late Friday. Howard University Hospital quarantined a patient who had recently traveled to Nigeria out of "an abundance of caution," officials said.
HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker | February 19, 2014
Patients who feel their doctors judge them about their size have a harder time losing weight, Johns Hopkins researchers have found. “Negative encounters can prompt a weight loss attempt, but our study shows they do not translate into success,” study leader Dr. Kimberly A. Gudzune, an assistant professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said in a statement. “Ideally, we need to talk about weight loss without making patients feel they are being judged.
HEALTH
By Meredith Cohn | February 20, 2012
Maryland's 46 acute care hospitals can now all share information electronically on patients admitted, discharged for transferred. The “encounter level” data can be passed along in real time via the Maryland Health Information Exchange , a statewide system of secure information sharing among hospitals, doctors' offices and health organizations, according to Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, who announced the system recently. Some hospitals also are sharing lab and radiology reports, consult notes and other clinical data.
HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker | December 28, 2012
U.S surgeons leave a foreign object in a patient at least 39 times a week. They perform the wrong procedure on a patient at least 20 times a week. And they operate on the wrong body part at least 20 times a week. That is what Johns Hopkins researchers found when they analyzed malpractice claims between 1990 and 2010. The researchers conservatively estimate that 80,000 such preventable, surgical mistakes - which the medical profession defines as those that should never occur - happened in that 20-year time period.
HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker | September 6, 2012
Married patients suffering from advanced lung cancer are likely to live longer after treatment than those who aren't hitched, according to research released today. The study by researchers at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center in Baltimore found that 33 percent of married patients with the most common type of stage III lung cancer were still alive three years after treatment. Only 10 percent of single patients were alive three years after undergoing chemotherapy and radiation.
NEWS
April 19, 2010
Nurse practitioners who educated legislators, negotiated with MedChi and reached out to all stakeholders were happy with the outcome of legislation to reduce the administrative burden of a physician collaborative agreement. The lengthy form and approval process was eliminated and will be replaced with a written statement by each nurse practitioner on file at the Board of Nursing. This highlights two things. First, public acceptance of the high quality, safe and cost effective care by nurse practitioners.
NEWS
By Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun | August 18, 2010
Thousands of low-income nursing home patients in Maryland will have millions in old debts wiped out now that the state has settled a years-long case involving Medicaid payments. Much of the $16 million settlement will go directly to nursing homes that had not received payments from those patients. "We're starting to send checks to nursing homes now," said Cyril V. Smith, a lawyer for Zuckerman Spaeder LLP who represented the 12,000 Maryland patients who owed the money to about 160 nursing homes.
HEALTH
By Danae King and The Baltimore Sun | October 3, 2014
Eight years ago, Dian Corneliussen-James had surgeons cut out half of her right lung, a risky procedure she believes saved her life. Though she thinks the surgery saved her from death from metastatic breast cancer , which had spread to her lung, she said she is "terrified to go off" the drug, Faslodex, that doctors say could be keeping her alive. Her survival has prompted doctors and others to call her and patients with metastatic breast cancer like her "outliers" because they don't know why some patients with the incurable disease live a long time.
HEALTH
By Kit Waskom Pollard and For The Baltimore Sun | October 2, 2014
When Mary Casterline was diagnosed with invasive carcinoma of the breast in mid-April, she knew she was fortunate. Her cancer was very treatable and she had a lot of options for both treatment and beyond. Casterline's doctors explained that she had the choice between radiation and lumpectomy (removing just the tumor but preserving the breast) or a mastectomy (complete removal of the breast). If she opted for mastectomy, she could choose to reconstruct the breast, either with an implant or via free tissue transfer (also known as "tissue flap" or "trans flap")
NEWS
Colin Campbell and The Baltimore Sun | September 28, 2014
An American doctor who was exposed to Ebola while volunteering to treat patients with the virus in Sierra Leone was admitted to the National Institute of Health in Bethesda on Sunday, the institute said. The patient will be treated at the NIH Clinical Center's Special Clinical Studies Unit, which is "specifically designed to provide high-level isolation capabilities" and staffed by experts on infectious diseases and critical care, according to an NIH release. "The unit staff is trained in strict infection control practices optimized to prevent spread of potentially transmissible agents such as Ebola," the institute said.
HEALTH
September 12, 2014
Federal health officials have awarded $3.5 million in Affordable Care Act funds to 14 community health centers in Maryland. The money will go to hire 60 new workers, expand hours and increase access to primary care. The money will also go to expand services to include dental care, mental health services, prescription drug coverage and vision services. The money is expected to provide care to more than 20,000 new patients around the state. See the list of centers receiving grants here . Around the nation, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded $295 million to 1,195 centers with ore than 9,000 sites.
HEALTH
By Jonathan Pitts and The Baltimore Sun | September 12, 2014
As 7-year-old Zara Cheek packed her bags for her first sleep-away camp this summer, she found herself looking forward to more than just swimming, going on hikes and eating S'mores for two glorious weeks. To her, the experience meant a chance to live like a normal kid for a while - and even, quite possibly, to help thousands of others afflicted with the illness that has shaped her life. Zara, who lives in West Baltimore and started third grade this fall, is one of about 2 million Americans who suffer from Type 1 diabetes, a chronic and potentially lethal disorder of the pancreas that leaves the body unable to make insulin or turn blood sugar into the energy it needs.
NEWS
By Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun | September 9, 2014
A state panel on Tuesday hashed out more of the nitty-gritty details to create a medical marijuana industry from scratch, but some key points remained unresolved as the commission nears a deadline next week. Maryland's Medical Marijuana Commission plans to release Wednesday a second draft of regulations to create the program. Those 81-pages of rules have been reshaped after the first draft came under fire at a public hearing last month. Among the many changes in the new draft: removing a provision that would have effectively outlawed a grower or dispensary operation within Baltimore city limits.
NEWS
By Gene M. Ransom III | July 6, 2010
As Maryland moves toward implementation of federal health care reform, it is critical to ensure that all Maryland patients have timely access to the care they deserve. But Maryland physicians have increasingly voiced their concerns about the significant and potentially dangerous ways in which health insurers are intruding on the doctor-patient relationship. Insurers' tactics are designed to deny patients access to care. Insurers create these barriers to access under the guise of cost control.
NEWS
February 3, 2010
In response to the article "Md. fights through haze over medical marijuana" (Jan. 31), I say good luck, Maryland. It took New Jersey five years to pass its medical marijuana bill into law. In the end, it was the patients and their testimony that finally swayed legislators in New Jersey to support medical marijuana. That's what it will take in Maryland, too. Patients stood up and spoke out about how marijuana helps them with their afflictions. These were individual acts of courage and selflessness.
HEALTH
By Colin Campbell, The Baltimore Sun | September 4, 2014
More than two dozen of Dr. Nikita Levy's former patients have filed an objection to a $190 million class-action settlement over the Johns Hopkins gynecologist's malpractice. The plaintiffs cited an "excessive legal fee" requested by the lawyers who negotiated the settlement and a lack of clarity regarding the amount each patient would receive, according to the objection. The settlement - one of the largest ever of its kind - was announced in July, five months after investigators found more than 1,300 videos and images, surreptitiously recorded during pelvic exams, in Levy's home and office.
HEALTH
By Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun | September 3, 2014
Antibiotics have saved countless lives over the years, but their overuse has lead to problems including antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Dr. Mary R. Clance, an epidemiologist at Anne Arundel Medical Center, discusses the history, troubles and appropriate uses of the drugs. How have antibiotics contributed to public health since their discovery and what is their status now? The collective memory of death from infectious disease is short-lived. Death from pneumonia, puerperal fever, post-operative infection, urinary and skin infections were commonplace just two generations ago. Pneumonia was the leading cause of death at the beginning of the 20th century.
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