2017-3-HW (Link to Article): The incidence of MRSA infections in the United States: is a more comprehensive tracking system needed? "If MRSA is being spread by the hands of healthcare workers, then their hands must at one time have become contaminated with MRSA and there must have been a failure of containment and control, which should be viewed as our frontline intervention. " Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control. On Health. Mar. 10, 2017.
2017-2-HW (Link to Article): Hospitals, doctors must come clean when patients are harmed. "There is room for improvement in patient safety in every facility, even in higher-functioning ones. As stated by Jim Conway, past senior vice president of Institute for Healthcare Improvement, 'In the gap between excellence and perfection, there is suffering, harm, tragedy and death.' " Lexington Herald Leader. Mar. 5, 2017. References
Coverage by Kentucky Health News http://kyhealthnews.blogspot.com/2017/02/comparing-rankings-that-compare-ky.html
2016-4-HW (Link to Article): Drug industry’s quest for profits yields superbugs. The next bailout: Big Pharma now asking for tax dollars to fund new antibiotics. Lexington Herald Leader. Sep. 24, 2016. References
2016-3-HW (Link to Article): US Health Reform Now Needs Reforming We spent $24,691 for each family on healthcare— almost half of the average family income of $54,000. Lexington Herald Leader. Aug. 20, 2016. References
2016-2-HW (Link to Article): Non-profit hospitals an oxymoron (Healthcare Rendition) Kentucky Hospital Charges and Those In the Nation are Far Too High. Lexington Herald Leader. May 20, 2016. References
2016-1-HW (Link to Article):
Buyer beware: no return, redo in hospital care
Kentucky Hospital Rankings by Major Hospital Ranking Organizations,
Including CMS (Medicare)
Lexington Herald Leader. Jan. 16, 2016.
2015-6-HW (Link to Article): Needed: Greater Surveillance, New Norms in the Fight Against Antibiotic Resistance The 21st Century Cures Act needs to assure effective antibiotic stewardship and Antibiotic Resistant Organism Surveillance Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy. Oct. 8, 2015.
2015-5-HW (Link to Article):
Without more monitoring, medical devices will
keep harming patients We all need to encourage Congress
to amend the 21st Century Cures Act to assure effective pre-market
testing and post-market monitoring of medical devices.
2015-4-HW (Link to Article): hospitals should act as Ky. falls on key infection ranking. One of the most prevalent superbugs is MRSA which causes the deadly staph infection. Until recently, Kentucky had one of the highest rates of staph bloodstream infections in the nation. New data from the Centers for Disease Control's National Healthcare Safety Network show that our MRSA bloodstream infection rate has worsened; Kentucky is now dead last among the 50 states in controlling this deadly disease. Lexington Herald Leader. June 18, 2015.
2015-3-HW (Link to Article): Single-payer health care may emerge as best option. Returning to a free-market system will be more difficult than just saying "repeal Obamacare." Six difficult changes would have to be made to create a free market. Lexington Herald Leader. May 16, 2015.
2015-2-HW (Link to Article): Health-care non-profits may not be what they seem. Profits soar Yet cost is the often repeated excuse for not doing more to control infections. Lexington Herald Leader. Mar. 27, 2015.
2015-1-HW (Link to Article): Legislative panel must support more hospital reporting of infection outbreaks. Lexington Herald Leader. Jan. 13, 2015.
2014-7-HW (Link to Article): How Ebola reveals scary gaps in U.S. health care. Lexington Herald Leader. Oct. 12, 2014.
2014-6-HW (Link to Article): Beshear moving to protect Kentuckians from health-care associated infections. Lexington Herald Leader. Sept. 15, 2014.
2014-3-HW (Link to Article): Overuse of antibiotics aids attacks of deadly bacteria. Lexington Herald Leader. Mar. 13, 2014.
2014-2-HW (Link to Article): Book Review - The American Health Paradox. Louisville Courier Journal. Mar. 13, 2014.
2014-1-HW (Link to Article): Mandate reporting of Ky. health-care related infections. Lexington Herald Leader. Mar. 13, 2014.
2013-8-HW (Link to Article): Surcharge on smokers under Ky. health reform is unfair, shortsighted. Lexington Herald Leader. Sep. 5, 2013.
Lexington Herald Leader Editorial Board: Pricing smokers out of health care is bad policy. Kentucky's 40 percent surcharge is short-term gain for long-term pain Sep. 8, 2013. http://www.kentucky.com/2013/09/08/2810231/pricing-smokers-out-of-health.html
Burchett M. The Lazer.
State health-insurance exchange plans to make
smokers pay 40 percent more for coverage; varied interests object...
Sep. 9, 2013.
2013-7-HW (Link to Article): Disclosure key to curbing medical errors; UK board should demand it. Lexington Herald Leader. Aug 11, 2013. UK board responsible for hospital safety.
2013-6-HW (Link to Article): Better monitoring needed in a post-antibiotic era. Lexington Herald Leader. July 11, 2013. The case is made for public reporting of Healthcare Associated Infections and for Engagement of the Health Department.
2013-5-HW (Link to Article): Tough Diagnosis: Hospital Rankings. Lexington Herald Leader. May 12, 2013. An Op-Ed which describes the various hospital rating systems and give Kentucky Hospital Ratings. Download PDF of how Kentucky Hospitals do on these rating systems.
See Shortened Version of the Published in Op-Ed in US News & World Report
2013-2-HW (Link to Article): More scrutiny on spread of infections; health care industry resists surveillance. Lexington Herald Leader. Feb. 11, 2013. Healthcare Industry Resists Surveillance. View Op-Ed References
2013-1-HW (Link to Article): Hospital Facility Fees Raise Out-of-Pocket Costs for Medicare Patients. US News & World Report. Jan 11, 2013. The case is made to reduce hospital facility fees. View Op Ed View Op-Ed References
Opposing Op-Ed from American Hospital Association: View Op-Ed
2012-11-HW (Link to Article) Consumers must scrutinize details of hospital rankings. Herald Leader Lexington, Ky, Nov. 7, 2012. The Quality Measures used in different hospital ranking systems. View Op-Ed References
2012-10-HW (Link to Article) The Changing Role of the Physician. American College of Surgeons Surgical News, Oct. 23, 2012. Changing healthcare governance, fiduciary responsibility and the driving forces behind integration. View Op-Ed References
2012-9- HW (Link to Article) Assessing Changes in Reform. Courier Journal, Aug 27, 2012. Healthcare Consolidation, Integration and Oligopolies are increasing healthcare costs. View Op-Ed References View Op-Ed Text
2012-8- HW (Link to Article) 'Book Review: Rooted in the Mountains, Reaching to the World'. Courier Journal, Aug 17, 2012. The book is more about adventures involving horses shod with ice nails and the forging of swollen streams; about the power and courage of humanity to overcome obstacles, to instill hope.
2012-7- HW (Link to Article)
'Book Review: Appalachian Health and
Journal, July 14, 2012. Healthy living
challenge for Appalachia.
2012-6-HW (Link to Article) 'Patients dissatisfied with unnecessary, expensive care'. Herald Leader, Lexington, Ky, June 25, 2012. There is a wide variation in the recommended medical care which is received by patients. View Op-Ed References
2012-5-HW (Link to Article)
'Book Review: My
Journal, Louisville, Jun. 16, 2012. "One of
the most disturbing chapters details the legislative hearings and
ill-motivated national politics that have prevented an effective national
response, spurring the birth of the consumer advocacy movement to combat
2012-4-HW (Link to Article) 'Book Review: The Battle Over Healthcare'. Courier Journal, Louisville, May. 19, 2012. As stated by the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, “If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” Unless we change, we are headed for a health care system that few can afford and few will want.
2012-3-HW (Link to Article) 'A tale of two cows: Why we have a cow map and not a healthcare acquired infection map. Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy, Mar. 13, 2012. A parody comparing the availability of data between agriculture and healthcare. View Op-Ed References
2012-2-HW (Link to Article) 'More doctors controlled by hospitals mean restricted care. Herald Leader, Lexington, KY, Mar. 1, 2012. Healthcare Integration, Medicare Expenditures and the Shrinking Role of Physicians in Healthcare. View Op-Ed References
See Letter to Editor by Cameron S. Schaeffer, M.D. http://www.kentucky.com/2012/03/16/2112586/letters-to-editor-march-16.html
2012-1-HW (Link to Article Text) 'Hospital Infections are Underreported. Courier Journal, Louisville, KY, Jan. 31, 2012. The case is made for Public Reporting and Full Disclosure of Adverse Events and Not to Charge Patients for These Events. View Op-Ed References Link to Archived Abstract Link to Article Text
2011-7-HW (Link to Article) Outpatient Antibiotic Utilization Highest in West Virginia and Kentucky The Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy. Washington, DC, Nov. 17, 2011. Quoted by Charleston Daily Mail
2011-6-HW (Link to Article) Investigate staffing, infection rates at UK hospital Herald Leader. Lexington, KY, Sep. 4, 2011.
2011-5-HW (Link to Article) Public, patients have right to know hospitals' infection rates Herald leader. Lexington, KY, July 11, 2011. The case is presented for patients right to know hospital infection rates.
2011-4-HW (Link to Article Text) Tracking of Hospital Acquired Infections Courier Journal, Louisville, KY, Apr. 20, 2011 Norton Healthcare System's Award from the NQF is Outstanding. Other Kentucky hospitals should follow its example. Link to Archived Abstract Link to Article Text
2011-3-HW (Link to Article) UK Wrong To Downplay Loss of Nursing Honor Herald Leader, Lexington, KY, Mar. 21, 2011 It is important for hospitals to achieve the Magnet Recognition and to participate in the Leapfrog Group Survey.
2011-2-HW (Link to Article
Revising Health Care Reform
Courier Journal, Louisville, KY, Jan. 21, 2011
The healthcare system still has significant problems with increasing
2011-1-HW (Link to Article) State Reporting on Hospital Infections - Lax, Dangerous Lexington Herald Leader, Lexington, KY, Jan. 21, 2011 As other states are issuing infection reports to the public. Kentuckians are endangered buy the lack of reporting and inhibited health department oversight. View Op-Ed References
2010-5-HW (Link to
Health Care Strom Brewing Courier
Journal, Louisville, KY, Dec. 8, 2010
The healthcare system is still in crisis, checks and balances on quality and
costs have been weakened.
2010-4-HW (PDF) Hospital Acquired Infections Reporting and Kentucky's HAI Health Plan Lexington Herald Leader, Lexington, KY, July. 25, 2010 The State of Kentucky Needs to require hospitals to report all Hospital Acquired Infections.
2010-3-HW (Link to Article) Kentucky Should Award CONs so All Hospital Systems in The State Benefit, Not Just One Medical News - The Business of Healthcare, Louisville, KY, March. 12, 2010 The certificate of need should be abolished or placed up for bid so all facilities can benefit.
2010-2- HW (Link to Article Text)
Fight Hospital-Acquired Infections
Courier Journal, Louisville, KY, Jan. 12, 2010
industry can and needs to do more to prevent healthcare acquired infections.
2010-1-HW (PDF) Poor Way to Decide Who Gets Hospitals Lexington Herald Leader, Lexington, KY, Jan. 11, 2010 The Certificate of Need is adversely affecting the health of residents of Jessamine County and is running up healthcare costs.
2009-3-HW (PDF) Keep Public Reporting in Reform Plan - Lexington Herald Leader, Lexington, KY, Oct. 4, 2009 Public reporting of healthcare acquired infections is now supported by major national medical organizations.
2009-2-HW (PDF) Stop Hospital Borne Infections Courier Journal, Louisville, KY, July 9, 2009 Public reporting of healthcare acquired infections is now in the process of implementation in 27 states. View CJ Editor's Comment on HAI
2009-1-HW (PDF) Kentucky's Certificate of Need Process Needs Overhauling- Courier Journal, Louisville, KY, January 5 2009 Kentucky's CON process for acute care facilities is frozen with decronian regulations making it impossible to build additional facilities. The State not petitioners, should decide where CONs are needed; they should place them nationally up for bid.
2008-3-HW (PDF) Hospitals Reckless to Leave Floors Short of Nurses- Lexington Herald Leader, Lexington Kentucky, May 28, 2008 Low levels of hospital staff has been reported by nurses and lack of facility cleanliness and responsiveness by patients. Medicare is no longer paying for preventable adverse patient outcomes, Medicaid should follow suit.
2008-2-HW (PDF) The Case for Surveillance for MRSA - Lexington Herald Leader, Lexington Kentucky, March 21, 2008 One could argue that Medicare patient admissions in the State of Kentucky would develop 2,500 hospital acquired infections and at risk of losing between $80,000,000 to $131,000,000 in revenue.
2008-1-HW (PDF) Mandatory Reporting of MRSA and HAIs - Lexington Herald Leader, Lexington Kentucky, Feb. 4, 2008 HAIs are more common than any other reportable disease and deaths exceed several of the causes listed in the top 10 causes of death in the US vital statistics.
2007-7-HW (PDF) Health Care Crisis Unites Disparate Groups, Interests - Lexington Herald Leader, Lexington Kentucky, Oct. 15, 2007 Problems in Kentucky's health care system are discussed in a statewide conference.
2007-6-HW (PDF) Too Much to Expect From Too Few Nurses - Lexington Herald Leader, Lexington Kentucky, April 16, 2007 Frontline Caregivers get little support in protecting patients.
2007-5-HW (PDF) The CON Steals Jessamine's Health Care Access - Jessamine Journal, Nicholasville Kentucky, April 12, 2007 As long as hospitals exist in Lexington, the CON is preventing Jessamine County from building a hospital.
2007-4-HW (PDF) The Fletcher Administration & Oakwood, a Sordid Affair - Lexington Herald Leader, Lexington Kentucky, Feb 26, 2007 Reason for outrage, scrutiny -- Fletcher aides, donors hurt Oakwood, State.
2007-4-BG (PDF) CON Law Shrinks Health-Cares Iron Triangle - Bluegrass Institute, Kentucky, Jan 8, 2007 The CON fails to lower prices or improve quality or access.
2007-3-HW (PDF) Give Public Info About Health Care Facilities - Lexington Herald Leader, Lexington Kentucky Jan 29, 2007 A call to increase the transparency of health care quality.
2007-2-HW (PDF) Medical Tourism or Creative Destruction - Courier Journal Online, Jan 18, 2007 Foreign countries are competing and trying to attract patients from the United States.
2007-1-BG (PDF) Prognosis for Ailing Health Care System Will Improve Only With Competition, Transparency - Bluegrass Institute, Kentucky, Jan 8, 2007 The high cost and low quality of the United States healthcare system
2007-1-HW (PDF) Quality Not Rising With Cost of Health Care - Herald Leader, Lexington KY, Jan 2, 2007 The high cost and low quality of the US healthcare system
2006-8-HW (PDF) Certificate of Need Unneeded - Herald Leader, Lexington KY, November 13, 2006
2006-45-BG (PDF) Eliminate CON, Embrace Competition - Bluegrass Institute, Kentucky, OCT 23, 2006
2006-7-HW (PDF) State Blocking Medical Competition - Herald Leader, Lexington KY, July 31, 2006
2006-6-HW (PDF) Health Care in Crisis: What is Wrong With Frankfort? - Jessamine Journal, Nicholasville KY July 27, 2006
2006-5-HW (PDF) Frankfort Didn't Tell Whole Story on CON Details - Commonwealth Journal, Somerset KY July 5, 2006
2006-4-HW (PDF) Certificate of Monopoly - Courier Journal, Louisville KY, June 22, 2006
2006-3-HW (PDF) Second Hospital Now Out of Reach ? - Commonwealth Journal, Somerset KY, April 26, 2006
2006-2-HW (PDF) Nursing Shortage Argument Doesn't Hold Water - Commonwealth Journal, Somerset KY, January 8, 2006
2006-1-HW (PDF) Kentucky's New Healthcare Plan - Courier Journal, Louisville KY January 3, 2006
2005-3-HW (PDF) Let Consumer Demand Ensure Adequate Nursing Staff - Herald Leader, Lexington KY November 21, 2005
2005-2-HW (PDF) Health Savings Accounts a Possible Solution for the Kentucky Health Care Crisis - Herald Leader, Lexington, KY February 26, 2005
2005-1-HW (PDF) Marriage of Managed Care, Medicaid Can Be Saved - Herald Leader, Lexington, KY January 24, 2005
2004-1-HW (PDF) RX For High Drug Costs - Herald Leader, Lexington, KY October 21, 2004
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