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Consumers Union Documents

  • State Hospital-acquired Infection and Medical Error Reports (June 8, 2009)
  • State Medical Error Report Links (May 8, 2009)
  • Consumers Union petitions the FDA on drug safety (January 31, 2008)

Policy and Legislation

Click to display archived legislation

Consumers Union News Releases

  • New York report details hospital infection rates (June 30, 2009)

 

Blog Posts

  • Patient Safety Activists Represent Consumers at Presidential Health Care Forum (July 8, 2009)
  • NYT calls for doctors to be included in Medicare non-payment rules (October 6, 2008)
  • Drugmakers in hot water with NY Attorney General (January 28, 2008)
  • Buried data on antidepressants (January 22, 2008)

News

  • Senator Moves to Block Medical Ghostwriting

    From NYT:: A growing body of evidence suggests that doctors at some of the nation’s top medical schools have been attaching their names and lending their reputations to scientific papers that were drafted by ghostwriters working for drug companies — articles that were carefully calibrated to help the manufacturers sell more products.

  • Saying ‘No’ to Drug Ads

    A New York Times commentary, Room for Debate, ran a discussion about prescription drug ads asking whether if they should or should not be reined in as some in Congress have suggested. Of the more than 300 comments the forum generated, it’s official: the overwhelming majority would like to see these ads altered or banned altogether.

  • Editorial: Why so many needless deaths?

    “You can’t say we weren’t warned. And you can’t say we’ve done enough to address those warnings about the degree of avoidable deaths in hospitals in New York and across the country.”

  • Should Prescription Drug Ads Be Reined In?

    The New York Times features several differing viewpoints on prescription drug direct-to-consumer advertising.

  • Medical Papers by Ghostwriters Pushed Therapy

    Newly unveiled court documents show that ghostwriters paid by a pharmaceutical company played a major role in producing 26 scientific papers backing the use of hormone replacement therapy in women, suggesting that the level of hidden industry influence on medical literature is broader than previously known. The articles, published in medical journals between 1998 and 2005, emphasized the benefits and de-emphasized the risks of taking hormones to protect against maladies like aging skin, heart disease and dementia.

  • Did NUMC pass the test?

    The hospital accreditation experience of a Long Island hospital.

  • First, Make No Mistakes

    Op-ed by Jim Hall, former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board. The Obama administration should take a lesson from the transportation safety board’s successes and establish an independent agency charged with identifying and eliminating the causes of medical error.

  • Lawmakers Seek to Curb Drug Commercials

  • Daily News investigates faked records and fatal blunders at city-run hospitals

    City-run hospitals faked records and covered up dozens of botched operations, deadly accidents, malpractice and other medical screwups, a Daily News investigation has found.

  • WCA Hospital Reports Few Instances Of Hospial-Related Infections

    According to the report, New York hospitals have lower rates of surgical-site infections than hospitals across the rest of the nation, but the same or higher rates of bloodstream infections in intensive care units than those reported nationally.

  • Editorial: Dangerous Care: Hospitals must ensure that infections are minimized

    By one estimate, more than 200 Central New Yorkers die every year from infections they caught while in the hospital.

  • Editorial: Germ warfare: State Health Dept. finally tackles hospital-acquired infections

    After too much delay, the agency has put out a report revealing which hospitals in New York are more and which are less likely to discharge you with a nasty bug.

  • NY hospitals have lower infection rates

    The second annual Hospital-Acquired Infections, New York State 2008 Report presents infection rates identified by hospital name and region for surgical-site infections.

  • Editorial: Health Care’s Infectious Losses

    Former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neil comments on reducing health care costs: “The president says he likes audacious goals. Here is one: ask medical providers to eliminate all hospital-acquired infections within two years.”

  • Ban Is Advised on 2 Top Pills for Pain Relief

    A federal advisory panel voted narrowly on Tuesday to recommend a ban on Percocet and Vicodin, two of the most popular prescription painkillers in the world, because of their effects on the liver.

  • Hospital infection numbers go public

    With the publication of this report, New York becomes the seventh state in the nation to publicly disclose hospital infection rates by individual hospitals.

  • At V.A. Hospital, a Rogue Cancer Unit

    NYT story about a Philadelphia VA hospital where many patients received botched cancer treatments.

  • Health Outcomes Driving New Hospital Design

    Single-patient rooms are now viewed as an important element of high-quality health care.

  • Government Reports Criticize Health Care System

    Two annual government reports released Wednesday show that progress in improving the quality of health care and narrowing health disparities among ethnic groups remains agonizingly slow, and that patient safety may actually be declining.

  • Group Advises Stopping Flow of Gifts to Doctors

    In a scolding report, the nation’s most influential medical advisory group said that doctors should stop taking much of the money, gifts and free drug samples that they routinely accept from drug and device companies. Supports Grassley/Kohl legislation legislation that would require drug and device makers to publicly disclose all payments made to doctors.

  • Infection Control Guidelines Issued

    Hoping to improve infection control in hospitals, the nation’s top epidemiological societies joined Wednesday with the American Hospital Association and the Joint Commission, which accredits hospitals, to issue a compendium of guidelines for preventing six lethal conditions.

  • Editorial: No Pay for Harm

    It is good to know that hospitals will no longer profit from their mistakes under a new payment policy just inaugurated by Medicare.

  • Medicare Won’t Pay for Medical Errors

    On Wednesday, Medicare will start applying that logic to American medicine on a broad scale when it stops paying hospitals for the added cost of treating patients who are injured in their care.

  • Beyond MRSA: The new generation of resistant infections

    The new generation of resistant infections is almost impossible to treat.Source: The New Yorker (August 11, 2008)

  • New York Hospital Infection Rates Rise

    From now on the NY Department of Health aims at releasing similar data every year for each hospital separately.

  • Doctors Face Payment Cuts for Patients on Medicare

    Doctors face a 10 percent cut in Medicare payments next week, following the Senate’s failure on Thursday to take up legislation that would have averted the cuts.

  • Ban Urged on Medical Giveaways

    Drug and medical device companies should be banned from offering free food, gifts, travel and ghost-writing services to doctors, staff members and students in all 129 of the nation’s medical colleges, an influential college association has concluded.

  • MRSA ‘Superbug’ Becoming More Resistant

    ‘They Can Adapt to Virtually any Pressure That We Expose Them To,’ Doctors Say

  • Making hospitals pay for their mistakes

    Medicare will limit payments to hospitals for certain avoidable mistakes like catheter-associated urinary tract infections

  • Legislation calls for testing patients for MRSA

    New York lawmakers consider MRSA screening.

    Source: Albany Times Union (November 22, 2007)

  • Best Defense Against Drug-Resistant Bacteria:

    Wash Your Hands

    Source: New York Times (October 26, 2007)

Research and Reports

  • NY Comptroller finds many hospitals underreport medical errors

    A comprehensive study issued today by the Office of the Comptroller William C. Thompson Jr., found that many New York City hospitals substantially underreport “adverse events” to the New York State Department of Health (DOH).Source: Office of the New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr. (March 10, 2009)

  • Like Night and Day – Shedding Light on Off-Hours Care

    The consequences of service deficiencies during off-hours include higher mortality and readmission rates, more surgical complications, and more medical errors. Given the health care industry’s renewed focus on ensuring patient safety and providing high-quality medical care, why hasn’t the situation changed at the “other hospital”?Source: New England Journal of Medicine (May 15, 2008)

  • Health Guide: MRSA Infection

    Background information on causes, symptoms, treatment, and other resourcesSource: New York Times

  • The Checklist: If something so simple can transform intensive care, what else can it do?

    The I.C.U., with its spectacular successes and frequent failures, therefore poses a distinctive challenge: what do you do when expertise is not enough?Source: The New Yorker (December 10, 2007)

  • On August 13, 2009 MaeM posted:

    Betsy McCaughey has gone on a real tear. Betsy McCaughey, a journalist of distinction and former Lieutenant Governor of New York state, has taken aim at Obamacare and especially Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, MD, brother to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, and in her op-ed piece that’s being billed as New York Post Deadly Doctors, she claims that the public health care plan will deny care to the mentally disabled and elderly. However, nothing in the bill has come to light that would indicate she’s correct, and the oversight agency for the program would be only be staffed by physicians.

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