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Woman Claims She Found A Simple Way To Kill Cancerous Tumors, Jury Not Convinced

I hope @oracknows, Respectful Insolence, will write more about this. He is much better than I at sussing out fraudulent medical treatments.

I have lived and practiced in Little Rock, AR for over twenty years and I did not know this was in my backyard until my local paper (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette) reported on the outcome of the trial last week. The article title caught my eye as I was skimming the news: Jurors: Cancer therapy a fraud, Award in suit is $2.5 million (subscription only unfortunately).

A federal jury awarded $2.5 million in damages Tuesday to a California woman who paid $6,250 to undergo alternative treatments from a Jacksonville woman who promised a “100 percent success rate” in destroying cancerous breast tumors.

Antonella Carpenter, the former Jacksonville woman who has since moved to Broken Arrow, Okla., and continues to proclaim on her website that she has found a simple, painless way to kill cancerous tumors, wasn’t present for the verdict against her and her company, Lase Med Inc. …….

I don’t recall ever hearing of Lase Med Inc: LIESH Therapy.

The plaintiff in the lawsuit is Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Suture for a Living*

Private Sector Solution Offered To Medicaid Patients In Arkansas

Beginning July 1st, eDocAmerica began offering eDoc services to Medicaid recipients and their families in Arkansas. Since there are about 800,000 Arkansas Medicaid recipients, when added to our previously covered clients, this program takes us a long way towards offering the benefit to the majority of Arkansans.

It is especially exciting to begin offering a cost effective health care benefit to this large, underserved population. eDoc services can help with so many of this patient population’s needs, including whether a child needs to be taken to see a doctor for acute care needs, to provide information that can help a patient determine if a second opinion needs to be sought for a given care situation, to provide information about medications that patients are on, to provide information to families of nursing home patients that they can use to ask intelligent questions about their family member’s care, and many others. For nursing home patients, we encourage family members to log on and ask our professionals questions about their family members anytime, for any reason.

It is a daunting task to effectively communicate the availability of this benefit to this group of patients. We’ll be working diligently over the coming weeks and months with the Arkansas Minority Affairs Commission, the Arkansas State Health Department, the Community Health Centers of Arkansas, Area Health Education Centers and Arkansas State government agents to increase awareness of this program and encourage its use.

One of the barriers to this program’s success is that many patients either won’t have a computer, or won’t have access to the internet. We have addressed this with a toll free number (877-581-3362) that Medicaid recipients can call to ask their question. Our call center is staffed by trained nursing personnel who will relay the message to the professional staff and then call the patient back after the answer has been posted.

In addition, we are finalizing an iPhone application that should be ready to go within a short time. We hope to use this new initiative to begin to address some of the health care disparities that exist in the state.

I hope that we will soon see the day that every single resident in our State, insured or not, will be able to log on ask one of our professionals a question that will, in some small way, improve their health!

*This blog post was originally published at eDocAmerica*

Physician Faces Jail Time For Looking At An Electronic Medical Record

As we move towards EMR’s, the ability to know who has looked at the medical record may get more and more people in trouble.   While we are all curious about our friends, neighbors, and celebrities (local or global), it is important to respect each others privacy.  This local Arkansas story shows the importance of this respect.

Hospital emergency room coordinator Candida Griffin, patient account representative Sarah Elizabeth Miller and Dr. Jay Holland, a family doctor who worked part time at the hospital, each face up to a year in prison and $50,000 fine if convicted of the misdemeanor charge.

I would hope that all three of the people listed above would have “known better.”  When this story broke earlier this week, the staff in the OR and I had a nice discussion on who gets HIPAA training and how much each get.

I think as part of their punishment, they and perhaps the facility (St Vincent Health System) should have to do refresher courses on HIPAA privacy rules.

The hospital said in November that it fired up to six people for looking at Pressly’s records after a routine patient-privacy audit showed that as many as eight people gained access to them.

It was not immediately clear whether others fired from the hospital would face charges. U.S. Attorney Jane Duke declined to comment about the charges Tuesday.

With paper charts, there isn’t a trail proving you or I accessed the chart without need to do so.  With EMR’s there is but this trail is not fool-proof.  If I haven’t logged off and you look over my shoulder, then ….

If you haven’t logged off and I ask for a quick look at patient 007’s lab work and you do me a “favor” of checking quickly.  See, not perfect.  No harm was intended and patient 007’s info may never be “leaked” to the press, but someone who perhaps had no need to access it did so.

My circulating nurse in the OR during the discussion revealed that she had heard a lot of talk about the Ann Pressly case which she admits she should not have.  She didn’t access the chart.  She was working in another hospital’s ER.  It was the police and EMT’s doing the talking.  There is no trail to “prove” those violations of patient privacy trust.

We need to be more careful in discussing patients and cases.  We still need to be able to discuss difficult or unusual cases, but this can be done without breaking a patient’s trust or privacy.  Names and identifiers don’t have to be used when stumped by a rash or odd presentation.

Dr Holland had no malicious intent, just curiosity.  Be careful.

Arkansas Democrat Gazette article Doctor, ex-hospital employees charged over Pressly records (subscription required) written by Linda Satter

3 charged with getting TV anchor’s medical records by Jon Gambrell (no subscription required)

*This blog post was originally published at Suture for a Living*

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