All posts tagged department

Emergency room doctor arrested in illegal drug manufacturing bust – Corvallis Gazette Times

Agents from Linn County Interagency Narcotic Enforcement raided two homes early this week, one in Scio and another in Corvallis, arresting six people and discovering an illegal drug manufacturing operation, according to Albany Police Capt. Eric Carter.

The investigation focused on the unlawful manufacture of the marijuana extract known as butane hash oil, or butane honey oil. The oil is used to make extremely potent cannabinoid edibles or can be smoked or vaporized, which is commonly known as “dabbing.”

The activities involved a legal substance but are criminal because of the quantity the suspects possessed, and because the group was manufacturing BHO without a state license.

Officers in Corvallis raided a home in the2700 block of Marshall Drive, where they arrested Mark Craig Rose, 61, an emergency room doctor with Samaritan Health Services, reporting he had an inactive BHO lab and three 55-gallon drums of marijuana.

Rose was originally booked into the Linn County Jail for charges related to the Scio raid, but was later transferred to the Benton County Jail. He faces two counts of manufacturing marijuana items, two counts of delivery of marijuana, and two counts of possession of more than 4 ounces of marijuana.

Records also indicate that Rose owns the property at 36585 Crackerneck Drive in Scio, where agents discovered an active BHO lab and about 6.5 pounds of BHO. As a result of both raids, officers seized 200 pounds of marijuana, a quantity of Ecstasy, and user amounts of methamphetamine.

George Joseph Nelson, 42, of Scio was arrested for manufacture of marijuana items, delivery of marijuana, and possession of more than 4 ounces of marijuana.

Jeremiah Alexander Hart, 42, of Corvallis, was arrested for manufacture of marijuana items, possession of more than 4 ounces of marijuana, and possession of methylenedioxymeth, or Ecstasy.

In addition, Jennifer Marie Pechar, 40, of Scio, was cited and released for possession of methamphetamine and frequenting a place where drugs are manufactured and sold; Kimberly Jeanet Wolf, 36, of Lebanon, was cited forfrequenting a place where drugs are manufactured and sold; and James Eugene Mobley, 33, of Lebanon, was cited for frequenting a place where drugs are manufactured and sold.

The Linn County Regional SWAT Team, Corvallis Police Department, and lab teams from the Oregon State Police and the DEA Eugene office assisted inthe arrests and warrant service.

TheLinn County Interagency Narcotic Enforcement team was established after the county was designated as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area in 2016. The team is comprised of investigators from the Linn County Sheriffs Office, Albany Police Department, Lebanon Police Department, Sweet Home Police Department, Oregon State Police, DEA and Oregon National Guard Counterdrug Task Force.

Benton County District Attorney John Haroldson said the cases will be tried in Linn County despite the raid in Corvallis.

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Emergency room doctor arrested in illegal drug manufacturing bust – Corvallis Gazette Times

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Only 3.3% of emergency room visits are ‘avoidable,’ study says – Healthcare Finance News

Only 3.3 percent of emergency room visits are avoidable, according to a study published Thursday in the International Journal for Quality in Health Care.https://academic.oup.com/intqhc/article-lookup/doi/10.1093/intqhc/mzx081

This is because those visits deemed ‘avoidable’ involve mental health or dental care, issues with which the ER is generally not equipped to deal, according to the study published in the peer-reviewed journal.

[Also: Medicaid expansion results in more emergency room trips; fewer patients uninsured]

The study shows that despite the health insurance industry’s campaign about avoidable ER visits, most patients in the emergency room belong there, said American College of Emergency Physicians President Becky Parker, MD.

The ‘avoidable’ emergency department visits are defined as visits in which patients did not require any diagnostic or screening services, procedures, or medications, and were discharged home.

“Most patients who are in the emergency department belong there and insurers should cover those visits,” Parker said. “The myths about ‘unnecessary’ ER visits are just that myths.”

The study analyzed data from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey from 2005 to 2011.

The most common ‘avoidable’ ER visits in the study included cases in which patients were discharged with alcohol- and mood-related disorders, or with dental conditions.

The study showed that 10.4 percent of visits by patients diagnosed with alcohol-related disorders, 16.9 percent for mood-related disorders and 4.9 percent for dental-related conditions, were ‘avoidable.’

While these visits were deemed avoidable, the majority of patients with these conditions still required some form of diagnostic or treatment service, said the study’s authors.

“We found that many of the common conditions of ‘avoidable’ emergency department visits involved mental health and dental problems, which ERs are generally ill-equipped to treat,” said lead study author Renee Hsia, MD, of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. “This suggests a lack of access to healthcare rather than intentional inappropriate use is driving many of these ‘avoidable’ visits. These patients come to the ER because they need help and literally have no place else to go.”

Twitter: @SusanJMorseEmail the writer: susan.morse@himssmedia.com

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Serious Nursing Home Abuse Often Not Reported To Police, Federal Investigators Find – NPR

More than one-quarter of the 134 cases of severe abuse that were uncovered by government investigators were not reported to the police. The vast majority of the cases involved sexual assault. Scott Olson/Getty Images hide caption

More than one-quarter of the 134 cases of severe abuse that were uncovered by government investigators were not reported to the police. The vast majority of the cases involved sexual assault.

More than one-quarter of serious cases of nursing home abuse are not reported to the police, according to an alert released Monday morning by the Office of Inspector General in the Department of Health and Human Services.

The cases went unreported despite the fact that state and federal law require that serious cases of abuse in nursing homes be turned over to the police.

Government investigators are conducting an ongoing review into nursing home abuse and neglect but say they are releasing the alert now because they want immediate fixes.

These are cases of abuse severe enough to send someone to the emergency room. One example cited in the alert is a woman who was left deeply bruised after being sexually assaulted at her nursing home. Federal law says that incident should have been reported to the police within two hours. But the nursing home didn’t do that, says Curtis Roy, an assistant regional inspector general in the Department of Health and Human Services.

“They cleaned off the victim,” he says. “In doing so, they destroyed all of the evidence that law enforcement could have used as part of an investigation into this crime.”

The nursing home told the victim’s family about the assault the next day. It was the family that informed the police. But Roy says that even then, the nursing home tried to cover up the crime.

“They went so far as to contact the local police department to tell them that they did not need to come out to facility to conduct an investigation,” says Roy.

Looking at records from 2015 and 2016, Curtis Roy and his team of investigators found 134 cases of abuse of nursing home residents severe enough to require emergency treatment. The vast majority of the cases involved sexual assault.

There’s never an excuse to allow somebody to suffer this kind of torment.

Curtis Roy

“There’s never an excuse to allow somebody to suffer this kind of torment, really, ever,” says Roy.

The incidents of abuse were spread across 33 states. Illinois had the most at 17. Seventy-two percent of all the cases appear to have been reported to local law enforcement within two hours. But twenty-eight percent were not. Investigators from the Office of the Inspector General decided to report all 134 cases to the police. “We’re so concerned,” says Roy, “we’d rather over-report something than not have it reported at all.”

The alert from the Inspector General’s office says that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which regulate nursing homes, need to do more to track these cases of abuse. The alert suggests that the agency should do what Curtis Roy’s investigators did: cross-reference Medicare claims from nursing home residents with their claims from the emergency room. Investigators were able to see if an individual on Medicare filed claims for both nursing home care and emergency room services. Investigators could then see if the emergency room diagnosis indicated the patient was a victim of a crime, such as physical or sexual assault.

The alert notes that federal law on this issue was strengthened in 2011. It requires someone who suspects abuse of a nursing home resident causing serious bodily injury, to report their suspicion to local law enforcement in two hours or less. If their suspicion of abuse does not involve serious bodily injury of the nursing home resident, they have 24 hours to report it. Failure to do so can result in fines of up to $300,000.

But CMS never got explicit authority from the Secretary of Health and Human Services to enforce the penalties. According to the Inspector General’s alert, CMS only began seeking that authority this year. CMS did not make anyone available for an interview.

Clearly, the 134 cases of severe abuse uncovered by the Inspector General’s office represent a tiny fraction of the nation’s 1.4 million nursing home residents. But Curtis Roy says the cases they found are likely just a small fraction of the ones that exist, since they were only able to identify victims of abuse who were taken to an emergency room. “It’s the worst of the worst,” he says. “I don’t believe that anyone thinks this is acceptable.

“We’ve got to do a better job,” says Roy, of “getting [abuse] out of our health care system.”

One thing investigators don’t yet know is whether the nursing homes where abuses took place were ever fined or punished in any way. That will be part of the Inspector General’s full report which is expected in about a year.

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Serious Nursing Home Abuse Often Not Reported To Police, Federal Investigators Find – NPR

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HMH completes Phase II of emergency room expansion – Elizabethtown News Enterprise

Hardin Memorial Hospital has completed Phase II of its 14,000-square-foot emergency department expansion.

Phase II, which wrapped up last week, included adding nine renovated rooms for patient care and new CT scan and digital X-ray rooms to the department.

Hardin Memorial Health Assistant Vice President for Emergency Services Deanna Parker said the new CT scan and digital X-ray rooms allow patients to receive quicker access to diagnostic tools.

We no longer have to take patients across the hospital for these important treatments, Parker said. Because minutes matter, quick access for CT scan is an especially critical tool for stroke patients.

Emergency Department Manager Chris Stucker said the rooms are some of our largest wins in this department.

Its a lot of improvement, he said.

Stucker said additional rooms include one designed for bariatric patients and an isolation room for those undergoing radiation treatments.

The expanded space was designed to serve everyone, he said, with rooms also for victims of sexual assault and those with behavioral health needs. HMH is one of only four emergency departments in Kentucky with certified Sexual Assault Nursing Examiners, officials said.

Stucker also said the new space has state-of-the-art trauma suites for better care of severely injured patients.

All of our rooms are set up to treat any type of patient. We didnt want to limit ourselves to where you could only see a certain type of patient in a room, but we do have specialized rooms, he said. There was definitely a lot of work put in from all around to try to determine the need of the community.

Phase III of the expansion, which began Thursday, is scheduled for completion in early 2018. When complete, the expanded department will have 65 rooms in a ribbon-shaped design meant to provide enhanced security, improved flow and more personalized treatment.

During the final phase, walk-in emergency department patients are being asked to enter the hospital at the covered overhang entrance, formerly the main admitting entrance facing Dixie Avenue.

Patients, visitors and staff who park in the parking garage have access to the entrance by a sidewalk connecting the garage to the new entrance. Signage has been added to the new entrance overhang, the parking garage and throughout the hospital campus to direct visitors.

A campus map that highlights the new entrance can be seen at http://www.hmh.net.

Parker said Hardin Memorial Health is growing its emergency department to meet the needs of a growing region. Originally designed to serve 44,000 patients annually, the emergency department now sees more than 70,000 patients each year. Stucker said he projects they are on track for 72,000 to 75,000 patients this year.

Each day, we are taking steps to improve. … Its a journey, Parker said, also thanking the community for showing patience during the transition. We are committed to making this the best (emergency department) possible for them.

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HMH completes Phase II of emergency room expansion – Elizabethtown News Enterprise

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