Thursday, June 28, 2012



National Federation Of Business et al v Sebelius Secretary of Health and Human Services et al

Justice Roberts sided with the 4 more Liberal Leaning Justices in today's release upholding ObamaCare.

In Effect, the damage this ruling has occasioned goes far beyond even the disastrous provisions of the President's signature Legislation in establishing Judicial Precedent for the Federal Government to create its own, completely Unconstitutional Authority to tax Anything it sees fit to tax in the future simply because it may take a notion to do so.

There is No Constitutional Authority whatever, no matter How it's explained by the Court, to Tax Citizens for Not Buying something from private sector providers. This opens the door for DC to tax Citizens for Not buying anything and everything from asparagus to a new car.

Hang On and Fasten your Seat Belts folks. It is going to get weird in Washington, right quick.

Real Weird.

Here's the LA Times write up.

(Senator) Rand Paul To Supreme Court: Drop Dead

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Obama's Attorney General Questioned By Congress

What's our DOJ actually Busy with as the American Quack Association/Pharma Axis continues their privateering, Public Funded, Federal Racketeering and Civil Rights Statutes Violating Blitzkreig against every aspect of the human condition they can Ideate a Billing Code onto?

Roll Video

Roll Congressional Video

And remember no matter what you may read elsewhere in the coming months that This isn't Nixon. Nobody Died at the Watergate Hotel and the Government of Mexico has every right to be in a Royal Taking with this Administration.

WorldNetDaily has;
Sen Coburn: "There's Fire, Not Just Smoke" At Heart Of Fast & Furious Cover Up.

Well, at least this Administration's supporters still have, ..... .

Weasel Zippers has;
Pelosi: Obama Should Unilaterally Eliminate The Debt Ceiling By Declaring It Unconstitutional has;
No Forkin' Way: Secret Service Bans Utensils At Obama Speech

Daily Intel has pics too;
President Obama Can't Be In The Same Room As Forks Anymore?

And if you thought That was weird,
Obama Asks People Getting Married To Forego Gifts, Asks Their Guests To Donate To His Campaign Instead

It's not as though they don't have anything better to Do with their time.

'Mental Health' In San Francisco: Link Fest

But like the man said: Follow The Ideology.

None of the people responsible for those hundreds of violent deaths are headed for a strait jacket in a rubber room with daily shots of chemical brain eaters because they are the model of 'Mental Health' San Francisco's Illuminati wants everyone else to emulate, ..... because They are the people who keep Feeding those Illuminati, ..... who would be out of business Without being Government fed. (If you don't get the Illuminati ref. hit the San Francisco Link Fest. It's in there)

This Administration is not just what FREE STUFF from Government looks like. 
This Administration is what free stuff from Government is.

"Whenever you see a man coming toward you with the obvious intent of doing you good, run like hell."

Henry David Thoreau

Saturday, June 16, 2012

FTC Opens Anti Trust on Healthcare Mergers

Fierce Healthcare has;
Anti-Trust Agencies Target Hospitals To Promote Competition
FTC challenged 17 of the 1,450 mergers reported in 2011

Aiming to preserve competition among healthcare providers and protect patients, the Federal Trade Commission challenged 17 of the 1,450 merger transactions reported in fiscal year 2011, with two involving hospitals. The healthcare targets were ProMedica and St. Luke's Hospital in Ohio and Phoebe Putney Health System and HCA-owned Palmyra Park Hospital in Albany, Ga., according to an annual report from the FTC and the U.S. Justice Department's Antitrust Division.

"These challenges … are part of the Commission's broader effort to promote competition in the healthcare sector, which benefits U.S. consumers with products and services that are lower cost and high quality," the report states.

The FTC scored a win last year when an administrative judge ruled that a partnership between ProMedica and St. Luke's Hospital was anticompetitive. This past March, the FTC said the health system must give up St. Luke's Hospital within six months. ProMedica plans to appeal to a federal court.

That anti-trust challenge follows the ongoing battle between the commission and Phoebe Putney and Palmyra Medical Center. Although a district court judge last year ruled in favor of the deal to move forward, the FTC recently called on the U.S. Supreme Court to review the hospital merger.

Worried that some mergers would stifle competition and hike up prices, the commission filed a complaint last year to halt an acquisition deal between Illinois health systems, OSF HealthCare and Rockford Health System. In April, the systems decided to call off the merger instead of enduring a lengthy and costly legal battle with the FTC.

However, the commission allowed Sanford Health in Fargo N.D., and Sioux Falls, S.D., to affiliate with North Dakota's Medcenter One health system, both organizations announced last month. The health systems noted that regulatory filings with the FTC and the North Dakota Attorney General's Office are going forward.
To learn more:

- read the FTC 
report (.pdf)
- here's the Medcenter 
statement (.pdf)
Related Articles:
Bigger hospitals, mergers drive higher prices
State calls for curbing high hospital prices with anti-trust laws
With ACOs, there's a thin line between collaboration and monopoly 
FTC targets hospital mergers

Thank You Fierce Healthcare and Ms Caramenico

And for those of you following our series on the San Francisco treat, while this next piece was written in 2004, and developments in Anti Trust are ongoing, it should serve as an appetizer.

Pepper Hamilton LLC has:
An Introduction To Anti Trust Exemptions And Immunities

State Action Immunity
The Supreme Court has held that, in keeping with principles of federalism, the federal antitrust laws do not reach actions of the sovereign states. When the government of a state acts, either through its legislature, judiciary, or executive, its actions are automatically exempted from antitrust liability.1 For example, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Arizona Supreme Court’s establishment of standards for admission to the practice of law was exempt from federal antitrust challenges.2

The state government’s immunity is quite broad. The immunity is not affected by whether the state action in question was illegal or the result of bribery.3 Nor will the state’s immunity be defeated because the state officials have conspired with private parties.4 With the “possible” exception of rare instances where the state is not acting in a regulatory capacity but as an actual participant in the market, “any action that qualifies as state action is ‘ipso facto . . . exempt from the operation of the antitrust laws.’”5

While actions taken directly by state governments are clearly exempt from antitrust scrutiny, “[c]loser analysis is required when the activity at issue is not directly that [of the state], but is carried out by others pursuant to state authorization.”6 The U.S. Supreme Court set forth different guidelines for exempting actions taken by municipal governments and by private actors under state authority. These materials will discuss them in turn.

Unlike state conduct, municipal government action is not automatically exempt from antitrust liability.7 

As the U.S. Supreme Court explained:

These decisions require rejection of petitioners’ proposition that their status as such automatically affords governmental entities the “state action” exemption. [The] limitation of the exemption . . . to “official action directed by the state,” arises from the basis for the “state action” doctrine – that given our “dual system of government in which, under the Constitution, the states are sovereign, save only as Congress may constitutionally subtract from their authority,” a congressional purpose to subject to antitrust control the States’ acts of government will not lightly be inferred. To extend that doctrine to municipalities would be inconsistent with that limitation. Cities are not themselves sovereign; they do not receive all the federal deference of the States that create them. . . . In light of the serious economic dislocation which could result if cities were free to place their own parochial interests above the Nation’s economic goals reflected in the antitrust laws, we are especially unwilling to presume that Congress intended to exclude anticompetitive municipal action from their reach.8

Thank You Mr Bassman and Ms Sicalides
"The corporation includes some 250 subsidiary companies with operations in over 57 countries and products sold in over 175 countries"
250 subsidiaries in 57 countries. Anti Trust, ..... ?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Patient Safety Scores Stir Controversy, Confusion

Fierce Healthcare has;
Ms Alicia Caramenico's Editor's Corner:
Patient Safety Scores Stir Controversy, Confusion
June 15, 2012 | By Alicia Caramenico

As FierceHealthcare reported last week, hospitals got new safety report cards from the Leapfrog Group, with almost half of the facilities earning a C or below.  What was surprising was that some of the biggest and most renowned hospitals, such as Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit and the Cleveland Clinic's main campus, barely got a passing grade.

Despite intentions to better inform patients and motivate safety improvements, the report cards have drawn a lot of criticism, especially from hospitals that didn't make the grade.

Their chief complaint: The scorecards create a single letter grade for 26 different patient safety measures. Many of the low-scoring hospitals questioned how all of their efforts, especially ongoing improvements, could be evaluated with a one letter-grade scoring system.

The Cleveland Clinic disputed its C, pointing out that much of the data is old. "The question the public needs to be asking is, 'Are you working on this? Are you getting better?'" Michael Henderson, the Clinic's chief quality officer, told Kaiser Health News.

Similarly, C-scoring Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York blasted the scorecard saying, "It is an incomplete and imperfect snapshot, and much of the analysis is based on outdated information from disparate sources," in a statement to the Wall Street Journal's Health Blog.

According to critics, since the scores are based on Leapfrog surveys that hospitals participate in voluntarily and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Hospital Compare data, member hospitals have an  unfair advantage because they're getting scored on more elements.
Last fall, Cleveland Clinic, Henry Ford and Parkview Health in Indiana stopped reporting hospital-acquired infection rates to Leapfrog, for example.

Low scores also didn't sit well with Southcoast Health System and Southcoast Hospitals Group in Massachusetts--its Tobey Hospital and Charlton Memorial Hospital both earned Cs. It's "hard to have confidence in a study that also gets easily verifiable details wrong, such as the town in which one of our hospitals is sited," President and CEO Keith Hovan wrote in a recent letter to the editor of The Boston Globe.

But safety at Tobey and Charlton Memorial might actually not be that bad … that is, if you ask HealthGrades, which gave Southcoast a 2012 HealthGrades Patient Safety Excellence Award last week and put Tobey and Charlton Memorial in the top 5 percent of all U.S. hospitals for patient safety.

The motivation behind various report cards is important: increased transparency to encourage patient safety improvements and higher-quality care. But conflicting scores raise more questions than answers.
Each report card paints a different patient safety picture, confusing patients and potentially hurting hospital reputations.

With so many factors involved in keeping patients safe, healthcare consumers need to understand such rankings and "top hospital" lists are only small pieces of a much bigger patient safety puzzle.
Think back to your school days. Did you ever get a grade lower than you thought you deserved? Complaining never changed the grade. What worked for me was asking how I could do better next time--and following through.

So whether or not hospitals agree with the scores, criticizing them (or the methodology behind them) isn't going to make patients any safer at their facilities. So what can hospitals do to enhance safety and make sure they make it to the top of the class next time around?

For starters, they can work to improve communication between providers to do a better job at keeping their patients safe, or collaborate with other hospitals to boost care quality and reduce surgical site infections and adverse drug reactions.

What improvements and updated safety measures has your hospital implemented? What could make scorecards better represent hospital safety? - Alicia (@FierceHealth)

Thank You Fierce Healthcare and Ms Caramenico

Do we really have to drag out that trite, tired old, Industrial Strength dodge from Doctors that the Drug Companies Lied to them, and they bought it, ...... again?

That they really Don't know exactly what their garbage, killer drugs are?

And that at 'Mental Health' ground zero, San Francisco, 'Mental Health's' "Safe and Effective" is on open display with 2 Psychiatric Hospitals and their Psychiatric Staffs just, not existing? SFMHB 06/13/07

 What could make scorecards better represent hospital safety?

Scorecards are one thing. Improvements in Actual Patient Safety however, IS the desideratum.

Hospitals could Start by cleaning 'Mental Health' and its FRAUD out of their facilities.

And the individual State Legislatures could SEPARATE PUBLIC from PRIVATE, monies. 

Drug Companies have No Business Funding/Corrupting State Universities.

pic cred to United Artists

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Dems Want $158.8 Billion More: Building Obamacare Grocery Stores

Fierce Healthcare has;
Bill Would Boost CMS, HHS Funding For Health Reform
June 14, 2012 | By Alicia Caramenico

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services may get an extra $1.38 billion in spending next year to help implement health reform previsions, despite Republican objections.

The Senate Appropriations subcommittee voted 10 to 7 to provide $158.8 billion for the departments of Labor, Education, Health and Human Services and related agencies in 2013, the committee announced Tuesday.

To further help fund the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the bill also would boost the Center for Medicare & Medicare Services' budget to $3.16 billion from $2.61 billion this year. 

Under the bill, funding for healthcare fraud prevention and enforcement would double to $610 million in 2013, according to the announcement. With current anti-fraud funding, the government expects to recover $1.2 billion for the first half of fiscal 2012.

But health reform funding may be hard to preserve if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down previsions of the ACA later this month, The Hill's On The Money blog noted.

On top of that, Republicans have maintained their efforts to defund health reform. Ranking member Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) told The Hill he would never support a bill that funds health reform implementation. "The majority of Americans do not want the ACA because they know it will lead to higher taxes and lower quality of care," he said.

The full committee votes on the 2013 funding bill today, noted On The Money.

For more information:
- read the committee 
- read the 
Hill's On The Money blog post

Thank You Fierce Healthcare and Ms Caramenico

We just 86-ed Donald Berwick as head of CMS. Berwick's position was that Health Care Rationing was "Inevitable" under the President's PPACA. And President Obama replaced Berwick with Dr Seuss.

CMS is already worth almost a Trillion Dollars and a Tenth of That is being Ripped Off while roughly 1% of the net, Boondoggle Trillion of CMS, is actually being recovered by Federal Anti-Fraud initiatives.

And now we have Republican Objections to tossing Another $158.8 Billion into the aggregate Black Hole of DC.

The Hill's Erik Wasserman has:
Dems, GOP Battle Over Healthcare Law As 2013 Spending Bill Advances
By Erik Wasson 06/12/12 03:16 PM ET

Democrats and Republicans clashed Tuesday over President Obama’s signature healthcare reform law as Democrats moved forward with a 2013 spending bill that funds it.
The Labor, Health and Human Services appropriations bill passed out of a Senate Appropriations subcommittee by a vote of 10 to 7 with the GOP united in its opposition to increased funding for the Affordable Care Act. It heads for a full committee vote on Thursday. 
Protecting the ACA’s funding could be tricky if part of the law is struck down by the Supreme Court later this month.
“We’ll just have to see what the Supreme Court decides and how that plays out. I just don’t know yet,” subcommittee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) acknowledged. 
He said that a decision by United Healthcare this week to keep some parts of the ACA, such as allowing parental coverage for those 26 and younger, demonstrates the popularity of at least parts of the law. 

“It shows there are a lot of things in this healthcare bill that the American people don’t want to give up,” he said. “Defunding the bill means they would have to give it up. Republicans can’t have it both ways, saying they will vote to defund it but they want to keep all these other things.”

Overall the spending bill provides $158.8 billion for 2013 for the departments of Labor, Education, Health and Human Services and related agencies. That $8.8 billion is more than the House is expected to provide in its bill, which is heading for a markup as soon as next week and a major fall battle looms, likely after the fiscal year ends on Sept. 30. 

Harkin said the bill is "fiscally responsible" because it adheres to the $1.2 trillion budget cuts in last August’s debt-ceiling deal. 

He noted that it keeps funding for home heating assistance and for graduate education, which the White House had proposed cutting.  He also highlighted the increase in Pell Grant college scholarships — to a maximum award of $5,635 — and a doubling of diabetes research funding.

Ranking member Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said he would never support a bill that funds the ACA. Specifically he objected to an increase in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid budget and for a prevention fund that the GOP calls a “slush fund.”

“The majority of Americans do not want the ACA because they know it will lead to higher taxes and lower quality of care,” he said. 
He noted that one “ObamaCare” program would authorize the building of grocery stores in poor neighborhoods. 

“I ask my colleagues, does this sound like a job for the federal government?” he said. “These are programs we do not need and cannot afford.”

How do you top Borrowing $188 Million per hour to build US Federal Grocery Stores when we're $15 Trillion in debt?
Oh Well, just trust in the system, and all will be well. The President's Dems must know what they're doing, since we have a Debt that Exceeds our GDP Already from the President's Dems. And that $90 to $120 BILLION A YEAR of Medicare/Medicaid FRAUD will All be accounted for by our Federal Dept of Justice just as soon as those nasty Republicans get off of our US Attorney General, Eric Holder's, over worked and partisan hen pecked back.
And Atty Gen. Holder Will get around to finding out What Happened to those 2 missing hospitals and what that 18K Brass Plated Phony, Only 24 hr/16hr UCSF Faculty Staffed PES, SF Gen Hospital is all about too, Provided of course that the Republicans don't cite him for Contempt of Congress or Impeach him first.

Lexapro Maker Lundbeck To Cut 600 Jobs

Fierce Pharma has;

Austerity, Generics Push Lundbeck To Cut 600 Jobs

With Cipralex facing copycats, Danish drugmaker's sales ops need overhaul
The demise of Lexapro's patent protection strikes again. Denmark's Lundbeck, which developed the antidepressant and sells it in Europe under the Cipralex brand name, will cut 600 jobs, mostly in Europe, where austerity has dealt another blow to the drugmaker's fortunes.

The job cuts are part of an overhaul of its commercial organization in Europe, the company said in a statement. Lundbeck wants a "more flexible" approach to primary-care detailing as it prepares for hoped-for product launches. No doubt referring to the decline of its big-selling Cipralex, the company said it's aiming "to pave the way for a successful transition of Lundbeck's European product portfolio."

Make no mistake: The layoffs are meant to save money, too. Europe's crackdown on drug prices has squeezed drugmakers, flattening out growth curves and, in some cases, pushing them to negative territory. "The market environment is changing rapidly," CEO Ulf Winberg said in a statement. "To ensure a successful transition ... we need a more flexible commercial infrastructure and to maintain cost control."

Lundbeck expects a charge to 2012 earnings from the restructuring plan, though it's not sure how much. It's estimating to spend up to 500 million Danish crowns on the plan ($84.6 million).

Earlier this week, Forest Laboratories ($FRX) took a hit from the same drug, sold in the U.S. as Lexapro. Its exclusive U.S. rights to the antidepressant made it Forest's biggest seller, delivering more than half of the company's sales. Now that Lexapro faces generic rivals, branded sales are plummeting even more quickly than Forest had expected. For Lundbeck, the patent impact is less dramatic, with exclusivity expiring in one country after another through 2014.

- see the release from Lundbeck

Thank You Fierce Pharma and Ms Staton

The most unfortunate aspect of this cut is that it's Generic versions of Cipralex which are fueling Lundbeck's austerity move, rather than the Truth about what Cipralex, Lexapro, Celexa, Citalopram etc actually is.

Put Cipralex, Lexapro, Celexa and Citalopram in the search box, and see how many attempted and completed suicides you get.

J&J Recalls Catheters, Again.

J&J is recalling yet Another lot of Cordis, Fire Star (an aptly named product, considering the Reason it's being recalled) Catheters.

Mass Device has;
Cordis Issues "Urgent" Recall On Fire Star Balloon Catheters

You see, the units in question refused to deflate and had to be extracted by force. These suckers have been recalled before, in 2008. Here's the FDA notice.

Cordis Corporation Dura Star™ RX and Fire Star™ RX PTCA Balloon Catheters

Class 1 Recall
Date Recall
January 14, 2008
Fire Star™ RX and Dura Star™ RX PTCA Balloon Catheters
Products manufactured in Mexico from February, 2007 through December, 2007 and distributed worldwide from March 26, 2007 through January 8, 2008. Dura Star™ RX was distributed in the U.S. on August 29, 2007 and Fire Star™ RX was distributed in the U.S. on August 31, 2007.
All Fire Star™ and Dura Star™ lots 13173912 through 13315455, plus 52 additional lots above 13315455 are affected. (No lots above 13329055 are affected).
Balloon catheters are used in a medical procedure (known as percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty or PTCA) to open narrowed or blocked blood vessels or arteries of the heart.
Recalling Firm:
Cordis Corporation
14201 NW 60th Avenue
Miami Lakes, Florida 33014-2802
Reason for Recall:
The product has a potential for slow deflation or no deflation of the angioplasty balloon when inserted into the artery or other blood vessels. This may potentially result in a total blockage of the artery or blood vessels, resulting in a change in the heart rate or heart rhythm, injury to the heart artery, a heart attack, need for a surgical procedure or death.
Public Contact:
Consumers with questions may contact Cordis, Inc. at 1-786-313-2000.
FDA District:
FDA Comments:
On January 14, 2008, a letter and an acknowledgement form were mailed to U.S. customers with a Cordis representative following-up requesting a signature of receipt. For non-U.S. customers, an email notice was sent with return acknowledgment to notify their distributors, who then contacted their customers in those countries. The company has consulted with the FDA about disposing the products.
Class 1 recalls are the most serious type of recall and involve situations in which there is a reasonable probability that use of the product will cause serious injury or death.
Health care professionals and consumers may report adverse reactions or quality problems experienced with the use of this product to the FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program.

Fierce Medical Devices will tell you;
J&J Cordis Recalls Balloon Catheters
The action affects a single lot of Cordis' Fire Star Rx dilation catheters, which wouldn't deflate properly

 "Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) subsidiary Cordis is in the hot seat over its Fire Star Rx PTCA dilation catheters. The company has launched a recall of a single lot of the devices because of concerns over flawed deflation. Company spokeswoman Sandy Pound told MassDevice that 292 units are affected by the recall. All were distributed in China, India, Indonesia, South Korea and Taiwan, according to the story. So far, at least 8 adverse events involving the catheter have been reported to the FDA over March and April, though Pound is quoted as saying that no patients have died or been injured. Cordis dealt with a similar recall in 2008, according to the story. That was a Class I recall, which the FDA considers the most serious.

Related Articles:
Cordis appeals $40M award to Boston Sci
FDA clears Cordis' Empira catheters

According to the Mass Device article, someone named Pound, we're Assuming is J&J spokesperson Sandy Pound, is saying that This issue is not the Same issue which precipitated the 2008 recall. OK, so the product has been recalled twice for failure to deflate.

It's Doubly Defective and Cordis has had 4 Years to make sure it Does Deflate. Nice Product. Great Oversight. 4 years and they never saw this Different Failure to Deflate Issue while they were Fixing the Initial Failure To Deflate Issue.

And provided that Dr DSM Nutzo Drunk can find the correct end of the Defective Catheter, he'll just have to extract it by Force.

Study: 15% Of Surgeons Abuse Alcohol

And everyone Except these people, and a few More Classes of Government Employees, are Incurably Insane.