HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Akron Univ. School of Law

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Monday, July 18, 2005

Recent Article of Note

From the Social Science Research Network's "Health Law & Policy" file:

The Two Faces of Managed Care Regulation & Policymaking
Stanford Law & Policy Review, Vol. 16, p. 234, 2005
Robert Rich and Christopher T. Erb
University of Illinois College of Law and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

ABSTRACT: This paper focuses on the development of managed care policy in the United States since 1985. It empirically examines the development of statutes, legislation, regulations, and federal and state court decisions which relate to managed care organizations and managed care policies. The paper begins with an analysis of managed care theory as it relates to the delivery of health care services in the United States. It then goes on to ask the question: is this a good theory? We then look at federal and state policy initiatives in the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government. The paper argues that government cannot make up its mind whether it wants to support or constrain the implementation of managed care theory and its further development. We document initiatives which serve as facilitators and barriers to the implementation of managed care theory; taken together, these legal and policy initiatives represent the "two faces of managed care". The consequence of the two faces is that it is not clear whether managed care organizations have been successful.

[tm]

July 18, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Recuiting for a Chair in Bioethics

From the July 1 Kansas City Business Journal:

The Francis Family Foundation has given $3 million to the Center for Practical Bioethics to honor the late John B. Francis and his contributions to the center.

The gift creates an endowment at the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation to establish the John B. Francis Chair in Bioethics at the center with the goal to advance the practical application of ethics in medicine, science and related fields, the center said in a written release Friday.

Recruitment for the new chair will start immediately, center President and CEO Myra Christopher said in the release. . . .

The holder of the John B. Francis Chair in Bioethics will conduct research, teach, publish, engage in public outreach and consult with policymakers on medical ethics issues, the center said.

The Center for Practical Bioethics was founded in 1984.

[tm]

July 18, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Medical Malpractice and Quality of Care

DhymanSilversgDavid Hyman, Professor, University of Illinois College of Law  and Charles Silver, Professor and Roy W. and Eugenia C. McDonald Endowed Chair at the University of Texas School of Law, have co-authored a new article entitled,"The Poor State of Health Care Quality in the U.S.: Is Malpractice Liability Part of the Problem or Part of the Solution?"  The article is forthcoming in the Cornell Law Review. 

The abstract states,

The belief that malpractice lawsuits impede efforts to improve health care quality by encouraging providers to hide mistakes is the conventional wisdom among patient safety advocates and scholars. It also provides the normative basis for efforts currently proceeding at the state and federal levels to curtail medical malpractice exposure. Groups pressing for tort reform, including the American Medical Association, contend that when doctors and other providers are insulated from liability, patients will be better protected from harm.

This article canvasses the evidence bearing on the connection between malpractice exposure and health care quality. Some of this evidence, such as the Harvard Medical Practice Study, shows that the quality of health care improves as the risk of being sued rises; none of it shows that malpractice lawsuits cause the quality of health care to decline. The widely held belief that fear of malpractice liability impedes efforts to improve the reliability of health care delivery systems is unfounded.

The central causes of the high error rates that persist in the health care sector appear to be providers' defective incentives and professional norms. Providers lose money when quality improves, and their norms discourage the creation of non-punitive working environments in which efforts to improve quality can flourish. The business case for quality is missing, and providers' attitudes are antithetical to quality improvement. The tort system's major deficiency is its failure to subject providers to sufficient economic pressure to overcome these impediments. The cause of this shortcoming is the rarity with which injured patients assert legal claims.

Looks like more great summer reading!  [bm]

July 18, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Newborn EMATLA Screening Case from Wisconsin Supreme Court

On July 13, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin issued its opinion in Preston v. Meriter Hosp., Inc., No. 2003AP1376.  Here is the court's recitation of the facts:

[Shannon] Preston arrived at Meriter Hospital in Madison on November 9, 1999, at 5:33 p.m.  She was 23-and-2/7ths weeks pregnant and had leaked amniotic fluid for a number of days.  At the time of her hospitalization, Preston was unemployed and on Medical Assistance.

Preston was admitted to the hospital and taken to the birthing center.  There, physicians performed an ultrasound to evaluate the unborn child's condition.  At 3:55 a.m. the following morning, Preston gave birth to a son whom she named Bridon Michael Johnson.  The child weighed 700 grams.  The hospital staff made no attempt to prolong the baby's life, and Bridon died two-and-a-half hours later.

Among other things, the trial court heard "that Meriter physicians had determined, based on the prebirth ultrasound, that Bridon's lungs were so underdeveloped that he would likely die shortly after being born.  The court was told health care personnel made observations of Bridon shortly after his birth and assigned Bridon an Apgar score of one."

The EMTALA issue addressed by the court is whether Shannon and Bridon had "come[] to the emergency department" within the meaning of that phrase in EMTALA.  The court said yes:

[W]e conclude that the proper interpretation of "comes to the emergency department" in this case imposes a duty upon a hospital to provide a medical screening examination to a newborn who (1) presents to the emergency room of the hospital or (2) is born in the birthing center of the hospital and otherwise meets the conditions set forth in 42 C.F.R. § 489.24(b) (1999). . . .  The duty to provide a medical screening examination should not depend upon the hospital room——be it the emergency room, the birthing center, or an operating room——into which a baby is born.

Because plaintiffs' EMTALA "duty to screen" claim had been dismissed (after she had told the trial court that hers was a "duty to stabilize" claim only), the court remanded for further proceedings.It will be interesting to see whether the Wisconsin courts decided, á la In re Baby K (WestLaw; requires subscription), that there's no futility exception to EMTALA and that neonatalogists must screen and stabilize a premature newborn with an Apgar score of 1. [tm]

July 17, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

And Another Health Law Opening

Job Title:
Health Law Research Faculty
Department:
Law Center
Department URL: http://www.law.uh.edu/healthlaw/
Institution: University of Houston
 
Application Deadline: Open Until Filled
Position Start Date: September 1st, 2005
 
Job Categories: Research Professor
 
Academic Field(s): Healthcare Law
 
URL For Job: http://www.uh.edu/provost/fac_openings/l_law_health....
 
Detailed Job Description:
The University of Houston Law Center's Health Law & Policy Institute invites applications for a research faculty position beginning immediately and running through August 31, 2005.

Applicants should hold the J.D. degree, have an excellent academic record, and have educational or practical experience with health law and policy. An additional advanced degree, such as an M.P.H. or Ph.D., in a health policy-related field or economics is preferred but not required. Previous experience with grant writing and/or empirical research methodology is preferred but not required.

The faculty rank (assistant, associate or full professor) will depend on the applicant's experience and publication record. The salary will depend on qualifications within an approximate range of $50,000 - $52,000. Research faculty members work on externally-funded research projects under the supervision of the Institute Directors and have the opportunity to teach a Law Center course.
Research faculty positions are not tenure track positions and time in rank does not apply toward tenure. Reappointment through August 2006 is possible, but is contingent on performance and the continued availability of external funding.


The Law Center's Health Law & Policy Institute is recognized as one of the leading health law programs in the United States.

The program offers over twenty health law courses per year to J.D. and LL.M. students; students also may participate in interdisciplinary studies with local universities leading to the M.P.H., M.D., or Ph.D. (Medical Humanities) degrees. Courses are taught by tenure track faculty members, distinguished visiting faculty members, and adjunct faculty drawn from one of the most sophisticated health law bars in the United States.

The health law program engages in a significant program of externally sponsored research; the research program currently supports three full time research faculty.

Houston offers many opportunities for the successful candidate to engage in interdisciplinary projects. The Texas Medical Center is the largest medical center in the United States, with over forty different member institutions. For more information about the Law Center's health law program, see: http://www.law.uh.edu/healthlaw/.

The University of Houston is a comprehensive research and doctoral granting public institution, situated on a beautiful 550-acre campus. The University's diverse student population exceeds 32,500 with over 900 ranked faculty.
For more information about the University, see: http://www.uh.edu/. The University of Houston Law Center has 55 full-time faculty and enrolls over 1000 J.D. and over 100 LL.M. students.
 
EEO / AA Policy:
The University of Houston is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. Minorities, women, veterans, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Contact Information

(send resume to if no instructions are given above)

Contact: April F. Moreno, Program Director
Health Law & Policy Institute
University of Houston
100 Law Center
Houston, TX 77204-6060
 
  Please reference AcademicKeys.com in your cover letter when applying for or inquiring about this job announcement.
 
Phone Number: (713) 743-2101
Fax Number: (713) 743-2117
E-mail: afmoreno@uh.edu

July 17, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Health Law Opening

Job Title:
Health Law Research Faculty
Department:
Law Center
Department URL: http://www.law.uh.edu/healthlaw/
Institution: University of Houston
 
Application Deadline: Open Until Filled
Position Start Date: September 1st, 2005
 
Job Categories: Research Professor
 
Academic Field(s): Healthcare Law
 
URL For Job: http://www.uh.edu/provost/fac_openings/l_law_health....
 
Detailed Job Description:
The University of Houston Law Center's Health Law & Policy Institute invites applications for a research faculty position beginning immediately and running through August 31, 2005.

Applicants should hold the J.D. degree, have an excellent academic record, and have educational or practical experience with health law and policy. An additional advanced degree, such as an M.P.H. or Ph.D., in a health policy-related field or economics is preferred but not required. Previous experience with grant writing and/or empirical research methodology is preferred but not required.

The faculty rank (assistant, associate or full professor) will depend on the applicant's experience and publication record. The salary will depend on qualifications within an approximate range of $50,000 - $52,000. Research faculty members work on externally-funded research projects under the supervision of the Institute Directors and have the opportunity to teach a Law Center course.
Research faculty positions are not tenure track positions and time in rank does not apply toward tenure. Reappointment through August 2006 is possible, but is contingent on performance and the continued availability of external funding.


The Law Center's Health Law & Policy Institute is recognized as one of the leading health law programs in the United States.

The program offers over twenty health law courses per year to J.D. and LL.M. students; students also may participate in interdisciplinary studies with local universities leading to the M.P.H., M.D., or Ph.D. (Medical Humanities) degrees. Courses are taught by tenure track faculty members, distinguished visiting faculty members, and adjunct faculty drawn from one of the most sophisticated health law bars in the United States.

The health law program engages in a significant program of externally sponsored research; the research program currently supports three full time research faculty.

Houston offers many opportunities for the successful candidate to engage in interdisciplinary projects. The Texas Medical Center is the largest medical center in the United States, with over forty different member institutions. For more information about the Law Center's health law program, see: http://www.law.uh.edu/healthlaw/.

The University of Houston is a comprehensive research and doctoral granting public institution, situated on a beautiful 550-acre campus. The University's diverse student population exceeds 32,500 with over 900 ranked faculty.
For more information about the University, see: http://www.uh.edu/. The University of Houston Law Center has 55 full-time faculty and enrolls over 1000 J.D. and over 100 LL.M. students.
 
EEO / AA Policy:
The University of Houston is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. Minorities, women, veterans, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Contact Information

(send resume to if no instructions are given above)

Contact: April F. Moreno, Program Director
Health Law & Policy Institute
University of Houston
100 Law Center
Houston, TX 77204-6060
 
  Please reference AcademicKeys.com in your cover letter when applying for or inquiring about this job announcement.
 
Phone Number: (713) 743-2101
Fax Number: (713) 743-2117
E-mail: afmoreno@uh.edu

 

July 17, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Happy Days for University of Connecticut's School of Law and Health Center

The University of Connecticut School of Law and its Health Center recently received a generous gift from a former alum.   According to the school's press release,

A prominent Connecticut family has made two gifts totaling $1.75 million to the University of Connecticut's School of Law and the UConn Health Center. Both gifts are eligible to be submitted to the state matching endowment gift program, which could ultimately bring the total to more than $2 million.

The gifts were made by the Chase family, which has a long history of supporting the University, including a gift that established the Chase Family Chair in Juvenile Diabetes at the Health Center.

"These two very generous gifts represent a substantial new investment in the University. We are deeply grateful for thefamily's significant commitment to our institution," University President Philip E. Austin said. "We are indeed fortunate to count the Chase family among our friends. I am thankful, too, for their recognition that private philanthropy is perhaps the differentiating factor between a very good public university and a great one, and that their gifts for research, teaching and public service at UConn will ultimately benefit countless individuals whose lives the University touches."

[bm]

July 17, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Obit for Dame Cicely Saunders, Founder of Modern Hospice Movement

From the Daily Telegraph (London), July 15, 2005:

DAME CICELY SAUNDERS, who died yesterday aged 87, was regarded as the mother of the modern hospice movement; at St. Christopher's Hospice, Sydenham, south London, founded in 1967, she charted new approaches in techniques for treatment of the terminally ill, based on her Christian belief that no human life, no matter how wretched, should be denied dignity and love.

The full obituary is here (may require free registration).  Other obituaries may be found on websites of the London Times, the Daily Scotsman, and the BBC.  The LA Times syndicate has a brief note that's been picked up by a few US newspapers' websites; nothing yet from other major national papers on this side of the pond.  [tm]

July 16, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Alternative Stem Cell Bill Introduced in the Senate

A new stem cell research bill has been proposed by House Republicans as an alternative to the bill passed by the House and President Bush's position.  According to the N.Y. Times, this bill promotes new, unproven methods of obtaining stem cells without destroying embryos.  It would set aside taxpayer money for animal studies that could eventually yield methods of developing human embryonic stem cells.  Many of the ideas in the bill come from a report by President Bush's Council on Bioethics.  Currently the House bill which would permit federal financing for studies on embryos left over from fertility treatments has majority support in the Senate.  Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) sees this new proposal as an attempt to draw Republican support away from the House bill.   Senator Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma) supports the bill as a compromise that the President would support.  He says that it is a "good alternative... and it may solve the ethical constraints."

James Battey, chairman of a stem cell task force at National Institute of Health, says that right now scientists know of no way to derive human embryonic stem cells without destroying embryos.  This new alternative bill proposes such concepts as carving one or two cells from microscopic eight-cell embryos to be used for research, while allowing the embryos to continue to develop. 

Senate majority leader Bill Frist is expected to bring six stem cell measures to a vote in the Senate next week.  He supposedly supports this new bill along with Senator Rick Santorum - although neither office will reveal the details of the bill. 

Thanks to Lindley Bain for her help with this post.  [tm]

July 16, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Health Care Fraud - Lucrative for the Government

Mary Anne Mitchell points to an interesting article discussing the money involved in the lucrative False Claims Act cases.  The article concludes by asking where is the money going?  I don't have an asnwer to that . . .   

Boston Bounty Hunters By Charles G. Hardin  --  7/14/2005 12:05:45 AM

The Federal Government has built an incredible money machine in Boston! Aggressive U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan and his equally aggressive assistants have created a uniquely lucrative legal practice in False Claims Act (FCA) cases. Their renowned Health Care Fraud Unit of the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney's office has (between May 1996 and May 2001), according to the Boston Globe, "recovered $1.54 billion for federal taxpayers, more than 30% of all health care fraud settlements by the nation's 94 U.S. attorney's offices."

That statement was printed before the Unit recovered another $1.561 billion from three more recent cases: TAP Pharmaceuticals in 2001 for $875 million; Bayer in 2003 for a combined $256.5 million, and Warner-Lambert (now Pfizer) in 2004 for $430 million. These three cases of alleged Medicare and Medicaid false claims alone make up nearly half of the $3.225 billion of Department of Justice (DOJ) health care recoveries in those three fiscal years.

This would be a good thing if these big settlements were making Medicare and Medicaid funds whole for their supposed losses and ultimately securing benefits for beneficiaries.

But are they? Let's follow the money.

[bm]

July 16, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, July 15, 2005

Number of Allegations of Cheating Researchers at New High

Professional misconduct by researchers has sharply risen in recent years, although it has always been a problem.  The journal Nature published a survey in their June 9th issue which shows that about 1.5 percent of 3,247 researchers who responded admitted to falsification or plagiarism, with one in three admitting to some sort of professional misbehavior.  The AP reports that

allegations of misconduct by U.S. researchers has reached record highs.  The Department of Health and Human Services received 274 complaints - 50 percent higher than 2003 and the most since 1989 when the federal government established a program to deal with scientific misconduct.  The federal Office of Research Integrity has not been able to keep pace with the allegations; only 23 cases closed last year and only eight people were found guilty of research misconduct. 

The article cites several recent examples of researchers being found guilty in federal courts.  Eric Poehlman, a prominent nutrition researcher, will be sentenced in federal court for fabricating research data to obtain a $542,000 federal grant while working as a professor at the University of Vermont College of Medicine.  He faces up to 5 years in prison.  A Wake Forest University rheumatology professor made up two families and their medical conditions in grant applications to the National Institute of Health.  The article features the story of Dr. Andrew Friedman who was a researcher at Brigham and Women's hospital and Harvard Medical School who faked and made up data for articles and studies he published in medical journals.   He testified, "I created data.  I made it up.  I also made up patients that were fictitious."  He formally confessed, retracted his articles, and was punished.  Currently he is director of clinical research at Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical Inc.  The article attributes one reason for cheating to the tremendous and increasing professional pressure to publish studies. 

Thanks to Lindley Bain for her help with this post.  [tm]

July 15, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

When Insurers Refuse to Cover FDA-Approved Devices

There was a good article on the business (and patient) implications when insurers (public or private) refuse to cover (usually expensive) medical devices despite the FDA's marketing approval.  See Barnaby J. Feder, "When F.D.A. Says Yes, but Insurers Say No," July 6, 2005. The result of such decisions by insurers is that employees with "good health insurance" may find themselve effectively uninsured for 10's of thousands of dollars worth of device costs.  [tm]

July 15, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Drug Company Supplements Cost of Drug with Charity Program

The drug company NitroMed has come up with a complex pricing system for their new federally approved heart-failure drug BiDil, specifically intended for African-Americans.  The N.Y. Times reports that the price of each pill is $1.80, twice as much as some other heart-failure treatments.  This would make the cost of taking pill between $5.40 and $10.80 a day, as most patients will be taking it 2 to 3 times a day.  Approval of the drug came after a research study showed that it reduced mortality by 43 percent over 18 months. 

The company has established a generous charity program to supplement the drug's price in an effort to make the drug more affordable to the 75,000 target patients who have no prescription drug insurance coverage.  Under this program, any patient without prescription drug coverage will be able to get the pill for $25 a month; poor patients without prescription drug coverage will get it for free.   

Dr. Steven Nissen, a Cleveland Clinic cardiologist who led the FDA advisory panel that approved the drug remarked that he was "[disappointed] in the decision to price BiDil beyond the financial means of many patients who might benefit."   Others have said the charity program is just a way to stem criticism for setting the price so high.  On the other hand, David Moskowitz, a financial analysis, compares the system to some welfare models where some people are taxed and others benefit.  He says that "one can look at it as pricing where the company will be subsidizing its patient assistance program with some of the dollars from private insurers and government programs." 

Thanks to Lindley Bain for her assistance with this post.  [tm]

July 15, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Torture and Doctors

The Washington Post ran a question and answer session (online) with  President Bush Sr's phsyician, Dr. Burton Lee, concerning the role of physicians in the torture of detainees abroad.  You can read the question and answer session here.  Dr. Lee is a member of Physician for Human Rights.. 

In further news, this week's New Yorker has a piece by Jane Mayer discussing in more detail the role of physicians and their participation in the torture at Guantanamo Bay. Unfortunately the article is not available on-line but you can read her question and answer session about her piece here.

[bm]

July 15, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Juvenile Mental Health Treatment

HafemeisterThomas L. Hafemeister, Associate Professor and Director of Legal Studies at the Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy at the University of Virginia School of Law has written a new article entitled, "Parameters and Implementation of a Right to Mental Health Treatment for Juvenile Offenders" which appears in the Virginia Journal of Social Policy and the Law, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 61-139 (2004).   The abstract follows:

Awareness is growing of the need for mental health treatment for detained juvenile offenders. This article explores the legal issues associated with the treatment of juvenile offenders with mental health needs who are placed in secured housing. After addressing overlapping terminology that has clouded analysis of this topic, the article reviews the emerging literature on the prevalence of mental disorders among juvenile offenders and the consequences of failing to provide adequate treatment. A discussion follows of the evolution of the juvenile justice system and the guiding concepts relevant to a right to mental health treatment. The article then addresses the status of a right to mental health treatment of these juveniles, including potential bases for this right under the Constitution, federal and state statutory law, and common law. After establishing the existence of this right, its parameters and components are described. Finally, a series of issues are examined that are integral to the implementation of this right: (a) the authority of juvenile courts to order specific mental health treatment, (b) the consequences of a failure by either a juvenile offender or the agency with custody of the juvenile to comply with a court order for mental health treatment, (c) the right of a juvenile offender to refuse mental health treatment, (d) the right of a juvenile offender's parent to authorize treatment, and (e) the transfer of juvenile offenders from a juvenile correctional facility to a mental health facility. This article ultimately identifies the foundation, parameters, and implications of the right of a juvenile offender to mental health treatment.

[bm]

July 15, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Job Opportunity

                           
Program Coordinator,    Center for Health Law and Policy
                                                                                                                                                                                      
Institution:                                                         
Southern Illinois University                   Carbondale
Location:IL - Carbondale
Category:Admin - Other Administrative             Positions
Faculty - Law
Posted:07/12/2005
Application           Due:07/29/2005
Type:Full       Time
      
Administrative/Professional Position
Southern Illinois       University School of Law


Title: Program       Coordinator, Center for Health Law and Policy

Minimum       Requirements: JD or Masters Degree and at least three years of       experience managing, coordinating, and promoting programs for education,       healthcare, or other non-profit organizations.

Preferred       Qualifications: Experience in academic/career advising is preferred.       

Description:       
  • Work under the supervision of the Center's Co-Directors to plan,         coordinate, and promote the programs and activities of the Center.
           
  • Work with the Center's Co-Directors and the School of Law's Director         of Admissions, Media and Community Affairs to provide copywriting and         design concepts for the Center's electronic and print materials.
           
  • Work with the Center's Co-Directors and with the School of Law's         Director of Graduate Studies to recruit students to participate in the         Center's MLS and LLM degree programs.
           
  • Assist in hiring of, and providing administrative support and         supervision to, students and other personnel employed by the Center.
           
  • Help prepare proposals for internal and external funding of specific         projects.

To Apply: Send a letter of application       which details your interests, qualifications and salary requirements,       along with a resume and three references to:

Alicia Ruiz
SIU       School of Law
Mail code 6804
1150 Douglas Drive
Carbondale, IL       62901

Deadline for Application: July 29, 2005

http://www.siu.edu/~affact/jobs.html

July 14, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Medical Malpractice Reform Ideas

Pacific Views blog has an interesting follow-up to the Wall Street Journal's recent article concerning aesthenisates and their malpractice rates.

Kevin Drum of the Washington Monthly has some more thoughts on President Bush's tort reform plans and the potential impact such plans would have on the cost of health care.  He writes,

MEDICAL CARE IN AMERICA....The United States spends about $6,000 per person on healthcare each year. Could we reduce this figure if we adopted the tort reform laws President Bush is touting? Let's roll the tape:

Malpractice awards in the United States amounted to only $16 per capita in 2001, compared with $12 in Britain and $10 in Australia, [a] team at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore found.

[bm]

July 14, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Congratulations!

From the Western New England College School of Law website, some exciting news.  Big congratulations to Professor Noah. 

Barbara_noah_web

Barbara A. Noah has been named to the faculty at the Western New England College School of Law.  Dr. Anthony S. Caprio, College President, recently announced the appointment.  Noah, who joins the School of Law as an Associate Professor of Law, teaches courses in Torts and in a variety of Health Law subjects.

[bm]

July 14, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Death with Dignity

The Diane Rehm show did a segment yesterday on Oregon's Death with Dignity and the legal challenges it continues to face from the Department of Justice.  The guests were: 

Walter Weber, senior litigation counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice

Nico van Aelstyn, litigation counsel for patient respondents in Gonzales v. Oregon

Jack Newbold, cancer patient diagnosed as terminally ill

Diane Coleman, founder of Not Dead Yet, a national disability rights organization opposing legalization of assisted suicide

It was a very informative discussion.  Of course, with the possibility of as many as two new justices on the Supreme Court, the legal outcome of the lawsuit become hard to predict. [bm]

July 13, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Health Care Costs

Matthew Holt, writing on Erza Klein's blog, has an interesting piece concerning the high price of health care in the United States.  He reviews some new studies that reflect the higher prices we pay here for our health services.  He states,

Two studies out. Neither providing exactly new news. I did a study looking at laproscopic cholecystectomy between Japan and the US for my master's thesis in 1992. The result then was that that surgery and basically all health care cost twice as much here, when in those days everything else in Japan (land, food, cars, golf club memberships, hookers) cost twice as much. Outcomes seemed to be similar even though patterns of care were very different overall.

Now a similar study (albeit done in a major journal and not for some punk's masters thesis) is showing the same thing about the costs of CABGs between the US and Canada. They cost twice as much here too. Outcomes again seem to be similar. * * * * *

Finally, in a repeat/update of an article he wrote with Uwe Reinhardt a while back called "It's the prices, stupid" Gerald Anderson shows that we spend more money here, not because of the canards of malpractice or even because we receive more services per capita, but because in general we pay more for the same thing.

The full text is an interesting read.  [bm]

July 13, 2005 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)