HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

GAO on Nursing Home Quality and Safety

"Nursing Homes: Despite Increased Oversight, Challenges Remain in Ensuring High-Quality Care and Resident Safety." GAO-06-117, December 28.


January 18, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

SCOTUS Disallows DEA Action Against Oregon Physicians

The Supreme Court this morning handed down a 6-3 decision in Gonzales v. Ashcroft (No. 04-623), the closely followed case that considered whether DOJ and DEA could penalize Oregon physicians who prescribe drugs under the Death With Dignity Act to patients who have stated their intent to commit suicide.  The Justices concluded that the "Ashcroft Memo" rested upon ""authority claimed by the attorney general [that] is both beyond his expertise and incongruous with the statutory purposes and design."  Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Thomas joined the dissenting opinion of Justice Scalia, who wrote, "If the term 'legitimate medical purpose' has any meaning, it surely excludes the prescription of drugs to produce death."


January 17, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Another Case of Fabricated Data

Last month, the esteemed journal Science learned it was punked by Korean stem-cell researcher Hwang Woo-suk, two of whose articles were "unconditionally retracted" by the journal when it was learned that his "breakthroughs" were in fact pure fiction.

Now comes "[a] Norwegian cancer researcher [who] has admitted fabricating data published in a renowned international medical journal, officials in Norway said Saturday." [AP/MyWay]  The strategy director of Norway's Comprehensive Cancer Center states: "'All of it was fabricated. It was not manipulation of real data - it was just complete fabrication.'"  The journal (Lancet) in which the article was published in October 2005 has not yet responded to the story. If the article in question is "Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and the risk of oral cancer: a nested case-control study" (abstract) [The Lancet 2005; 366:1359-1366], there are 14 co-authors of this piece, including researchers from M.D. Anderson and Weill Medical College of Cornell University.  This is going to get very messy. [tm]

January 17, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, January 16, 2006

Diabetes: Series in The NY Times

Last week, the Times ran a 4-day series on diabetes.  In addition to some public-health insights and patient stories, the series included a fascinating article on reimbursement policy and the perverse incentives it creates for practitioners who treat this disease.  Here are the titles and links:

Speaking of health policy and incentives, Paul Krugman does a good job of parsing the numbers in today's op-ed[tm]

January 16, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Top 10 SSRN Downloads

The rankings haven't changed much:

  1. Safe Storage Gun Laws: Accidental Deaths, Suicides, and Crime
    John R. Lott Jr. and John E. Whitley
    American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and University of Adelaide - School of Economics
    Date Posted:May 22, 2000
    Last Revised:June 10, 2002
    Working Paper Series
  2. Abortion and Crime: Unwanted Children and Out-of-Wedlock Births
    John R. Lott Jr. and John E. Whitley
    American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and University of Adelaide - School of Economics
    Date Posted:May 16, 2001
    Last Revised:June 5, 2001
    Working Paper Series
  3. Stability, Not Crisis: Medical Malpractice Claim Outcomes in Texas, 1988-2002
    Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, Vol. 2, pp. 207-259, 2005
    Bernard S. Black , Charles Silver , David A. Hyman and William M. Sage
    University of Texas at Austin - School of Law , University of Texas Law School , University of Illinois College of Law and Columbia Law School
    Date Posted:October 25, 2005
    Last Revised:December 5, 2005
    Accepted Paper Series
  4. What the Publisher Can Teach the Patient: Intellectual Property and Privacy in an Era of Trusted Privication
    Stanford Law Review, Vol. 52
    Jonathan Zittrain
    Oxford University
    Date Posted:March 9, 2000
    Last Revised:June 30, 2000
    Accepted Paper Series
  5. TRIPs, Pharmaceuticals, Developing Countries, and the Doha 'Solution'
    Alan O. Sykes
    University of Chicago Law School
    Date Posted:February 19, 2002
    Last Revised:March 7, 2002
    Working Paper Series
  6. Incentives in Nonprofit Organizations: Evidence from Hospitals
    James A. Brickley and R. Lawrence Van Horn
    Simon School, University of Rochester and Simon School, University of Rochester
    Date Posted:February 14, 2000
    Last Revised:April 2, 2002
    Working Paper Series
  7. Unintended Consequences of Medical Malpractice Damages Caps
    NYU Law Review, Vol. 80, pp. 391-512, May 2005
    Catherine M. Sharkey
    Columbia University - Columbia Law School
    Date Posted:February 17, 2005
    Last Revised:June 1, 2005
    Accepted Paper Series
  8. Bayh-Dole Reform and the Progress of Biomedicine
    Law and Contemporary Problems, Vol. 66, No. 1
    Arti K. Rai and Rebecca S. Eisenberg
    Duke University School of Law and University of Michigan Law School
    Date Posted:November 23, 2002
    Last Revised:February 6, 2003
    Accepted Paper Series
  9. Medical Problems and Bankruptcy Filings
    Norton's Bankruptcy Adviser, May 2000
    Elizabeth Warren , Teresa Sullivan and Melissa B. Jacoby
    Harvard Law School , University of Texas at Austin - Office of the Vice President and Dean of Graduate Studies and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - School of Law
    Date Posted:May 9, 2000
    Last Revised:July 29, 2000
    Accepted Paper Series
  10. The TRIPS Agreement, Access to Medicines and the WTO Doha Ministerial Conference
    Frederick M. Abbott
    Florida State University College of Law
    Date Posted:October 8, 2001
    Last Revised:October 15, 2001
    Working Paper Series


January 15, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Health Affairs: Hospitals & Their Mission

Starting the new year off with a bang, Health Affairs' Jan./Feb. issue is full of material that will keep the rest of us busy reading and digesting.  The theme of the issue is "U.S. Hospitals: Mission vs. Market."  Here is editor John Iglehart's introduction to the contents:

. . . Although hospitals have been remarkably successful in navigating the shoals of the ever-changing U.S. health care system, new pressures lie ahead. Two of the most formidable are multiple forces that seek to eliminate the cross-subsidies sustaining hospitals’ less profitable services and an increasing number of physicians who are shifting their patients to freestanding ambulatory care centers and specialty hospitals in which they often have an investment. The first seven papers in this thematic issue on hospitals are a primer on the issues surrounding cross-subsidization and the way hospitals price their services. . . . No issue has the U.S. hospital community more exercised than the increase in the number of specialty hospitals. These are the latest in a wave of accelerating efforts by physicians to break out of the traditional hospital setting in search of more income and greater autonomy. Four papers here address the issues surrounding for-profit specialty hospitals, which are proliferating particularly in states without certificate-of-need laws.

Four of the articles are free-access:


January 15, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)