KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Police Altercation Over Nurse’s Refusal To Draw Blood May Prompt Reviews Of Hospital Policies

Police requests to draw blood from patients without an arrest, a warrant or consent are common around the country, and staff often go along because they are busy or don't know their hospital's policy. Outlets report on other hospital news from Washington, D.C., Maryland and Florida.

Modern Healthcare: Detective, Nurse Altercation Could Spur Review Of Hospital Policies
In a case that's gone viral, a Salt Lake City nurse endured a police detective's rough treatment, handcuffing, and arrest to uphold her hospital's policy of not allowing police to draw blood from a patient without an arrest, a search warrant, or the patient's consent. The incident is likely to spur hospital administrators to evaluate their policies surrounding police access to patients, said Jennifer Mensik, a nursing instructor at Arizona State University and vice president of continuing education for OnCourse Learning. (Meyer, 9/4)

The Washington Post: Utah Hospital To Police: Stay Away From Our Nurses
The University of Utah Hospital, where a nurse was manhandled and arrested by police as she protected the legal rights of a patient, has imposed new restrictions on law enforcement, including barring officers from patient-care areas and from direct contact with nurses. (Barbash and Hawkins, 9/5)

ABC News: Utah Nurse Who Was Arrested Says Officer Was On A 'War Path'
Alex Wubbels, the Utah nurse who was arrested for refusing to draw blood from an unconscious patient in July, recounted to ABC News how she still is "not safe" since returning to work and believes the cop who arrested her was on a "warpath." The police body cam footage from the July 26 incident instantly sparked a national outcry when it was released last week. (Nestel, 9/4)

The Washington Post: At The District’s Only Public Hospital, Consultants’ Fees Mount — Along With Trouble
The consulting firm Veritas of Washington had been in business just over a year when it won a lucrative contract to salvage D.C.’s only public hospital. Key members of its management team had led a New York hospital that filed for bankruptcy. The District would become its sole client. After the administration of Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) — who received more than $35,000 in political donations from the firm’s founders, family and affiliated companies, campaign-finance records show — authorized a no-bid contract for consultants to stanch financial losses at United Medical Center, Veritas began work for a fee of $300,000 per month. (Jamison, 9/2)

The Washington Post: A Man Died At D.C.’s Only Public Hospital. It Took His Family A Week To Find Out.
Death is routine at hospitals, and so is the process that follows: Doctors and nurses call the dead’s relatives, collect their belongings and store their remains. At United Medical Center, the long-troubled public hospital in Southeast Washington, 70-year-old Bradford Brown’s death was handled differently. His family members said they were not told his life had ended until they tried to visit him a week after the fact and found an empty bed. (Jamison, 9/1)

The Baltimore Sun: University Of Maryland Medical System Takes Ownership Of Prince George's Hospitals 
The University of Maryland Medical System closed a deal Friday to take ownership of a Prince George’s County hospital system so plagued with financial and image problems that two-thirds of county residents went elsewhere for care. The university medical system announced that it has completed an agreement to take over Dimensions Healthcare — which includes two hospitals, an ambulatory care center and two health and wellness centers. Under the agreement, a new entity was created called University of Maryland Capital Region Health. (McDaniels, 9/1)

The Washington Post: Hospitals Discharge Patients With Medicine
As Larry Greer neared the end of a week-long stay at the Washington Hospital Center, he grew anxious. Greer, 57, had suffered a severe leg burn in a hot bath at home in May. Greer has diabetic neuropathy, which reduces feeling in his legs, and he didn’t realize how hot the water was. He received a skin graft at the hospital, where daily doses of oxycodone helped ease the pain. (Kritz, 9/4)

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