Hospital Happenings: Arizona Nurse Shortage Complication, Other News
A selection of hospital news from New York, Arizona, Massachusetts, Texas and Colorado
The New York Times: At Ailing Brooklyn Hospital, Insider Deals And Lavish Perks
Many hospitals in downtrodden areas of New York City and across the state are faltering, raising concerns that a wave of closings will deprive poor people of badly needed care. A three-month investigation by The New York Times into Wyckoff, based on dozens of interviews and an examination of internal documents, offers a sobering portrait of how one such hospital has been undermined by the very people entrusted to run it (Hartocollis, 3/25).
Arizona Republic: Fallout From Nurse Wages Still Being Felt
Arizona hospitals last decade struggled to find enough nurses to fill shifts in critical hospital operations, prompting some hospitals to turn to temporary or traveling nurses to ensure enough medical help for patients. While the nursing market has largely stabilized in recent years as colleges graduate more nurses, hospitals are still grappling with one impact of the nursing shortage -- legal fallout from allegations that a hospital industry group fixed wages for temporary and traveling nurses (Alltucker, 3/24).
The Texas Tribune: Victoria Hospital Won't Hire Very Obese Workers
The Citizens Medical Center policy, instituted a little more than a year ago, requires potential employees to have a body mass index of less than 35 — which is 210 pounds for someone who is 5-foot-5, and 245 pounds for someone who is 5-foot-10. It states that an employee's physique "should fit with a representational image or specific mental projection of the job of a healthcare professional" ... Employment lawyers say Citizens Medical Center's hiring policy isn't against the law (Ramshaw, 3/26).
Modern Healthcare: Empty Threat
Boulder Community Hospital's calculation underscores two competing trends that have raised questions about how many hospital beds the nation needs: demographics and the push to curb health spending by treating patients anywhere but costly hospitals. The equation is complicated by policy changes under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that will expand insurance coverage to millions, should the Supreme Court uphold the law (Evans, 3/24).
WBUR's State of Health blog: Tour With Us: Mass. Unveils $302M State Psychiatric Hospital
Introducing the Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital, on the drawing board for nearly a decade and unveiled for its first media tour on Friday. Its $302 million price tag, officials say, is the highest ever for a state building project that is not a road. ... In a state mental health system eternally plagued by a shortage of services, the new building only consolidates 320 beds rather than adding new ones (Goldberg, 3/23).
Houston Chronicle: Texas Children's Expanding Into Services For Women
Texas Children's Hospital makes a fundamental shift this week, offering adult care on a broad scale for the first time with the opening of its $575 million Pavilion for Women. Officials expect the first baby to be born in the new labor and delivery suites sometime Monday. ... Any pregnant woman will be able to use the hospital's maternity center (Kever, 3/25).