A Closer Look at Hospital Competition(Part two of a series. Part one can be read here , and part three can be read here .)


Two parallel movements are making hospitals more accountable in terms of their processes and outcomes: an orientation toward consumers, and an increasing emphasis on quality by the organizations that pay for health care - particularly the federal government.

"We're in kind of a new age," said Dr. Tom Evans, president and CEO of the Iowa Healthcare Collaborative, an organization formed by the Iowa Hospital Association and the Iowa Medical Society. "Transparency wasn't really even germane until recently. We couldn't even define what good health care was until 15 years ago."

Like pirates lurking on the high seas looking for victims, politicians probably wear their best buccaneer smirks whenever a new program to help children becomes accepted into law. And much like a wealthy, unsuspecting merchant ship, children's programs are in constant danger of being pillaged.

"Part D" is a Medicare prescription-drug benefit that began this year to save many senior citizens thousands of dollars, but millions of people will soon enter the "doughnut hole" in which they get no coverage.

At an Iowa Citizen Action Network press conference concerning Part D earlier this summer, retired Davenport senior and Part D activist Jim Hughes said, "This is a hoax, this health-care industry" about the gap in coverage between $2,250 and $5,100 where seniors and disabled people pay for 100 percent of their drug costs. This gap is referred to as the "doughnut hole."

The wireless-Internet, or WiFi, network is available at no cost at Genesis' Davenport, DeWitt, and Silvis campuses. The wireless network allows hospital visitors to get work done at the hospital so they can spend more time with their loved ones, rather than having to go home or to the office.
A new study from New Zealand, published in the Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, raises important questions about the impact of abortion on the mental health of women. Researchers found that those reporting abortion prior to age 21 had rates of mental disorders from age 21 to 25 that were over 1.
Although the Illinois legislature earlier this year passed wide-ranging reforms meant to lower medical-malpractice-insurance rates, representatives of the business community and doctors are advocating for further changes.

Splitting Up

Smart shoppers can't resist a two-for-one sale. But should you purchase prescription drugs the same way you buy canned corn or frozen pizza? For years, people who take daily medications have saved money by asking their doctors to prescribe pills with double the dose they need, which they then cut in half with a knife.
Judith DeSarno does not want to be part of the never-ending abortion debate. "I'm the birth-control gal," said DeSarno, president of the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association in Washington, D.
An e-mail from a 39 year old Wisconsin woman stated she was frustrated because her heavy periods and severe cramps continued despite undergoing a D&C, a trial of progesterone hormone therapy, and multiple doses of ibuprofen.
QUESTION: "Other than abstinence, what can I tell my daughter about safe sex?" D.D. from Davenport. ANSWER: Condoms with education can decrease one's risk for sexually transmitted disease and pregnancy.