Sunday, June 09, 2013

"60 Minutes" on June 9, 2013

The three stories: doctors being forced to accept patients, Justice Sotomayor, and basilica in Italy.

First, "The Cost of Admission," by Steve Kroft. There was an allusion to a story on HMA i[Health Management Associates] in December 2012. Nancy Alpert was at HMA in Mesquite, Texas. Cliff Cloonan and Scott Rankin were doctors at HMA Hospitals. Cliff Cloonan was at HMA in Carlisle, PA.; MCair. We will admit 20% of patients. Typical for this type of hospital is 10%. Jeff Hamby at Summit Medical Center in northwest Arkansas. Coercion to commit fraud. Arbitrary benchmark. For patients 65 and over, the benchmark was 50%. "Medical misadventures."
Durant, OK. Commercially driven to admit a specific percentage. Money was the chief motivator. Well thought out plan. Pro-MED computer software installed in every emergency room. System ordered a battery of tests that was pre-determined. Scorecard for revenue generation. The minute doctor hit "home" the computer returned with "qualcheck."
John Vollmer: admission policies came from HMA CEO Gary Newsome. HMA Exec VP: Adam Levene. complaints come from ddisgruntled ex-employees. Allegations are exactly wrong. Documents from Durant, OK: shows admission goal of 20%. Paul Meyer, director of compliance with HMA. Former employee of FBI. Meyer says policies based on profit. Dallas Region. Medical Center of Southeastern Oklahoma. Issue of Medicare fraud. Meyer talked with CEO face-to-face. HMA Corporate attorneys edited Meyer's reports. Changed Meyer's write up; labelled as attorney-client-privilege. Levene: we investigate everything that is reported. HMA hired outside law firm to analyze Meyer's reports. Since the Dec. 2012 story by "60 Minutes": Newsome has announced he is leaving HMA. Admissions and profits are down.

HMA is based in Naples, Florida and launched a pre-emptive defense:

\Health Management Associates Inc. organized a last-minute conference call from New York for investors and analysts heading into the weekend, after getting confirmation late Thursday that the segment will air Sunday.

The segment will examine the public company’s admission practices. It will focus on statements by doctors that the hospital chain pressured them into admitting patients “regardless of their medical needs,” according to a tease on the “60 Minutes” website.


Alan Levine, an HMA senior vice president and Florida Group president, said during the conference call Friday that he did an interview with the CBS show in October. He stressed that it’s the patients’ doctors, not hospital executives nor administrators, who make decisions about whether admissions are needed.

“Simply put, administrators cannot and do not admit patients,” said Levine, a former secretary of the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration.


“The headline Sunday is probably going to be worse than the situation actually is,” he said. “You can imagine ‘60 Minutes’ will make it more sensationalized than it needs to be. They are going to be interviewing people who are going to say things that may or may not be true, but if it’s on TV people will think that, ‘hey it’s the truth.’”

HMA managers did a good job during the conference call of sharing data that supports their arguments that they’re above board and not doing anything wrong, he said.

See Naples-based HMA runs defense ahead of '60 Minutes' segment

See also
SEC launches probe into Naples-based HMA

Scott Pelley on Sonia Sotomayor. First airing of story in January 2013. Allusion to Sotomayor beating up enemies of her brother. "Most obstinate person you will ever meet." Some personal need to persevere; to fight the fight.
Appointed to district court by first George Bush. Sotomayor watched Perry Mason on tv. She had type I diabetes. Pack in as much as she could. Scholarship at Princeton; then to law school at Yale. Sotomayor believes there are people who are evil. She married her high school sweetheart. "Sonia from the Bronx." A vibrant, loving, giving community. "My Beloved World." Annual "Dream Big" celebration. There is courage in trying. I gave something to kids. Selena Sotomayor was her mother. In 1972, top of high school class. Got offer from Princeton. Affirmative action. The school nurse questioned "why" Sonia Sotomayor got a possible at Princeton, when the number one and number two students did not. Now, a case from a student at the University of Texas. If you talk about personal experience, some people may think you have made up your mind. "For me, [affirmative action] was a door opener." Selena Sotomayor held Bible at Sonia's swearing in as justice. "Was I capable enough?" "The stubborness to say I'm going to do it, and I'm going to do it well."

Lara Logan on the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain. Anthony Gaudi. The church has been under construction for over 130 years. This is a recycle of a 60 Minutes story in March 2013.


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