(AP) An insurer says California insurance regulators are investigating Lap-Band surgery centers for possible fraud. Connecticut-based Aetna, Inc. says it is cooperating in the probe by the law enforcement branch of the state Department of Insurance. The insurer says the state is investigating alleged fraud against Aetna health plan members by the 1-800-GET-THIN Lap-Band surgery centers.
Mike Stobbe, AP Imagine having the feeling that tiny bugs are crawling on your body, that you have oozing sores and mysterious fibers sprouting from your skin. Sound like a horror movie? Well, at one point several years ago, government doctors were getting up to 20 calls a day from people saying they had such symptoms.
Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, AP America may be a technology-driven nation, but the healthcare system's conversion from paper to computerized records needs lots of work to get the bugs out, according to experts who spent months studying the issue. Hospitals and doctors' offices increasingly are going digital, the Bipartisan Policy Center says in a report, but there's been little progress getting the computer systems to talk to one another in order to exchange data like financial companies.
AP) — French authorities have filed preliminary charges against the former head of a now-defunct company accused of supplying potentially faulty breast implants affecting thousands of women. A judge in the southeastern city of Marseille placed Jean-Claude Mas, the founder and former chief of Poly Implant Prothese, under investigation for "involuntary injury," defense lawyer Yves Haddad stated.
A visit to the emergency department during non-summer months was associated with a three-fold risk of acute respiratory or gastrointestinal infection in elderly residents of long-term care facilities, according to a study in CMAJ ( Canadian Medical Association Journal ). The study involved elderly residents of 22 long-term care facilities who visited emergency departments for a variety of conditions, excluding acute respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms.
Ken Ritter, AP A lawyer said Tuesday he's trying to negotiate a plea deal for a New York woman facing felony charges in Las Vegas after being accused of performing illegal eyelift surgeries. Defense attorney James Gallo, representing Jing Qu, made his comments while awaiting a brief appearance before Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Melanie Andress-Tobiasson.
Hansen Medical, Inc. has announced that for the first time ever surgeons at St. Mary's Hospital, part of the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, in London, UK, used the company's Magellan Robotic System to treat a patient with a complex abdominal aortic aneurysm. "This new technology means a broader group of patients might now be operated on," said Professor Nick Cheshire, consultant vascular surgeon and head of circulation and renal sciences at Imperial College Healthcare.
Mike Stobbe, AP Foot and leg amputations were once a fairly common fate for diabetics, but new government research shows a dramatic decline in limbs lost to the disease, probably due to better treatments. The rate has fallen by more than half since the mid-1990s, according to what is being called the most comprehensive study of the trend.
A new study published online in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons finds hospitals participating in a regional collaborative of the American College of Surgeon's National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP), achieved substantial improvements in surgical outcomes, such as reducing the rates of acute renal failure and surgical site infections.
Excluding skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in American men, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Open radical prostatectomy, or removal of the prostate, is a common treatment for the disease, but it carries substantial risks, including incontinence and impotence.
Lauran Neergaard, AP Recent headlines offer a fresh example of how the healthcare system could be subjecting people to too many medical tests — this time research showing millions of older women don't need their bones checked for osteoporosis nearly so often. Many expers also say cancer screening is overused, from mammograms given too early or too often to prostate cancer tests that may not save lives.
Jim Salter, AP A crude new method of making methamphetamine poses a risk even to Americans who never get anywhere near the drug. It is filling hospitals with thousands of uninsured burn patients requiring millions of dollars in advanced treatment — a burden so costly that it's contributing to the closure of some burn units.
(AP) — Shares of Intuitive Surgical, Inc. retreated from all-time highs Friday on what two analysts called disappointment over the number of procedures performed with the company's da Vinci robotic surgical system in the fourth quarter. Intuitive Surgical reported its quarterly results after the market closed on Thursday, showing its profit and revenue beat analyst estimates, and with strong forecasts for 2012.
Don Babwin, AP Dante Autullo was sure he'd merely cut himself with a nail gun while building a shed, and thought doctors were joking when they told him what an X-ray revealed: A 3-1/4" nail was lodged in the middle of his brain. Autullo was recovering Friday after undergoing surgery at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Illinois, where doctors removed the nail that came within millimeters of the part of the brain that controlls motor function.
Margie Mason, AP At 10:25 a.m., a dark brown eye was removed from a man whose lids had closed for the last time. Five hours later, the orb was staring up at the ceiling from a stainless steel tray in an operating room with two blind patients — both waiting to give it a second life. S.