Eye surgeons are pushing back against a new policy by a major health insurer that would eliminate coverage for anesthesiology specialists during routine cataract operations, forcing ophthalmologists to both perform the procedure and sedate patients and monitor their vital signs. The rule, to be implemented by Anthem Inc., the umbrella company for Empire BlueCross BlueShield in New York, is stoking the ire of eye surgeons on Long Island and beyond. As written, it declares anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists unnecessary during most cataract operations. Anthem asserts that ophthalmologists can perform double duty without jeopardizing patient safety. Cataract surgery involves removing the eye’s natural lens that has become clouded by the disease, then implanting a clear artificial one in its place. In a statement emailed to Newsday, Anthem said its decision is based on providing patients with “high quality, affordable healthcare, including safe and effective medical … [Read more...] about Ophthalmologists push against insurer on anesthesia policy
Two of the state’s most powerful nursing home lobbyists flanked Sen. Karin Housley, R-St. Mary’s Point, last week at a Senate committee hearing as she made her case for a package of reforms intended to protect Minnesota seniors from abuse. Every few minutes, one of the pair stepped to the microphone and launched into a monologue on the strain that each proposal might inflict on nursing homes. And as the hours wore on, the focus of the hearing gradually shifted from preventing elder abuse to the way that new regulation could cripple hundreds of senior care facilities across the state. The scene exemplified the pervasive influence that Minnesota’s nursing home industry exerts at the Legislature, where deep pockets and an army of lobbyists have given it a long-standing reputation for getting what it wants. Yet that influence could face a pivotal test this year: Public alarm over a surge in maltreatment allegations and a scathing report by the state’s Legislative … [Read more...] about Industry lobbyists push back on Minnesota elder care reforms
Half a century ago, Indiana was one of the powerhouses of college men’s swimming. The Hoosiers won six consecutive NCAA titles from 1968-73 under legendary coach James “Doc’’ Counsilman, a run that began a year after Ray Looze was born. “I might be the only person in our program that was alive at that time,’’ said Looze, the Hoosiers’ head coach since 2002. “It’s humbling to see our name up there. It hasn’t happened in a long time.’’ Another night of stellar performances at the NCAA men’s swimming and diving championships kept the Hoosiers on top of the team standings Friday, putting them on the brink of ending that 45-year drought. Indiana got top-three finishes from Ian Finnerty, who won the 100-yard breaststroke; Blake Pieroni, second in the 200 freestyle; Michael Hixon, third in 3-meter diving; and Vini Lanza, third in the 100 butterfly. That powered the Hoosiers to 325 points, 19 more than Texas … [Read more...] about Indiana revives history in NCAA swimming push
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For more than a year, negotiations over Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s major $8.5 billion expansion of O’Hare International Airport were heating up behind the scenes, and on Wednesday they boiled over into full public view as airline executives and city officials accused each other of not telling the truth about various aspects of the plan..As Emanuel formally introduced to the Chicago City Council the blockbuster proposal that includes a state-of-the-art global terminal, dozens of new gates and several additional concourses, American Airlines emerged as the sole airline voicing opposition.American said Emanuel cut a last-minute, secret deal with United Airlines to give the Chicago-based air carrier more gates and an unfair advantage.United called that contention a “falsehood,” and said American was scurrying to make up for gates it lost because of its own business decisions.Aviation Commissioner Ginger Evans sided with United, casting American as unreasonable throughout … [Read more...] about Emanuel vows to push ahead on $8.5B O’Hare expansion as American Airlines decries ‘secret deal’