Healthcare Roundup—Chicago hospital staffers reportedly fired for looking at Jussie Smollett records

EHR data sharing
Dozens of employees at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago may have lost their jobs for improperly reviewing medical records. (Getty/andrei_r)

Employees reportedly fired at Chicago hospital for EHR snooping

Dozens of employees at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago may have lost their jobs for improperly reviewing medical records for actor Jussie Smollett, CBS Chicago reported.

Smollett, who is on the cast of the Fox drama "Empire," was treated at the emergency room after he claimed he had been attacked by two men. Smollett has since been charged with staging the incident. (CBS Chicago)

Ohio doctor denies lawsuit allegations that he ordered fatal pain drugs

A doctor accused of ordering excessive pain drugs for dozens of Ohio hospital patients who later died responded to a lawsuit by denying he negligently or intentionally prescribed those medications to end one patient’s life, according to an Associated Press report.

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The attorney for William Husel, D.O., who was fired from Mount Carmel Health System in December, also argued the doctor is immune to the lawsuit under Ohio law. The lawsuit was brought after the September death of Bonnie Austin, 64, and alleged that Husel ordered excessive doses of painkillers to end her life.

In the court filing, Husel’s lawyer is seeking dismissal of the lawsuit, one of at least 23 wrongful death and medical negligence lawsuits filed against Husel and Mount Carmel. The hospital system fired Husel after an investigation in which it found the doctor had ordered potentially fatal drug doses for at least 29 patients over several years. (Associated Press)

New York hospital claims it lost $38 million from Cerner malfunction

A malfunctioning billing system at a New York hospital in 2017 reportedly cost it $38 million.

An audit at Glens Falls Hospital shows the hospital ultimately cut operating costs and laid off employees, but it still ended the year with a $30 million shortfall, according to The Post Star.

The Post Star reported the billing system used by Glen Falls was a Cerner system which has been accused by other hospitals of similar problems. The vendor did not respond to requests for comment by that news organization. (The Post Star)

PBM transparency bill makes it past first hurdle in Georgia House

A bill taking aim at pharmacy benefit managers has passed the Georgia House of Representatives and is now headed to the state Senate.

Sponsored by Rep. David Knight, a Republican, House Bill 323 would require PBMs to report to the state Department of Insurance how much they are receiving in rebates from pharmaceutical manufacturers and how much is not being passed on to patients.

The bill is the latest salvo in the battle for transparency in the pharmaceutical supply chain, but some advocacy groups are saying it is not enough, as the bill would not require the information to be public. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

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