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BUSINESS
December 19, 2014 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
Nurse Shauna Trapani's patient was a deadweight - literally - the last time she injured her back at work so badly that she had to miss a day of work. Trapani, 35, had to roll a deceased patient from the emergency room at Crozer-Chester Medical Center, where she works, to the hospital's morgue, a trip that involves pushing a bed up a ramp, around a 90-degree turn, and up another ramp. "It's very physical work, and sometimes you just can't do it," said Trapani, who said she has suffered from work-related back pain for a decade.
BUSINESS
December 17, 2014 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
Maybe the boxes of unpaid claims should have tipped off Cynthia Holloway, trustee of the Professional Industrial Trade Workers Union Health and Welfare Fund, situated in an office suite along Route 70 in Cherry Hill. All around the country - in New Jersey, Texas, Louisiana, and North Carolina - employees, presumably covered by health insurance, were going to doctors or hospitals, but their bills were not getting paid. Clearly the fund was in trouble. Financial records were missing, state insurance departments sent cease-and-desist letters, and insurance administrators were calling Holloway to tell her that the fund was not forwarding enough money to pay the claims.
NEWS
December 7, 2014 | By Michaelle Bond, Inquirer Staff Writer
Chester County rolled out a plan Friday to reduce health disparities, increase awareness of its health services, create safe and healthy environments, prevent disease, and coordinate services that address both physical and behavioral health needs. Officials unveiled the Community Health Improvement Plan to about 100 community leaders, county department heads, and others at the Government Services Center. The plan is a culmination of the county's RoadMAPP to Health initiative begun in 2011.
BUSINESS
December 6, 2014 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
Einstein Healthcare Network has agreed to sell its Belmont Center for Comprehensive Treatment to Acadia Healthcare Co. for $35 million, Einstein announced Thursday. The planned sale includes the Belmont Center, a 147-bed facility on Monument Road, plus a treatment facility in Northeast Philadelphia and an outpatient center for the elderly in Germantown. Belmont behavioral-health facilities - treating psychiatric disorders and addictions, for example - employ 450, who are expected to be hired by Acadia, according to Einstein.
NEWS
December 3, 2014 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - Toll-free phone lines were jammed, and low-income workers streamed into sign-up sites as enrollment opened Monday for expanded health insurance coverage under Medicaid. An estimated 600,000 people - most working at low-wage jobs - are eligible for Medicaid through Healthy PA, the state's alternative to Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. First-day enrollment numbers were unavailable, Kait Gillis, a spokeswoman for the Department of Human Services, said at the end of the day. Even late in the day, callers to the state's toll-free line were told to call back later because of the high volume of calls.
NEWS
December 1, 2014 | By Francesca Serritella, For The Inquirer
They say one healthy choice leads to another. So it seemed fitting that I discovered a health-food store on the way home from my new gym. The store is Health & Harmony, and to pass through its doors is to enter the rabbit hole of rabbit food. I don't mean Kashi cereal or that Greek yogurt John Stamos sells. Uncle Jesse is for amateurs. This was some next-level, Goop.com kind of stuff. The dairy aisle isn't hemmed in by the confines of a cow. There's almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk, Tofutti cream cheese, anything but milk from a mammal.
NEWS
November 30, 2014 | By Art Carey, For The Inquirer
The name of our town is West Norriton, 40 degrees north latitude, 75 degrees west longitude. Population: about 16,000, give or take a few hundred. It's just across the border from Norristown, the Montgomery County seat. Down there, at the bottom of that sloping cornfield, is the hospital for those with urgent psychiatric troubles. Goes by the name of Montgomery County Emergency Service, MCES for short. Our story begins last spring with a team-building staff retreat. Leading it is Gabriel Nathan, an enthusiastic young man with a theatrical background.
NEWS
November 30, 2014 | By Robert Calandra, For The Inquirer
It took Holly Phares 27 days and 20 hours to enroll in health insurance during 2013's disastrous rollout of the Affordable Care Act website. She doesn't expect a repeat of her slog through last year's cyber hell. But the choral director for Tabernacle United Church in West Philadelphia will be shopping the marketplace for a better deal rather than simply reenrolling in her Independence Blue Cross platinum PPO. "They say there are twice as many choices" in the marketplace, says Phares, 51. "I'm just not going to stick with Blue Cross.
NEWS
November 30, 2014 | By Stacey Burling, Inquirer Staff Writer
When Stephen Holt came to Philadelphia to run the Visiting Nurse Association of Greater Philadelphia nearly a quarter-century ago, home health care was a "land of paper and pencil. " His staff had no GPS systems, laptops, or cellphones. Nurses did all their records and billing by hand, and had to call coworkers by landline. Now, as Holt prepares to retire Dec. 31, his nurses carry laptops, and can easily see what therapists and other practitioners have done with patients. "The nurse admits the patient at the bedside and pushes a button, and the billing starts," said Holt, 66. He is still so remarkably enthusiastic about his work that it's reasonable to wonder if he's ready to retire.
NEWS
November 23, 2014 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - In the latest in a string of litigation defeats for Gov. Corbett, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordered the administration to reverse course on plans to close one-third of the state's county-based health centers. In its ruling late Thursday, the court sided with union-backed nurses and ordered the Corbett administration to halt what it called the "unlawful closing" of centers primarily in rural areas as part of a reorganization and cost-saving effort. Officials with SEIU Healthcare PA said it was a victory for public health services in a state that trails many others in the number of rural health professionals and funding levels.
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