Once the “Red Sox hospital,” now a nursing home, Sancta Maria in Cambridge to close.

The Cambridge Chronicle has a nice story on the hospital’s history, along with some photos of the nuns who worked there.

CaptureShortly after its founding in 1948, Sancta Maria Hospital earned the nickname “the Red Sox hospital” because of the number of players who received care there. Initially located on Memorial Drive in Cambridge, a little more than a mile across the river from Fenway Park, the hospital provided a convenient place for treating players’ injuries and ailments.

The nuns on staff, members of the Daughters of Mary of the Immaculate Conception, would receive a call from a team doctor or trainer asking, “Is our room empty?”, according to a 1949 Boston Globe article. The nuns would start preparing “the Red Sox room,” described as a “pleasant, blue room with large open fireplace and cheery floral hangings.”


Should #guns be allowed in #hospitals? Is there any way to keep them out?

B0000200Should hospitals be gun-free zones? Another shooting — this one at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire — is a reminder that they are not. Some think they should be. That can be difficult given the quasi-public nature of hospitals.  Others disagree, saying that there should be no-gun free zones.

Earlier this summer, the Brooklyn shooter was a doctor. 

Here, it was the hospital security guards.

In Philly, a doc shot back after a patient shot a case worker and came for him.

In Boston, a man fatally shot his mother’s doctor.

As this 2015 story notes: 

While a federal law bars guns from schools, state laws regarding guns in hospitals vary. In some states, including Texas, hospitals are designated gun-free zones.

But some lawmakers, like Texas State Representative Drew Springer, don’t think banning guns will stop criminals from shooting in health care settings. He introduced a bill in the past legislative session that would have allowed staff and family to bring firearms into hospitals for self-defense. The bill expired with the session, but he plans to keep pushing the issue.

“The gun-free zones do not stop the crazies who are going to commit these actions,” Springer says, noting that they only prevent people at the hospitals from defending themselves. He says his district includes some rural hospitals that have limited security staff. Also, several nurses have told him that want to take their guns to work for protection.


More here from SciAm

Under #ACA and #IRS rules, hospitals to play larger role in public health #NEU

Gary Young, director of the Northeastern University Center for Hstate houseealth Policy and Healthcare Research in Boston spoke to me for my quality column in Health Leaders Media this week.  The column looked at the role social services play in promoting health.

He said the Accountable Care Act’s  Community Health Needs Assessment requirement is intended to integrate hospitals more tightly into the public health Infrastructure. They’re already required to  demonstrate “community benefit” spending to the IRS.  Compliance with that requirement is spotty.

As it is, Young’s research team recently reported wide variation in community benefit spending by hospitals. 

“Hospitals have always been focused on treatment and not prevention and promotion,” Young says. “That’s what they’ve been paid to do. From a cultural standpoint, that’s the orientation of hospitals. “

They do not have the infrastructure—intellectual or material—to deal with community health, he says. However, they are facing a paradigm shift.  

Boston Globe on nasty #nursinghomes and #hospital #Medicare savings

Two stories of note in the Globe today, one on nursing homes and the other on Medicare.

From Kay Lazar. On front page but need to poke around the webpage to find it:

indexThe adult diapers supplied by the new owners at New England Health Center, a nursing home in Sunderland, were so flimsy they left elderly residents soaked in urine. A representative from the state ombudsman’s office insisted that the owner of the nursing home, a company called Synergy Health Centers, buy a better brand.

At Braemoor Health Center in Brockton, which had a blemish-free state review before Synergy took over, health inspectors have been summoned three times in the past year. They found lax infection control, among other concerns, and the nursing home was ordered to make improvements.

Synergy’s expansion in Massachusetts has been rapid — the chain has purchased 10 nursing homes since December 2012 — and with the expansion have come complaints.

On Medicare saving for everyone but Partners.

downloadFour Massachusetts health care organizations saved nearly $150 million in Medicare costs by coordinating care for patients and working to keep them healthy and out of hospitals, according to a federal report.

Those organizations — Beth Israel Deaconess Care Organization, Steward Health Care System, the doctors group Atrius Health, and the Mount Auburn Hospital doctors association — accounted for more than one-third of the nearly $400 million in Medicare savings nationwide under a pilot program that is testing a new system for delivering and paying for services.

A fifth Massachusetts health system participated in the pilot, but Partners HealthCare, instead of saving Medicare money, cost the program $17 million, according to the report.

The Boston Globe series that Steward Health took to court — before the stories ran

The Globe’s narrative story about one man’s struggles with his mental health care is running this week. And the company that runs one of the hospitals where he was treated was not allowed to read it first.ssLast week:  

A Suffolk Superior Court judge ruled Thursday that Steward Health Care System has no right to review the reporting or records collected by The Boston Globe for a yet-to-be-published article about a man’s journey through the mental health care system.

Judge Jeffrey Locke said the for-profit health care company may comment broadly to the newspaper and answer limited questions on the patient’s care without violating medical privacy laws.

Steward, in a suit filed against the Globe Wednesday, asked the court to permit release of the patient’s private medical records, which the company said it needed to rebut a Globe story that is scheduled to be published this weekend.

The hospital chain also served papers to the man profiled in the story. Read the full story above a full run-down of the legal contortions hospital lawyers performed to argue that they were not going after the patient or trying to repress the story.

This is more about more than a thin-skinned story subject.  Health care reporters seeking comment or information for stories can come up against overly broad interpretations of patient privacy laws.  Worth watching.

Finally, a question: What would The Cheescake Factory do? 


Hospital closures: “Survival of the fattest”

No. Grove St. Today. Note street sign.

Some say the health care system could stand to shrink a bit. Here, Alan Sager of BU uses the sudden closure of North Adams Regional Hospital to argue that the wrong hospitals are closing.  Hidden on the Globe letters page:

Over half of the Massachusetts hospitals open when John F. Kennedy was elected president have now closed. Not one that closed was a major teaching hospital. Heavy reliance on teaching hospitals helps explain our state’s extraordinarily high hospital costs. The pattern of closings may be partly responsible for that reliance.

Some might suppose that a functioning free market protects needed and well-run hospitals while closing unneeded and inefficient ones. Sadly, that pattern seldom prevails. Low-cost, efficient hospitals are not likelier to survive. But hospitals in wealthier places, with more patients insured by higher-paying insurers, rarely close. Some call this survival of the fattest.

More good work from the Globe health desk here:

 Are cardiologists refusing to follow new cholesterol recommendations?