Siemens Overcharged US Government

May 22, 2015

Siemens pays $5.9 million to settle claims it overcharged U.S. government for imaging equipment

May 15, 2015
by Lauren Dubinsky , Staff Writer
Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc. has agreed to pay a $5.9 million settlement to resolve allegations that it overcharged the U.S. government for medical imaging equipment.Between February 2002 and December 2008, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and the Defense Supply Center of Philadelphia (DSCP) entered into an agreement with Siemens called the DSCP Contract. Through that contract, those organizations — as well as the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) — purchased medical imaging equipment and support products.

Our primary focus is International wholesale distribution of Pre-owned Medical Equipment. We specialize in Respiratory Equipment, primarily adult and infant ventilators. All major OEMs supported. Call 703-589-0369.

The government is claiming that Siemens did not provide the DoD with the largest discount for certain purchases under the contract. Instead, it alleges that Siemens gave the biggest discount to a private or commercial customer that purchased a similar product.

The government also states that Siemens withheld information about overcharging. According to a statement from the DoD, when the overcharging was initially revealed, Siemens “issued mass discounts on multiple occasions to address the mis-billing on a prospective basis,” but that only further concealed it from the government.

The VA was also overcharged for certain orders made under the contract that had been converted to a newer model, according to the government’s claim. Some of the orders did not receive the larger discount that pertained to the newer model.

Despite paying the settlement, Siemens “denies any wrongdoing,” says Lance Longwell, director of corporate communications at Siemens. He told DOTmed News in a statement that the company made the payment to prevent further expenses and distractions.

Longwell also stated that Siemens has improved its processes for monitoring government compliance over the years and continues in its unwavering commitment to its customers, “including important government customers, and adherence to all applicable laws and regulations.”

Rural Hospitals Struggle

May 21, 2015

As rural hospitals struggle, solutions sought to preserve healthcare access

On March 31, for-profit Parkway Regional Hospital in Fulton closed its doors after more than two decades of business in southwestern Kentucky. Rural Fulton County’s only hospital employed nearly 200 and accounted for as much as 18% of the town’s tax base.

But inpatient admissions had plummeted 50% over the past four years and Community Health Systems, which owned the 70-bed facility, decided it was no longer economically viable. “Our wheels haven’t stopped turning since the day they announced that the hospital was closing,” said Cubb Stokes, Fulton’s city manager. “We have been having almost daily meetings with some type of healthcare provider.”

Click Here to read the rest of the article

12 Lies You Keep Telling Yourself And Must Stop Now

May 20, 2015


Do you know your lies can become your truth? Yes, they can, if you repeat them long enough and believe them hard enough.

When you allow your dreams to die, your life becomes meaningless, unfulfilling and sad. You are robbed of your joy, your happiness, your gifts and your purpose for being here. Many people live and die and never fulfilled their purpose because they believe the lies others told them.

There are so many people with untapped potential and ingenious ideas who will never realize they do because they were lied to and have accepted those lies as the truth.

That’s what happens when you have been told over and over again that you couldn’t accomplish your goals and aspirations.


Once you believe those lies, they will become self-fulfilling prophesies. They then become your truth.You accept them as the way things are going to be.
Have you ever stop to consider why you are the way you are or why you do the things you do? Many times the lie you were told as a child have taken root and your truth are all lies.

Most of us were lied to as children by adults who told us that we wouldn’t amount to anything. Then, you had no control over how you felt about yourself but as an adult you can change the way you see yourself.
Today is the day to correct all the lies you’ve unconsciously accepted as true and live in your truth. Begin the healing process; start living and thriving to be all you can be. It is all up to you now.
You have to disown all the false assumptions about who you are and what you can or cannot do. These are the lies planted in your head, and you have held on to and made your truth. You now have the power to undo all that you were told, and you need to do so now.
Below are just some of the lies you were told that you now need to think of as lies and to believe otherwise:-

1. They can do that, but you can’t
Think about it seriously, we all have been there and done it. We see successful people and many times said to ourselves they can but not us. Why not you? What separates them from you, but you believe that indeed you can’t. That is a lie, and you need to know it. You need to turn that lie around and say to yourself today – if they can do it ……so can I.

2. In order to do B, I must do A first
How many times we have had dreams of accomplishing something, and we kill those dreams because we’ve been told that in order to do it, we must accomplish something else first. That is another lie you need to dispel. You want to do B, find a way to do B without accomplishing A or work on both at the same time. Chart your path. That’s a lie you have been telling yourself for so long, and you must now stop believing.

3. I do not feel up to it
That is another lie your mind has been telling you for years. You do not allow your feelings to dictate what you can or cannot do. You are in control of how you feel, and if your temporary mood is telling you not to, you need to change that. You are more powerful than your emotions. You control how you feel and when you feel something. You have the power to get yourself into the mood to complete that task.

4. I am too old/broke/young to change
Your financial state or age should never be the reason not to go after your dreams. Never let your age or financial situation keep you from going after what you want. Look around you, there are people of all ages, financial status going out and doing great things. You need to quit believing those lies and go full force after what you want. It is never too late.

5. It is easier said than done
Indeed, it is easier said than done because if it were easy everybody would have done it. That is something you have to understand. Nothing in life worth having is going to come easy. You need to say to yourself that if I want it I must be prepared to work harder than everyone else. You must want it badly enough to do whatever it takes to get it.

6. I am unlucky
That is an excuse we all use for doing the crazy things we sometimes do. There is no such thing as being lucky. Luck is opportunity meeting preparation. You must be prepared to make your luck. You must work hard and be prepared for opportunities when they arise. Sitting back and waiting for things to happen won’t do. Forge your path in life.

7. Life is unfair
Why would you think such a thing? Nobody has been given a guide on life. How do you know what is or isn’t fair? It is life. You need to be able to see things as normal course of life and not that it is working against you. Who defines what is fair and what isn’t? Everybody has challenges, and that includes you. You are no different from anyone else. You need to get used to the fact that things will happen that you do not like, but that is how life is and work with it.

8. Someone else has done it already
Yes, someone else may have invented something or done something that you thought you would be the first to do. That is alright. Why not improve what has already been done? Find new ways to improve people’s lives with the things that are already done. There is no need to reinvent the wheel, but you can find other uses for the wheel or ways to make it better.

9. I am not smart enough
Some of the most creative, intelligent people were written off by others yet they believed in themselves and their ideas and went out and made things happen. You cannot afford to allow others opinions of you to determine what your life will be. All that matters is how you see yourself and what you want to achieve. No one has to believe in your dream but you. Prove them all wrong.
10. Someone told you, you couldn’t
People will always find reasons why you shouldn’t or can’t do something. Many times, unfortunately, that is the way they think about themselves. They use their self-imposed limitations to judge you. Remember your dreams are yours, and it’s no one’s job to see it through but you. You have to want it badly enough to do what it takes to see it through to fruition.

11. I do not deserve better
Unfortunately, too many of us have bought into the lies that we do not deserve happiness. We have adjusted ourselves to accept mediocrity. We do not believe we deserve love because we weren’t loved growing up or worst since our parents were poor that is all we will be. That is one of the biggest lies ever told. You must believe that you are deserving of the best life has to offer and then make the effort to achieve it. You must constantly tell yourself that you deserve everything good and splendid.

12. I am not good enough
If you believe you aren’t good enough then you will never be good enough. You have to remind yourself that the information that was fed to you before were lies. Now you know better you must accept the fact those were lies and that the truth is you are indeed good enough. You have to tell yourself that if anyone is good enough it’s you. You have to start seeing yourself differently. You must first accept that you are different.

We all have been lied to at some point or another in our lives, but as adults we now need to change our thought pattern and make sure that those lies do not become fulfilling prophesies.
You need to believe the opposite of all the lies you have been told. Keep reminding yourself that you can do all things if you put your mind to it and want it badly enough.

12 Lies You Keep Telling Yourself And Must Stop Now

5 thoughts from Kaiser Permanente CEO Bernard Tyson on the future of US healthcare

May 19, 2015

Bernard J. Tyson, chairman and CEO of Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente recently told Fortune he is more optimistic about the U.S. healthcare system now than ever been before, despite the possible dissolution of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and other challenges.

While Mr. Tyson believes the future of healthcare is looking up, he did point out some issues that pose obstacles. Here are five key points from Mr. Tyson’s conversation with Fortune.

1. Medical institutions must shift focus from inputs to patient outcomes. Physician incentives and the fee-for-service model has been “all wrong” for developing a more affordable and effective system because of their emphasis on volume of services provided instead of value, according to Mr. Tyson.

Instead, to encourage an emphasis on value, at Kaiser, provider teams led by physician “quarterbacks” are paid with a flat salary and receive end-of-the-year bonuses if their patients have better health outcomes. According to Mr. Tyson, Kaiser’s patients under the age of 65 have substantially shorter inpatient hospital stays compared with the same population in other U.S. health systems.

2. Changing the way individuals approach their health will change the healthcare system. According to Mr. Tyson, America’s healthcare system today is a “fix-me system” in which patients seek hospital care when they are already ill. This approach is expensive and often too little too late in terms of medical interventions.

In changing the structure of incentives to reward the value of care and population health, medical professionals can become stronger advocates for people in making positive behavioral choices that will influence their health. Kaiser’s providers focus on diet, exercise, tobacco and alcohol use in discussions with patients, and deliver them with a “medical spin” that is effective in communicating their importance and getting patients to take their recommendations seriously, according to Fortune.

3. Embrace email. With a greater push toward population health management comes a greater responsibility for physicians and other providers to maintain more regular communication and support to patients in between and ahead of office visits. While this may seem like an expensive project, it doesn’t have to be.

According to Fortune, in 2014, Kaiser’s physicians conducted approximately 13 percent of the system’s medical appointments, 20 million appointments, as e-Visits via email. Mr. Tyson told Fortune he expects this number to grow. Kaiser is investing in video-conference technology that will improve the delivery of healthcare through digital check-ups, and patients have voiced satisfaction with it so far.

4. The U.S. must make interoperability a top priority. Mr. Tyson identified interoperability — or the lack thereof — as one of the U.S. healthcare system’s biggest inefficiencies. While the implementation of EHRs has the system taking steps in the right direction, too many hospitals don’t even have these capabilities yet, effectively rendering them as patient information islands.

5. The cost of drugs poses a major hurdle for progress. New medical research leading to more effective treatments for various complex conditions, though a remarkable advancement, poses a huge challenge in healthcare because the cost of specialty drugs is so high that patients often can’t afford them. At a system level, the cost of these drugs is unsustainable, Mr. Tyson told Fortune.

CLICK HERE to see the original story

States with Highest and Lowest Earning Physicians

May 18, 2015


Which states have the most Leapfrog ‘A’ hospitals?

May 15, 2015

Out of all the hospitals The Leapfrog Group evaluated for its Spring 2015 Hospital Safety Scores website, Maine had the highest percentage of hospitals that earned a score of “A.”

Leapfrog assigned letter grades to more than 2,500 U.S. hospitals. In addition to new grades for participating hospitals, Leapfrog also released new updates to help patients track hospital safety consistency.

Listed below are the top 10 states, based on the percentage of “A” hospitals each state has compared to the total number of hospitals Leapfrog graded in each state.

1. Maine — 61.1 percent

2. Massachusetts — 51. 6 percent

3. Virginia — 48.4 percent

4. Florida — 46.7 percent

Sign up for our FREE E-Weekly for more coverage like this sent to your inbox!

5. New Jersey — 43.9 percent

6. Illinois — 43.1 percent

7. California — 42.7 percent

8. Wisconsin — 40 percent

9. North Carolina — 39 percent

10. Colorado — 36.6 percent

For reference, the median is 27 percent and the average is 26.1 percent.

Find more information on the spring 2015 patient safety scores here.

Where are the 20 Leapfrog ‘F’ hospitals?

May 14, 2015


While 782 hospitals earned an A grade in patient safety this spring from The Leapfrog Group, many did not perform as well at keeping patients safe and infection-free: 20 hospitals in 10 states and Washington, D.C., received a failing grade.

California and Texas had the most F-graded hospitals with four each, while New York had three failing hospitals. The 20 hospitals are listed, alphabetically by state, below.


  • Antelope Valley Hospital (Lancaster)
  • Western Medical Center of Santa Ana
  • Madera Community Hospital
  • Oroville Hospital

District of Columbia

  • Providence Hospital of Washington


  • Meadows Regional Medical Center (Vidalia)
  • Union General Hospital (Blairsville)


  • Pratt Regional Medical Center


  • Teche Regional Medical Center (Morgan City)


  • St. Alexius Hospital-Broadway Campus (St. Louis)

New York

  • Aurelia Osborn Fox Memorial Hospital (Oneonta)
  • Brookdale Hospital Medical Center (Brooklyn)
  • Cortland Regional Medical Center


  • Van Wert County Hospital (Van Wert)


  • Grady Memorial Hospital (Chickasha)

South Carolina

  • KershawHealth Medical Center (Camden)


  • Christus Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi-Shoreline (Corpus Christi)
  • Memorial Medical Center-Livingston
  • Oakbend Medical Center (Richmond)
  • University General Hospital (Houston)

Find more information on the spring 2015 patient safety scores here.

© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2015. 


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 273 other followers