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Questions about my finances

December 31st, 2010

1. How much life insurance if any do I get from the state of West Virginia? It looks like an AIG life insurance of $11.70 is taken from my check at the end of the month (Sandy Verna)

2. When does my 401(a) pension from the state of West Virginia vest? I thought Sandy said immediately during orientation but I have a letter from Dave Gorman going over my pension info that says one year. (Sandy Verna)

3. Can I submit more in health savings account receipts than I have actually had withdrawn (Dave Gorman). Ex. I have had $600 withheld but have paid thousands in dental fees that won’t be completely reimbursed. (Dave Gorman – emailed 8/7/08)

4. How do you do receipts when you are submitting the bill from the dentist after paying up front and get a receipt for the total amount due, but then get a partial payment from insurance, so the receipt is not actually what you paid out of pocket. (Dave Gorman emailed 8/7/08)

5. Does my dental insurance come out of my practice plan/UHA or from the state? (Dave Gorman).

6. How do submit receipts to PEIA for health expenses?

7. What is PEIA-INS TS for $18.50 a month deducted for? (Sandy Verna)

Oklahoma Physician Dr. Stephen Wolf Arrested for Son’s Murder

November 17th, 2009

Oklahoma City internist Dr. Stephen Wolf was arrested for the murder of his nine year-old son Tommy Wolf. Police are not releasing details except to say that a knife was recovered at the scene.

Eye Surgeon Dr. Michael Mockovak Arrested in Murder-for-Hire Plot

November 16th, 2009

Dr. Michael Mockovak, an eye surgeon in Seattle, Washington, has been arrested for allegedly hiring a hit man to kill his two physician partners in Clearly Lasik, a medical practice specializing in vision correction surgery. One of his partners, Joseph King, is reportedly now in hiding.

Medical Helicopter Crashes in California Killing Three

November 14th, 2009

Officials from Mountain Lifeflight based in Susanville, California have confirmed that a medical helicopter carrying three people crashed into the mountains north of Reno, Nevada early Saturday morning, killing all three medical and flight personnel on board. The helicopter was returning to its’ base after dropping off a patient at the Renown Medical Center in Reno, Nevada.

NSQIP – National Surgical Quality Improvement Program

November 14th, 2009

NSQIP is a healthcare improvement program designed by the American College of Surgeons and first adopted by the Veterans Health Administration in the 1990s.

Dedicated teams of non-surgeons were selected to gather operative morbidity and mortality statistics. After implementation of the program, morbidity (complications) and mortality (deaths) were decreased 45% and 27% respectively in the VA system.

It has now been widely adopted in non-governmental hospitals to effect better outcomes and to evaluate both individual surgical programs and hospitals as a whole. It allows objective comparisons between hospitals.

One drawback of NSQIP is that it measures outcomes only after patients have undergone surgery and does not capture outcomes data for patients who may be admitted to a surgical service but who do not undergo surgery (e.g., trauma patients.)

Texas Plastic Surgeon Dr. Patrick Proffer Warns Against Fat Grafts for Breast Augmentation

November 14th, 2009

Dr.  Patrick Proffer, a plastic surgeon in Amarillo, Texas, has concernsabout the use of fat grafting, including the formation of cysts, to increase the size of breasts for purely cosmetic reasons.

Texas Patient Trista Joy Lathern Allegedly Fakes Breast Cancer to Get Breast Augmentation

November 13th, 2009

Texas patient Trista Joy Lathern shaved her head and told people who organized fundraisers for her that she had breast cancer. Lathern, who does not have breast cancer, instead used the money to pay for cosmetic surgery to make her breasts larger.

Selenium Deficiency

November 12th, 2009

Selenium deficiency, while not common, does occur in surgical patients, particularly those patients on TPN (total parenteral nutrition.)

Selenium is essential for most tissues in the body and acts as a cofactor in peroxidase enzyme reactions.

Signs and symptoms of selenium deficiency include cardiomyopathy (can be fatal), discoloration of the nails, hyperpigmentation of the skin, vision changes, and loss of neurological function.

Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Robert “Bobby” Satcher Set for Shuttle Launch

November 12th, 2009

Dr. Robert “Bobby” Satcher, a crewmember  on the upcoming  space flight on the space shuttle Atlantis, is set to become the first orthopedic surgeon in space. He is on staff at the Northwestern Memorial Hospital when not pursuing astronaut training.

Women Cancer Patients at Higher Risk of Divorce

November 10th, 2009

A new study just published has shown that 21% of women who receive who are diagnosed with life-threatening cancer go on to get divorced, as opposed to 3% of men who receive a similar diagnosis. The study was conducted by Dr. Marc Chamberlain of the neuro-oncology division at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA).