Meet the Hospital of the Future (No Double Rooms!)

By Russ Mitchell for Kaiser Health News This story was produced in collaboration with Fast Company. Rarely is nurse Cindy Steckel possessed by fantasies of unspeakable revenge. Toilet design, however, does provoke her fury. Whoever is responsible for the slim-doored, cramped configuration of patient bathrooms in most American hospitals draws her scorn. “I don’t know if there wasn’t such a thing as a walker back then,” she says. “But if I could get my hands on the guy who designed …

“Genius Grant” for Geriatrician Who Helped Cut Hospital Readmissions

A geriatrician known for his work reducing hospital readmissions, Eric Coleman is among the 23 men and women revealed yesterday as recipients of the 2012 MacArthur fellowships. Nicknamed the MacArthur “genius grants,” these fellowships from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation come with an award of $100,000 per year for five years, no strings attached.

The Takeaway: Hospital Lets Artists Paint, Perform to Pay Medical Bills

A Bronx hospital is launching a program that lets artistic patients knock $40 off their medical bills for every hour they spend providing some other “creative activity or service” at the hospital. The Lincoln Art Exchange, at the Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center, is essentially a bartering program where actors, musicians, dancers, writers and visual artists can trade their talents for medical care.

The Takeaway: Personal Care Homes – An Exposé in Georgia Lays Bare the Ugly Truth

Many of us worry about ending up in a nursing home, a fear that surely has to do with the shocking stories we’ve read over the years: neglect and abuse at the hands of caregivers, the inappropriate use of antipsychotics to drug residents into submission or stupor, the lack of adequate oversight by regulators at all levels. Now, from Georgia, comes an equally disturbing look at licensed personal care homes in that state. These facilities – which are little more …

An Appendectomy Costs How Much? $1,500 to $182,000 Study Shows

It was a simple question: How much do hospitals charge to remove an appendix? The answer stunned researchers at the University of California, San Francisco. As the Associated Press reported, the researchers found that California hospitals charge anywhere from the price of a refrigerator to the cost of a house. For this common procedure, patient bills varied from as little as $1,529 to as much as $182,955, with an average of $33,000 — and experts worry that the situation isn’t …

The Takeaway: Hospitals Open Seniors-Only Emergency Rooms

Emergency Rooms of Their Own: A growing number of American hospitals have been debuting emergency rooms designed specifically for older adults, generally those 65 and up. Special accommodations include things like nonskid floors, rails along the walls, extra heating units, thicker mattresses to reduce bedsores and artificial skylights intended to combat “sundowning.”