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Another Nobel Laureate Exposes AIDS Clerics

As if Nobel Laureates Walter Gilbert, Kary Mullis, Linus Pauling and 2600 other nominees, investigators and scientists weren’t enough, 2008 Nobel Laureate Luc Montagnier MD has broken ranks to expose HIV and AIDS as little more than a pharmaceutical marketing scam. As one of two alleged co-discovers of HIV, how clerics like John Moore and others defend themselves from Montagnier’s charges will be interesting to see.

Montagnier: We can be exposed to HIV many times without being chronically infected… our immune system will get rid of the virus within a few weeks if you have a good immune system.

Brent Leung: If you have a good immune system then your body can naturally get rid of HIV?

Montagnier: Yes.

Brent Leung: If you take a poor African who’s been infected and you build up her immune system is it also possible for them to also naturally get rid of it?

Montagnier: I would think so… It’s important knowledge, which is completely neglected. People always think of drugs and vaccine.

Brent Leung: There’s no money in nutrition, right?

Montagnier: There’s no profit, yes.

While the documentary House of Numbers (HON) continues to shock audiences around the world, pharmaceutical marketers continue to incite the gay inquisition against the film and those who promote it. As described in previous reports, most of these crystal meth radicals are supported by the makers of HIV tests and drugs and predators like George Soros who exploit them.

In many ways, HIV has become the de facto religion of the radical gay movement that parades under the pretext of human rights – as if cross-dressing, gay sex and crystal meth somehow equate to the abolition of slavery.

The AIDS Church requires believers to evangelize Robert Gallo’s unproven assumptions about HIV (1, 2, 3, 4) and subject themselves to a baptism of HIV tests. Once confirmed, believers receive a sacramental cocktail of highly addictive psychotropic drugs and DNA inhibitors so that members can suffer and die for their church just like Jesus.

Thankfully, the vast majority of men and woman (gay and straight) know better than to subject themselves to the church’s social marketing schemes – which may be why the Academy of Education Development and pharmaceutical companies are now paying ex-celebrities like Blair Underwood and Magic Johnson to target their own vulnerable communities.

Montagnier and Gallo are only two of the highly paid clerics who make fools of themselves throughout the documentary. It would be comedic, except that these clerics are complicit in the deliberate and unnecessary sickness and death of millions around the world – drug-caused mortality that continues to be used to perpetuate a fake epidemic that the American Medical Association cannot substantiate.

Years from now, researchers and students will watch recordings of those clerics with the same fascination we now share for humanity’s other historical monsters. Our amazed progeny will ask themselves, “How could millions of people around the world fall for such a transparent lie?”

Coming to a film festival near you.

House of Numbers: Stunning!

“A stunning piece of filmmaking!”

That’s what Canadian filmmaker and Raindance Film Festival founder Elliot Grove said this week about Brent Leung’s documentary House of Numbers. Having worked on 68 feature films and over 700 commercials, Grove knows what he’s talking about.

Objecting to the wasted resources and union bureaucracy that prevents aspiring filmmakers from getting their features off the ground, Grove moved to London in the late 1980s and launched the Raindance Film Festival in 1993 – a festival devoted to independent filmmaking and its emerging talent. He has written books about, and lectures on, screenwriting and filmmaking throughout the UK, Europe, North America and Japan. In 1992, he set up the training division of Raindance, which offers nearly two dozen evening and weekend master classes on writing, directing, producing and marketing films.

After the film’s screening, Grove said:

I’ve just come out of screening of House of Numbers Brent Leung’s film… I hadn’t seen it until now. I was a bit skeptical because of all the furor around the film that has swirled around Raindance, but I’ve gotta say that it was just a stunning piece of filmmaking…

In another coordinated attack on free expression, the pharmaceutical industry’s marketing goons tried to pressure Grove into spiking the film:

We were flooded with hate mail, emails, legal letters couriered from the States from all sorts of people threatening us and accusing us of being prissy and smug about showing this film obviously from people who obviously hadn’t seen it accusing this film of being an “AIDS denialist” film and I’ve just seen the film and it’s obviously not an “AIDS denialist” film at all. It’s just a brilliant piece of filmmaking – journalistic filmmaking which, anyone who takes the time and effort to see it should completely re-examine their view of the whole AIDS/HIV question… I think history is gonna be re-written or should be re-written and perhaps this… film is one of the first steps.

This explains why the makers of deadly AIDS drugs and dangerously unreliable testing kits are so fearful of Leung’s film. Grove wasn’t deterred:

Regardless of the topic… as the way the film was put together, the journalistic approach and the skill of the filmmaking, the post-production, the music and everything reminded me of a British documentary… called Man on Wire… I’ve got to say that Brent’s film, House of Numbers was right up there – and Oscar season isn’t far away… It’s extreme, it’s honest… a really good piece of filmmaking.

Hollywood Gumshoe has posted more on the film here.

Nursing Union Buster or Bête Noire?

Imagine finding flyers posted all over a hospital sounding the “alert that a professional union buster was on site”, and that flyer used to identify a nearly 70 year old great grandmother who has to use an electric scooter to get around.  What power this person must have to send the California Nurses Association (CNA) in paroxysm’s of fear and panic and to engage in their usually tactics of lies and misinformation.  I was met with just such exhibitions fear-mongering and hysteria by CNA recruiters, representatives and supporters when I made a recent visit at the invitation of a fellow nurse from Cy-Fair Hospital in Houston.
Their flyer identified me as a professional union buster, which I guess is a recognition of how much they fear my presence; but truth be told I’m not a professional union buster, and in particular I’m not a nursing union buster.  The CNA and many other pro-union people love to use the word union-buster since it tends to invoke images of a Simon LeGreed character replete with requisite black hat and clock and evil laugh.
I have nothing against unions for the blue-collar worker, but I’m far from convinced that professionals such as registered nurses need unions to represent them.   So when nurses contact me for my opinion and advise about how to speak for themselves I am always happy to help my fellow RN in advocating for our profession and for themselves.  I’m happy to help in the effort of showing nurses they can and do have a strong voice as both an individuals and as a group without paying a nursing union dues of upwards to $80.00 a month for the favor.
In the case of two recent nursing union attempts, one nursing staffs attempt to stay free from the CNA and one nursing staff attempt to decertify from the CNA.  As fate would have it, I was in a position where I could help both in spirit and in person so I did.  At the first hospital my fellow nurse and I found CNA representatives playing shenanigans with hospital elevators so that the floor where a “No to the CNA” nurse had been given a meeting room was locked out.  This malfunction only affected the one floor that we had to reach on both days, what a coincidence.  You may wonder why I think CNA representatives capable of such underhanded techniques.  Simple, I still haven’t forgotten a CNA strike in the San Fernando Valley where pro-CNA nurse locked out much need medical equipment, hiding/destroying manuals, etc., so that the relief nurses were hard pressed to provided nursing care to patients many of whom were in intensive care; and the CNA strike was suppose to be all about their concern for patient safety  — go figure!  And at the second hospital I got treated to the experience of being stalked by not one, not two, but upwards to three CNA representatives at a time.  The situation became of such concern that hospital HR and security had to become involved; but I guess I should feel honored that the CNA felt the need to have so many people watching my every move.
Whether or not nurses chose a union to represent them or not should be up to the nurses themselves but this seems to rarely be the case these days.  As in the case of the Tenet Healthcare/CNA neutrality agreement Houston nurses that had opposing views to the CNA material, propaganda or message had no one to turn to; at least that’s what the CNA representatives thought, except they overlooked a grassroots network of informed RNs that were available for these nurses to reach out to; which they did and we responded.  One would think that the CNA representatives would be excited to learn that nurses were empowering one another, oh that’s right it only counts if the nursing unions are doing the empowering.    So sorry, we didn’t get that memo. One would also think that the CNA would invite and encourage an open and lively discussion about the benefits of a nursing union, but they couldn’t be bothered to even accept the invitation extended by one group of nurses to present their viewpoint in an open debate.  Instead they skulked about passing out flyers full of misstatements and lies since it so much easier to insult the intelligence of nurses rather than respect them.
In the case of the flyer they suggested that the nurses ask me a set of questions, and I responded with an open letter.  One pro-CNA nurse chose to mark up my open letter with graffiti instead of addressing me nurse to nurse.  But then again it’s become common practice for pro-nursing union nurses to engage in such childish behavior.  It’s a sad day when our honorable profession is marred by such immature behavior.  However, I see these as indicators of how much the organizational structure of the CNA fears nurses who chose to take back or carry on with their own voice.  In the past several years their membership has been declining (their last official report in 2008 has their membership at just over 72,000 almost a full 8,000 or 13,000 drop depending on which CNA official report you read).  I think it’s this drop that has them scrambling for new members in the other 49 states.
But in some parts of our country nurses don’t want anything to do with them, and even when Tenet handed the CNA the proverbial keys to the kingdom providing CNA organizers unfettered and unprecedented access to RNs on the floor, scheduling information and even home addresses and telephone numbers; the CNA has found resistance to their siren song.  They couldn’t even gather enough cards at Park Plaza and Northwest Hospitals in Houston to even call an election and they slunk out of Houston so quietly that few even knew they had abandoned their organizational efforts.  They accused one, that’s right ONE, nurse of trying to take away the union at Cy-Fair Hospital.  What power this one nurse must have, I guess the well over 30% of eligible nurses that signed decertification cards meant nothing, it was all that one nurse’s fault.  And this morning we learned that Hahnemann Hospital (another victim of the nefarious Tenet/CNA neutrality agreement) had rejected the union.  The CNA had such access to the RNs at Hahnemann that nurses that opposed the CNA had to get the NLRB to intervene just so they could get a meeting room in the bowels of the hospital and finally a table in the cafeteria (shortly before election day) and the union spokespeople whined that this was unfair.
So if our network of nurses, and me, in particular can help our fellow nurses when confronted with such behavior and that makes us professional nursing union busters in the eyes of the union then I guess that’s a cross we’ll just have to bear.  I see it as the desperate actions of an organization that knows that people have begun to look behind the curtain that is the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee and they don’t like what they see.  The more they howl about RNs empowering each other the more I know that I’m their bête noire and that’s a role I think I shall relish.
Geneviève Clavreul RN Ph.D is President and Founder of the National Nurses Professional Association.  She also blogs at The Nurse Unchained.

Soros Goon Attacks Dead Mother with Dead Baby

After decades of decline, the war on infectious disease was all but over by 1981. Faced with severe budget cuts, scientists had to make up a pandemic or sell shoes at Macy’s. So when a tiny group of gay men succumbed to their toxic misbehavior the scientists had their pretext.

After nearly three decades of self-serving research and a trillion wasted tax dollars, AIDS has never been identified as a leading medical cause of death and two large prizes for proof of HIV and AIDS causation remain unclaimed.

In the latest sign that the wheels are falling from NIAID’s little red propaganda wagon, Apartheid’s mercenary offspring are starting to get reckless.

In the past 45 days I have reported that:

Because of these revelations, investors who support groups like TAC and AIDSTruth are pressuring other financially-compromised university researchers like Seth Kalichman, Steven Siegelbaum and Cornell’s John Moore to promote the propaganda.

In the latest attack, TAC-funder George Soros directed Jonny Steinberg (one of Soros’ well-paid but scientifically incompetent South African shills) to propagandize AIDS in the pseudoscientific magazine New Scientist. Soros appears to have chosen Steinberg and NS for the same reasons that Gallo picked a security guard to investigate his career in HIV research.

NS’ reporting is so sloppy that when science fiction writer Greg Egan noted its combination of a sensationalist bent and a lack of basic knowledge by its writers, the editor admitted that NS is “an ideas magazine (that writes) about hypotheses as well as theories.” Unfortunately, NS rarely makes that distinction for readers who must speculate about the accuracy of its reports and the qualifications of its guest writers.

Like Nick Kontaratos, Kalichman, Bergman and the rest, Steinberg parrots the milk-fed propaganda – this time blaming the death of Christine Maggiore and her daughter on her scientific skepticism. It was no surprise that the truthers reflexively praised Steinberg – just as Gallo’s esteemed scientists praised Gallo’s security guard.

This incompetence was NOT an “accidental oversight” by NS.

Although the story and shills like Kalichman and truther Nick “Snout” Bennett accused Maggiore of killing her baby (160+ comments now), investigative journalist Liam Scheff posted a comment that NS viewed as unfit for its pages.

Ask yourself what was inappropriate about Scheff’s remarks?

I am wondering why the writer, Jonny Steinberg, focuses on one mother, who may have simply been a bad mother, or someone who didn’t know much about health, instead of focusing on the dozens to hundreds of deaths buried in the AIDS drug Uganda trials?
Or in the death by AIDS drug of tens of thousands of people over the years, as the drugs have been cycled down and down and down in dose, (often to no improvement in health, that is they still kill the patient)?
Mr. Steinberg, will you try, for your next article, to contact Jonathan Fishbein, who lost his job and career for blowing the whistle on the NIH fraud in Uganda? Will you talk to the family of Joyce Ann Hafford, who was killed by Nevirapine, or by anyone whose friend or relative died on any AIDS drug?You paint a one-sided picture, and it reeks of pay-for-play. You have no previous articles in New Scientist, and one is left to wonder what your motives are?
The political attack arm of the AIDS industry infiltrates media and creates smear campaigns in order to deflect from the hundreds and thousands of tragedies, errors and crimes perpetrated by the AIDS pharma industry, in selling its wares to the public.
Journalism is supposed to serve the public good by putting a light on the dishonesty of institutions. You have uncovered, badly, what was already in public view – a woman with some health issues and many enemies has died. There are sufficient political reasons to think that she was killed, but that question is never raised.
She was hounded by the AIDS pharmaceutical industry, and many prayed loudly and openly for her demise and downfall, and death, for over a decade.What effect will that have on a human body?

I do not have the details necessary to answer the questions of Christine Maggiore’s fitness or lack of fitness as a parent. I would say she was perhaps too zealous or highly naive in taking such a political stand against such a juggernaut.

On the other hand, please see the cases of the tens of thousands who died on high dose AIDS drugs in the 80s and 90s. Please review the Uganda trial. Please review the case of Joyce Ann Hafford, among others, and put some perspective in your histrionic and political article.

Dangerous words indeed.

In this case, NS found it easier to kill Scheff’s comment than admit their magazine posts unproven and unscientific hypotheses and theories.

If HIV/AIDS was a scientific disease, the proof would speak for itself. But as a political disease, US Government agencies like NIAID refer inquiries to AIDSTruth in the land of Apartheid, where the mountains of Africa’s dead miners continue to grow. So much is at stake that hedge fund managers like Soros now pay the offspring of Apartheid to beat the dead woman with her dead child.

The role of the Ford and Tides foundations and Soros Hedge Fund also explains why pro-Soros websites like Huffington, Daily Kos, TruthOut and MoveOn entirely ignore this 30-year controversy and their complicity in the mine-related genocide of Africa’s poorest and most vulnerable people.

Is Healthcare Asleep at the Wheel?

Dateline: Redding California, 2002 – A jetliner carrying 700 passengers crashed into Mount Shasta killing 69 and injuring most of the remainder. Pilot error caused the crash. The FAA ignored the incident.
If this story were true, we would be outraged and demand a full government investigation of the FAA’s negligent failure to investigate. Yet the story is partially true: all the “passengers” were patients at Redding Medical Center in Redding, California between 1993 and 2002. The two “pilots” were Drs. Fidel Realyvasquez, a cardiac surgeon, and Chae Moon, a self-proclaimed cardiologist.
In late 2002, the FBI “busted” this conspiracy of negligence. The two physicians have lost their license to practice in California.  The hospital administrators who helped hide the doctors from public scrutiny have relocated to foreign countries to find work.
But “busting” the “bad guys” for unnecessary heart procedures and surgery on healthy patients was not good enough for my team, or for the people, so we set out to discover how this gross and near criminal medical negligence could possibly be tolerated for 10 years at a well respected, accredited, and licensed hospital.
Based on our investigation and report gleaned from public documents and private testimony, we found that government officials failed to enforce our laws: laws necessary to assure hospitals are safe for the public.
Both State and federal health care officials knew as early as 1999 that RMC and its medical staff could not assure patient safety for cardiac services. These officials knew the hospital and medical staff provided no oversight or review of the quality of care provided by Moon and RV. In fact, both of these physicians were in charge of their own reviews. Moreover, our main hospital accreditation organization, the Joint Commission, also knew in 1999 of the danger Moon and RV posed to patients because their patient care services were hidden from review by their peers. The JC accredited RMC anyway. The first peer review provided for Moon and RV was performed by outside medical experts hired by the FBI in 2002.
Now that we know hospital peer review requirements are not enforced, the California legislature refuses to give our enforcement agency, Licensing and Certification, the power it needs to enforce our laws.
Professional stakeholders, but not the public, oppose law enforcement penalties that would compel effective peer review. L&C does have the power to impose fines of $50,000 to $100,000 against hospitals for allowing imminent danger to patients. But the absence of peer review is not an imminent danger, even though hundreds of patients can be harmed over time.  Patients at many California hospitals are vulnerable to unmitigated medical negligence which can only be prevented by brave conscientious physicians who have the professional courage to voluntarily identify physicians who allegedly endanger patients and hold them accountable through the peer review process. In hospitals where peer review is absent or ineffective, there is no mechanism to cull out negligent physicians until after many patients are damaged.
When peer review is properly performed, suspected physician errors are discovered timely, through analysis of various triggers, such as unexpected return to the operating room or unexpected blood loss. Promoted by these triggers, specific patient cases are reviewed by other physicians at the same hospital. The care provided may be acceptable or problematic. If physician negligence is discovered, corrective action is taken. A physician may be instructed to take more education, limit performance of certain services, or could be discharged from the medical staff for egregious acts. The result is safer care for future patients.
The California Legislature ordered a report on California peer review and hired Lumetra, a private company to write it. Lumetra published its report in 2008. Lumetra found that peer review in California is unacceptable, inadequate, and ineffective: patient safety cannot be assured. RMC is the “poster child” for what goes wrong too often. Now, seven years after the FBI “busted” Moon and RV, and after the Department of Justice and CMS kicked RMC out of the Medicare Program, our peer review laws remain unenforced throughout California. 
In the 2009 legislative session, the California Legislature has taken up the peer review issue (SB 58, SB 700, AB 120, AB 245, and AB 834). But current proposals will not enact penalties L&C requires to enforce our laws. Experts believe L&C needs the power to impose intermediate sanctions against hospitals and medical staffs for repeat failure to conduct peer review. Currently, the only power L&C has is to revoke the license of the entire hospital, which the Agency rarely does. By contrast, intermediate sanctions could remove the license of a hospital for certain elective services only in those clinical departments (e.g. cardiac services) where peer review is not provided or is ineffective on repeat audit. With this power, a negligent hospital and medical staff would face huge financial losses and, therefore, would provide the missing peer review immediately. Without the enforcement power of intermediate sanctions, hospitals and medical staffs can continue to flaunt our laws knowing the State has no power to enforce them.
In other words, currently peer review is self-administered, not audited for effectiveness, and when not done, there is no power to enforce the requirement. Self-administered peer review in hospitals works as well as self-administered regulation compliance did on Wall Street in 2008. Doctors who need help are not identified, and future patients continue to suffer the consequences.
In 2009, patient safety will remain a goal, not a reality; except, perhaps, in a few self-proclaimed centers of quality. To change this unacceptable situation, you must write to your California legislator and demand enactment of intermediate sanctions to enforce the peer review laws in California.
Good luck next time you are admitted to a hospital in California. You will need it because patient safety cannot be assured. It is safer to fly.
Dr. Rogan is a family and emergency physician who served as the Medicare Medical Director in California from 1997-2003. In 2002, he assisted law enforcement with the RMC investigation. Currently, he is an
independent consultant to health services companies.
 

SSI Member Gil Mileikowsky Wins Major Court Victory

SACRAMENTO 6 Apr 09 – The California Supreme Court issued a major victory to Dr. Gil Mileikowsky and healthcare professionals throughout the US today, issuing a decision regarding the conduct of his medical peer review hearing in 2003.  The Court wrote:

We conclude the hearing officer lacks authority to prevent a reviewing panel from reviewing the case by dismissing it on his or her own initiative before the hearing has been convened, and also lacks authority to terminate the hearing after it has been convened without first securing the approval of the reviewing panel. We therefore will affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeal

Dr. Mileikowsky (“Dr. Gil”) is a champion and advocate in the nationwide effort to end “sham peer review” (SPR) – a corrupt practice in which hospitals retaliate against physicians and nurses who report dangerous physicians, hospital conditions, or who successfully compete against hospitals by delivering superior service. By rigging a medical peer review board that cherry picks ordinarily insignificant mistakes, hospitals use SPR to intimidate and silence physicians who are sworn to improve healthcare and protect patients. Those targeted face a financially crippling fight to retain their clinical privileges. Sadly, many physicians endure financial ruin and the loss of their medical careers. Some lose hope and end their lives in suicide.

Hospitals accused of SPR have included Kaiser, Tenet, and non-profits like Adventist. Because hospitals have profited from harming patients, the Supreme Court’s decision could have a positive impact on patient safety throughout the US healthcare industry.

Dr. Mileikowsky is the President and founder of the Alliance for Patient Safety and a member of Semmelweis Society International (SSI), which supported Mileikowsky throughout his appeal.  Attorneys Jeffrey White and Georgetown Law Professor Alan Ullberg assisted SSI in the preparation of its amicus brief.

Health Leaders Media recently named Dr. Mileikowsky as one of America’s top healthcare leaders.

For more information, see the California Supreme Court opinion.

Computer Safety for SSI Members

I recently received this message from a friend. I’ll call him Bill (not his real name):

My computer crashes have caused me to lose all my stored information.

When I called to assist him, I learned that he had purchased and plugged in his computer years earlier but had never properly installed a firewall, router, or anti-virus software.  Unknown to Bill, this left him completely vulnerable to Internet viruses, trojans, and worms that not only rendered his computer and bank accounts vulnerable to professional Internet hackers, but it also enabled his computer to attack his friends’ computers.

Since joining SSI and its Board last year, I’ve discovered that a large percentage of our highly-educated members are dumber than a box of dirt when it comes to Internet security.  (This will change as new doctors replace older ones).  Additionally, many of SSI’s members have been targeted by corrupted hospitals and medical boards.  SSI members should be aware that they have no “expectation of privacy” when it comes to university and HMO/PPO Internet connections, and multi-billion dollar healthcare or pharmaceutical companies aren’t above playing dirty if they suspect a disloyal, disgruntled, or disruptive employee.

If you’re being targeted for attack or dismissal, your Internet and email connections are a private investigator’s FIRST target and represent a significant vulnerability.  If you want to use a secure method for sending messages from a questionably-secure facility, Skype offers free encrypted voice, chat, and digital transfer capabilities that are difficult for employers to monitor.  In any case, it’s best to generate a private email service like Hushmail and communicate offsite.

I’ve posted my email to “Bill” so that our members can consider the information and protect themselves.

Dear “Dr. Bill”

I feel your pain. My first computer crashed in 1989 – I had stuff on that from 1982 when I bought my first computer. I’m still sick about that. I now use Acronis to back up my three computer drives onto a one-terabyte back-up drive. Although still painful, a crash will lose, at most, six days of data. There are also some good online backup services that work pretty good.

Unless you have a few years to develop computer security expertise, it’s best to find a reliable “computer guy” who you can trust. I live in Los Angeles and pay my computer guy $50/hour when I have problems. He lives nearby and he is efficient and knowledgeable. If you live in Portland, Springfield, or New York, you should not need to spend more than $50/hr. Pay him immediately and don’t give him trouble. If you’re rude and don’t pay immediately, he’ll either raise his rates or stop assisting you. Many high school and college kids know more than enough to set up your system safely. If you use CraigsList, ask for and call references first. When you find the right guy/or gal, treat him like family. He’s worth his weight in gold.

Once you’ve found your computer guy, tell him what you want.

As much as you use email and Google, your computer guy needs to install Spybot, Norton Antivirus, and Outlook: 

  1. Spybot is free and effective in protecting your registry and blocking hostile websites, but you’ll need to check it regularly for updates.
  2. Norton’s updates are automatic but require an annual $40 subscription. For 11 cents a day, Norton is a worthwhile investment.
  3. DON”T upgrade to Vista – it’s got a bad (and well-deserved) reputation. A new operating system is expected this fall that is basically Vista without the bugs.  I’m told that the beta-release works very well.
These services won’t prevent real talent from hacking into your machine, but it’ll protect you from 99.999% of the viruses, trojans, and worms that infest the Internet. XP has some good firewalls, but you’ll need a router (I use a wireless Linksys router) and a hexadecimal password like Ddk52f0Wq!

Some hard-core Mac users insist that they’re computers are invulnerable, but this is false. Although not susceptible to PC hacks, they also get hacked and phished when left unprotected.

Outlook will manage all of your email address in one place. Have your computer guy set up those things for you.

I also use Avant Browser. Firefox and others are just as good with powerful shortcuts and macros. Avant’s companion service, Roboform generates, saves, and manages all of your passwords. Many people make the mistake of using one username (Bob) and password (1234) for ALL of their computing needs. The problem with that is that if you get phished with your one name and password, that information will be used to attack your other hundred accounts – including Amazon, eBay, and your email. A hacker in Canada, Africa, or China could spend a lot of your money that way. Imagine the fun some kid would have logging into your email account and sending kiddy porn or viruses to all your friends and associates with YOUR NAME. But if you use Roboform to generate, save, and manage your names and passwords, getting phished once won’t clean out all of your other accounts.

This won’t protect you from all Internet-based threats, but like fences, doors, dogs, windows, and locks, it will greatly improve your defenses and computing ease.

Clark Baker is a licensed private investigator and SSI Board member. 

Do Hospitals Harm Patients for Profit?

On the Massachusetts border that joins with Connecticut and Rhode Island, the green woods and blue waters of Lake Chaubunagungamaug shimmer in the summer breeze. Turning northeast along Sutton Road, it’s easy to see why America’s first colonists settled in these gently rolling hills and tilled its fields. In the fall, the thick green forests turn into a kaleidoscope of rusty yellows, reds, and browns before the first snow falls. At Nipmuck Pond, you won’t notice that Sutton Road has become Cliff Road until it changes again to Joe Jenny Road.

Five generations of the Whittier Family have farmed in this part of America. Their prized Holsteins have grown to a herd of 350, and their milk is driven daily a few miles north to their processing plant in Shrewsbury, where it is bottled and sold fresh at their milk store. From cow to cup, the process takes two days, which means “farm fresh milk” to their loyal customers. The fruits, berries, and vegetables from the farm are used to make jams, jellies, and relishes that they sell during the summer months. Todd, Wayne, and Janice Whittier have good reason to be proud. What could be more American?

Last September, Boston doctors found listeria in a woman who arrived to deliver her baby. They notified the state health department, which added her name to a list of four area residents who had also been sickened. Of those listed, two died in June and October and a third died in November. Another pregnant woman miscarried but survived, as did the mother and her new baby.

Once investigators identified Whittier Farms as the source, the health department closed their Shrewsbury operation until investigators could find and remove the source of contamination.

If not for the independence of government funded health departments, it’s not hard to imagine the dangers we would face without them. One can also imagine the risks posed if businesses like these (and their lawyers) policed themselves.

In the case of hospitals, there is no such independent oversight. And unlike Whittier Farms, hospitals actually profit when they injure or kill patients.

In 2005, Harvard Professor Lucian L. Leape, M.D reported:

“In most industries, defects cost money and generate warrantee claims. In healthcare, perversely… physicians and hospitals can bill for the additional services that are needed when patients are injured by their mistakes.”

Harming patients isn’t the only way hospitals profit. The National Center for Policy Analysis estimates that Medicare and Medicaid fraud costs taxpayers $33 billion annually. In 2005, the Florida Attorney General filed civil racketeering charges against Tenet Healthcare to recover $1 billion. Although some individuals have been convicted, legislators are primarily responsible for forcing hospitals to treat indigent, uninsured, and illegal alien patients for votes. And when those hospitals compensate with alternative revenue streams, politicians feign disdain (if they show any interest at all).

In this video, the corporate director of this Florida hospital explains why hospitals must rely on creative ways to keep their hospitals open:

In 2001, we had an illegal alien as a patient in our hospital. He was there from 2001 through 2003. He had over $1.5 million in healthcare services. We forcibly returned him to his home country of Guatemala at our own cost of $30,000… That case is not over. We have spent…$250,000 in legal fees because his family here in the United States is suing us because they think it was inappropriate for us to return this illegal patient to his home country.

(We) have a patient from Mexico who has been in my hospital for 760 days. He has severe brain damage. He has no family, no friends… His charges to date for almost two years is $1.5 million… we have contacted the Mexican Consulate four times, we have contacted immigration and nobody will help us return this patient to Mexico. We’re even willing to spend our own $30,000 to return this patient…

In 2007, the Florida Hospital Association estimates that there was $100 million in costs for illegal patient care… right now I have six patients, illegal, undocumented patients, that we are seeing every three days for renal dialysis, for all of this… we have received no reimbursement… our healthcare costs are severely affected by this… A large percentage of the babies born at our facility are from illegal parents… we have tried repeatedly (to report illegal aliens to the authorities) and have been told they are only interested if a crime has been committed.

While fraud leaves a paper trail, it’s much more difficult to prove that physicians deliberately or recklessly harmed patients.

For example, if Dr. Smith successfully treats you for a small cut, he might legitimately charge your insurance company $500. But if Dr. Smith uses improperly sterilized equipment (like those routinely used at this Tenant hospital), the subsequent infections, IV antibiotics, intensive care, and related costs permit hospitals to charge much more whether the patient survives or not. Essentially, the sicker a well-insured patient gets, the more hospitals can charge.

Tenet Healthcare’s Garden Grove Hospital knowingly used defective sterilizers for many months. “Flash” sterilizers are used to clean surgical instruments soiled during operations. These had repeatedly failed to kill resilient spores during repeated routine test runs. When hospital administrators instructed surgeon Charles Rosen how to explain the situation to federal inspectors, Rosen resigned and went straight to federal authorities.

“This information was being withheld from the very surgeons entrusted with care of the surgical patients,” Rosen complained in a 2000 resignation letter to then-hospital-CEO Mark Meyers. “Such behavior is beyond belief. I feel it is a deliberate attempt at cover-up for financial reasons.”

When LA’s Cedar Sinai Medical Center almost killed Dennis Quaid’s children last year, the hospital’s chief medical officer admitted the “preventable error.” The unprecedented admission had more to do with Quaid’s celebrity than the spokesman’s candor. Had Dennis Smith’s children been injured, the medical records would have likely disappeared into a lawyer’s briefcase until a settlement (with a solid non-disclosure statement attached) had been signed.

Although he has sued the drug company, Quaid has not yet sued Cedars. Whether he sues or not, malpractice lawsuits in California are capped too low to worry most California hospitals. The California Department of Public Health fined Cedars $25,000 which is, coincidentally, what the hospital typically charges insurance companies for two babies who spend one day in intensive care – a pittance designed to make Californians believe the agency performs any oversight.

Quaid has since created The Quaid Foundation to give patients a place to report medical errors. Unfortunately, non-disclosure statements prevent many disclosures. If Quaid partnered with physicians of Semmelweis Society International or the Alliance for Patient Safety, he would team with physicians who aren’t afraid of protecting patient rights.

After reviewing 37 million Medicare patients’ medical records, (e.g. patients over 65), Healthgrades reported that medical errors in hospitals kill 200,000 patients each year. They did not report what happened to patients younger than 65.

HCQIA 

When restaurants poison diners, the local or state health department closes the business until the problems are fixed. But when hospitals harm patients, they close ranks, investigate themselves, and destroy physicians and nurses who talk.

This isn’t a new problem. When patients sued for unnecessary errors and complications before 1986, many assumed that former patients and their lawyers were maliciously shaking down hospitals for millions of dollars.

To protect healthcare managers, their own lawyers drafted legislation called the Health Care Quality Improvement Act (HCQIA) in 1986. HCQIA’s flaw (pronounced Hick-Wa) stems from the fundamental conflict of interest between the bill’s co-authors, corporate hospital attorneys Horty & Springer, and the patients they ostensibly protect. Predictably, the same lawyers rendered HCQIA unenforceable by inserting this subsection:

42 U.S.C. §11112 (b) (3): A professional review body’s failure to meet the conditions described in this subsection shall not, in itself, constitute failure to meet the standards of subsection (a) (3) of this section. (See page 20)

This section indemnifies hospitals and their own peer review boards from being liable for their own rules. So, for example, when Dr. Gil Mileikowsky agreed to assist a patient whose healthy fallopian tubes were removed by another physician without her consent, the hospital staged what many physicians call a “sham peer review.” By characterizing Dr. Mileikowsky as disruptive, the hospital suspended his clinical privileges and reported their decision to the National Practitioners Data Bank (NPDB), which effectively prevents physicians whose licenses have been suspended in one state from practicing in others.

Regrettably, the Act is ineffective because it relies on corporate hospital executives to report errors and complications that they profit from.

For example, two physicians in one small Tenet facility generated $40 million/year in revenues from patients they subjected to unnecessary cardiac procedures. As in all cases, the protections that patients relied on depended upon; 1) the hospital executives who profit financially from unnecessary procedures, errors and complications, and 2) the physicians who were responsible for such misconduct.

Examples of failures to fulfill HCQIA’s intent by corporate hospital executives have been reported by CBS News, The Street, the Pittsburg Post Gazette and AMA Voice.

Examples of failures to fulfill the HCQIA’s intent by physicians are found in Medical Economics, the Pittsburg Post Gazette, Time, and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Although small businesses and entrepreneurs have been the driving force behind the growth of the US economy, the US healthcare system has regressed into one that does not permit competition.

Because competition tends to reduce consumer costs, Dr. Mileikowsky reports that hospital law firms consider staff physicians who compete as “problem physicians.” Horty Springer’s hostility toward independent private physicians is demonstrated throughout their seminars, courses, and audiotapes that can be purchased on their website.

Hospital lawyers have developed a methodology and vernacular for controlling physicians, patients, and other advocates who report incidents to outside agencies or agree to testify on behalf of patients/victims of medical negligence. Their preferred strategy is to destroy the physician by discrediting him or her as disruptive, crazy, impaired, incompetent, or an imminent danger. Horty Springer also trains hospital administrators how to protect themselves from physicians who report dangerous conditions or patients who are killed or injured by recklessness or incompetence (whistleblowers).

Harvard economist Kip Viscusi estimates that the value of one human life is somewhere between four- and nine million dollars. If multiplied by Healthgrade’s200,000 patients who die each year”, the loss to the US economy can be estimated somewhere between $800 billion and $1.8 trillion, annually.

Based on 152 published peer review articles, the Nutrition Institute of America, concludes that medical mistakes kill 784,000 people annually.

In 2006, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons unanimously passed resolutions to correct these issues. The time for US legislators to correct these mistakes is long overdue.

If you do not want your hospital to harm you or your loved ones for profit, call your local representatives and demand their support of the Whistleblower Protection Act.

You can also sign this petition to modify HCQIA.

(More info here, here, and here)

The author, Clark Baker, is a licensed private investigator in Los Angeles and Board Member of Semmelweis Society International.