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A two-year independent study has found that frail seniors who wore HipSavers hip protector underwear were considerably less likely to experience a hip fracture than their counterparts who didn’t.
The study, reported in a recent issue of Advance for Occupational Therapy Practitioners, examined a high-risk group from the Elder Service Plan of the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center. Of those who wore HipSavers, none experienced a hip fracture compared to a 4.3% hip fracture rate in a less at-risk group that did not wear the undergarment even though the frail group members had a historic rate of twice as many previous hip fractures and experienced five times the frequency of falls as did the lower-risk group.
HipSavers are approved by the Food and Drug Administration and use a soft, thin pad over each hip bone to absorb and dissipate the impact of a fall. HipSavers reports that its airPad works "on a principle similar to that of a [car] air bag by first absorbing the shock of a fall and then dispersing its impact over a larger surface area." The soft pads are a half inch thick and sewn into wash-and-wear polycotton briefs for both men and women. For more information, go to: www.hipsaver.com.
An Alexandria, VA, teen-ager was recently accused of intercepting an Inova Fairfax Hospital physician’s telephone pages and then calling in prescriptions and medical procedures for patients.
The 16-year-old, according to court papers and hospital officials, was able to infiltrate the hospital’s paging system, and according to an article in the Dec. 16 edition of the Washington Post, "deactivated and reactivated [pagers] with a substitute pager that was not assigned to Inova Fairfax." The charges contend that the teen, who had worked at the hospital as a volunteer, ordered 12 treatments for six patients, including the prescription of heparin, a blood thinner, and asking that patients be given blood tests or administered oxygen.
Hospital officials say no one initially noticed anything wrong because the orders were medically appropriate under the circumstances.
Gentiva Health Services of Melville, NY, has sold its Canadian home health operations to Canadian-based Bayshore Health Group. Gentiva, which has more than 300 locations in the United States and had in excess of $1.5 billion in revenues in 1999, said the sale was part of the company’s plan to lower its debt. The terms of this deal, though, have not yet been disclosed.
HealthMont Inc., a Nashville-based for-profit hospital company, has purchased its fifth hospital, 49-bed Callaway Community Hospital in Fulton, MO, for $1.4 million from CHAMA, a not-for-profit company that filed for Chapter 11 protection more than two years ago. Callaway was one of four hospitals owned by CHAMA —one, the 49-bed Medical Center of Winnie (TX) closed earlier this year and the other two, the 48-bed Colusa (CA) Community Hospital and 92-bed Southeast Arizona (Douglas) Medical Center, have been bid on by Community Healthcare Partnerships of Davenport, IA, which bid $3.5 million plus assumption of debt.
On a different note, home health mergers and acquisitions rose 50% from the second to third quarter of 2000, according to research firm Irving Levin Associates in New Canaan, CT. Home health, which counted eight deals in the second quarter, ranked fifth out of eight major health care sectors for mergers and acquisitions, counting 12 deals during the third period. Leading the pack was physician medical groups with 25 merger and acquisitions, followed by hospitals and laboratories each with 15, and long-term care facilities which counted 13 mergers and acquisitions.