When Congress returns from its August recess it's likely to revisit immigration legislation that already has passed both the House and Senate in different forms but has languished as Congress turned to other issues.
Among the things to be hashed out by negotiators is a Senate provision that requires certification of foreign healthcare workers (other than physicians) who want to enter the country.
The bill includes a requirement that workers be certified by a group called the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools, which is located in Philadelphia, or any other group deemed appropriate by HHS. Not too surprisingly, the provision was added to the bill by Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.).
Naming a specific group in the legislation has other certifying agencies crying foul, and they have called lawmakers in Washington to voice their concerns. One House GOP aide said he was unsure if House negotiators would agree to the provision when talks resume this month.
"There seem to be a lot of people upset about this," the aide said.
As they have done in many markets across the country, Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. attempted to muscle in on the action at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.
The healthcare giant provided a complementary blood pressure check at its first-aid booth at the United Center and distributed pocket stress meters to delegates and media types, along with a letter and a "delegate patient profile" to be filled out by the delegates. It also urged everyone to call 1-800-COLUMBIA if anything went wrong.
The trouble is, there were no official healthcare providers for the Democrats. As it does for every event at the United Center, Custom Prehospital Services of Peotone, Ill., provided first-aid services, and Chicago Fire Department personnel were ready for more serious emergencies. Also, Consolidated Medical Transport was there to provide advanced life support and to transfer patients to nearby hospitals on Chicago's West Side, none of which was a Columbia facility. Officials said patients would have been taken to Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center, Cook County Hospital or University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center.
Healthcare lobbyists must have wanted to regain their land legs. At the Republican National Convention early last month in seaside San Diego, healthcare interest groups hired a virtual fleet of seagoing vessels to wine, dine and otherwise entertain members of Congress and prominent party officials. But at the Democrats' gathering, healthcare lobbyists passed over the numerous yachts berthed along Lake Michigan's shoreline and instead fattened the wallets of Chicago restaurateurs and cultural institutions.
Among them: a party thrown by the Federation of American Health Systems, the National Association for Home Care, the American Nurses Association and others for House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.) and Democratic members of the House Ways and Means Committee. Managed-care and insurance groups booked the Chicago Historical Society for the Senate Democrats' campaign committee, and the American Hospital Association hosted the same group at a downtown restaurant. Most appropriate: Another party thrown by the AHA for a group of centrist Democrats known as the "Blue Dogs" at Buddy Guy's blues bar.
Almost nobody has polished the art of media spin like Washington provider lobbying groups. And the performance of the sometimes-at-odds long-term-care groups the American Health Care Association and the American Association of Homes and Services of the Aging in defending the outcome of their annual softball matchup demonstrates just how polished they really are.
Did AHCA "cream" AAHSA in the 15-10 game, as it was described by AHCA spokesman Dave Kyllo? Or was AAHSA coming on strong in the late innings, but gave "too little, too late," as AAHSA spokesman Robert Greenwood portrayed it? In the late innings, did one of the teams (we won't say which one has been implicated) lay down a bunt, a no-no in softball? Was the score really 15-10, or were there a couple runs that somebody (again, we won't say who's been implicated), ahem, missed, as some grumbled?
At any rate, the groups, which have been at odds this year over an assisted-living quality initiative (July 15, p. 27), appeared to have patched up some of their differences: Both reported exploratory discussions on a volleyball joint venture, because neither has enough players to field a full team.
The final moments of a woman's labor. A student racing through a hallway on Rollerblades. Doctors frantically working to save the hands of a bomb victim....It's not the typical annual report. But the "24-hour portrait" of University Hospital in Denver-a collection of 50 photographs-captures the essence of a teaching hospital.
Seven Colorado photographers, including Pulitzer Prize winner Jay Dickman, were allowed to roam the 316-bed hospital Sept. 8, 1995. Administrators promised no door would be shut and no photo rejected. Thus, the Rollerblading medical student, who was breaking hospital rules, appears in the collection. Costing about $35,000, the result has drawn kudos from marketers and inquiries from a dozen organizations interested in duplicating it. In fact, the photographs are so good the hospital made a traveling exhibit out of them to raise funds for arts organizations, University Hospital spokesman Don Cannalte said.
In contrast to the depth of the photographs, the report's one-page financial summary is scant.