Of the seven physicians elected to the U.S. House of Representatives last week, the most interesting may be Ron Paul, a Texas obstetrician-gynecologist.
Paul, a Libertarian, defeated Democratic lawyer Charles "Lefty" Morris with 51% of the vote compared with Morris' 48%.
This will be Paul's third trip to Congress. He served as a Republican in the House in 1976-1977 and 1979-1985.
After leaving the GOP, Paul was the Libertarian candidate for president in 1988, losing by only 40 million votes to winner and fellow Texan George Bush.
Though a Libertarian, Paul ran in the 1996 Republican congressional primary against incumbent Rep. Greg Laughlin. Paul won by portraying Laughlin as a liberal Democrat in Republican clothing who supported the Clinton administration's healthcare reform plan. Laughlin switched to the GOP from the Democratic party shortly after being elected in 1994.
Paul is known for his controversial stances, including advocating a return to the gold standard and the abolition of the Medicare program, which he criticizes as unworkable.
Paul was supported by the Texas Medical Association.
Comment on no comment.Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. executives either had fears of landing on the editing-room floor of CBS' "60 Minutes" or they're just watching too much "Larry King Live."
In an internal memo obtained by Outliers, Richard Scott, Columbia's president and chief executive officer, explained why the company's executives wouldn't be interviewed by CBS veteran Mike Wallace for the Oct. 27 story on the healthcare company.
"We worked at length with Mr. Wallace and his producers in the preparation of the story and offered to participate in a live interview that would not be subject to editing," Scott said in the memo to employees. "They refused, and it became clear to us that `60 Minutes' was interested only in presenting a more limited negative story about `for-profit' corporations and select Columbia transactions," he said.
Said Kevin Tedesco, spokesman for the program: "It's extremely rare for `60 Minutes' to do a live interview, and when we do it's usually predicated on a newsy event. Even with the presidential candidates, we would tape something Saturday and edit it down for Sunday. To promise such an unedited interview is against CBS policies."
Baxter a factor.Michael E. DeBakey, M.D., who consulted on Russian President Boris Yeltsin's successful heart-bypass surgery last week, asked the Navacor division of Baxter Healthcare Corp. to provide an emergency backup system in case Yeltsin went into heart failure following the procedure.
Navacor provided the Left-Ventricular Assist System, an implantable electromechanical blood pump that takes over the left ventricle's function if the patient can't be weaned from cardiopulmonary support used during the bypass procedure.
Yeltsin's heart was stopped for 68 minutes during the operation while he was kept alive on a heart-lung machine, and he was transferred to a respirator afterward without complications, negating the need for the Navacor system.
The 12-member surgical team at the Moscow Cardiological Center was led by Renat Akchurin, M.D., who trained in the United States with DeBakey. DeBakey and a team of American and German surgeons watched the surgery on a monitor outside the operating room in case advice was needed.
"On the basis of the results of the operation, I would predict the president to be able to return to his office and perform his duties in perfectly normal fashion," DeBakey told reporters after the operation.
They asked for it.The American College of Health Care Administrators, which represents 6,400 long-term-care professionals, is planning a February retreat at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla.
There they will learn from Walt Disney executives the secrets of the entertainment empire's successful management style, including how to establish a corporate culture, create a positive working environment and understand a target audience.
"Attendees will examine the leadership, teamwork and planning techniques that make the Disney approach unique," according to a press release announcing the event.
Outliers only hopes the result of the meeting won't be a sudden emergence of nurses and doctors dressed as Snow White, Cinderella, Mickey Mouse and Goofy running through the halls of the nation's nursing homes.
Beaned.It's getting dangerous being an HMO executive in California. Just when four beleaguered HMO presidents thought it was safe to speak at a healthcare conference at the Burbank Hilton late last month, backers of an anti-HMO initiative broke in and dumped a bucket of dried pinto beans on the lectern.
The protesters timed the event to be caught by the cameras of the TV tabloid news show "Hard Copy," which is preparing a report on HMOs.
The execs and conference organizers were upset at the ease with which the noisy demonstrators could disrupt a meeting at which Mark Hyde, president and chief executive officer of San Jose-based Lifeguard, was speaking.
The demonstrators shouted, "Stop the bean counters" and later vowed to deliver a ton of beans to HMO executives across the state.
They made good on that promise. The following weekend Ralph Nader led a caravan of nurses and HMO "victims" to six cities, accompanied by a truck carrying a ton of beans.
But those efforts didn't amount to, well, a hill of beans. Proposition 216, a sweeping ballot initiative aimed at curbing alleged abuses by HMOs and stopping health systems from downsizing, was defeated, with 61% voting against it.