All those couples who sought to give birth at the dawn of Y2K are finally reaping their rewards. Their New Year babes are being showered with an assortment of gifts, everything from flowers to college scholarships.
The first Y2K baby born at 300-bed Washington Adventist Hospital, Takoma Park, Md., got a free four-year scholarship from Columbia Union College, also in Takoma Park.
The current four-year value of the scholarship is about $48,000, but since the baby won't be headed to college for 18 years or so, the scholarship actually could be worth as much as $100,000.
"This is a very generous offer from the college," says Nikki Allen, vice president of patient care at the hospital.
The lucky baby girl is Adesewa Adebayo, whose family hails from Nigeria but now lives in Riverdale Park, Md.
Anne Arundel Medical Center, Annapolis, Md., is giving the first 500 babies born in 2000 teeny T-shirts that say, "I'm an AAMC Year 2000 Baby." Parents of the lucky 500 will also receive plastic champagne bottles filled with jellybeans.
And that's not all. A local transportation company carried home the hospital's first Y2K baby and his family in a luxury limousine. Plus, a local florist sent bouquets and gift certificates to the mothers of the last baby of 1999 and the first baby of 2000. Six boys and two girls were born Jan. 1 at 291-bed Anne Arundel.
A new bug. The dreaded Y2K bug turned out to be nothing compared with the bug biting hospitals now-the flu bug.
News reports chronicle how hospitals nationwide are jammed with people suffering from the pesky bug.
In northwestern Arkansas, hospitals are seeing as many as 150 people daily who are complaining of flu-like symptoms, while some emergency room staff in Cleveland are working overtime to keep up with the flow of stricken patients. In the Atlanta area, overcrowding at some hospital emergency rooms means patients have had to be diverted to other facilities.
Welcome to the flu season.
Blind faith. Some patients are so faithful to their physicians that no accusation-or conviction-of wrongdoing can shake the belief that the physician is always right.
When Verna Lewis, M.D., stood trial for fudging on her income taxes, several of her patients showed up in court to defend a woman they call a caring physician.
Lewis, 47, a physiatrist who specialized in rehabilitative medicine and practiced at 521-bed Lewis-Gale Medical Center in Salem, Va., was sentenced by a federal judge last month to 18 months in prison for falsifying information on her federal income tax returns.
In July 1999 a jury found her guilty of filing false tax returns for 1990, 1991 and 1992. According to an article in the Roanoke (Va.) Times, Lewis saved $47,000 by lying on her tax returns. As part of her sentence, she must repay $105,600 in back taxes, interest and penalties and pay a $10,000 fine and $5,500 for the cost of her trial.
Under Virginia law, Lewis will lose her medical license because of the felony conviction.
Several of Lewis' patients came to court with walkers or canes to testify on her behalf. They were devastated when Lewis, who had helped them conquer chronic pain, was convicted and sentenced to prison. The Times reported that Lewis' patients wept aloud when her sentence was read.
What's in a name? Apparently an awful lot, because a recently passed law that makes modifications to the Children's Health Insurance Program also changed the program's name. Usually called CHIP-because Beltway types love acronyms-the program's new moniker is the State Children's Health Insurance Program, or SCHIP (pronounced s-chip).
Outliers wonders what's the big deal? Apparently, many Republicans are loathe to expand federal programs and prefer any moniker that reflects the states' involvement and minimizes the federal government's role.
Babes in toyland. While other hospitals fussed about Medicare payment reductions brought on by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, one Wisconsin hospital couldn't have cared less.
That's because a for-profit hospital in Middleton doesn't accept Medicare or any other form of insurance as payment for its care.
Since opening in 1988, the hospital has treated more than 157,000 patients, mostly performing limb reattachments.
Even without managed-care, the hospital has kept its costs down to just $20 for an arm or leg reattachment, while new limbs cost $25 and a new head or body runs only $35.
While it's no hospital you'll ever visit, your child's toys might need a visit to the American Girl Doll Hospital.