Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Comments That Rang Clear....10/5

A lot of folks just skim the posts--ignoring or unaware of the comments. The commentary makes this blog what it is...I'm just along for the ride, especially on this one.

...I'm not one of the so-called "John Does" mentioned in this suit (and Essent would have a hard time proving otherwise). That being said, I want to address the allegation made by Hud that this blog caused PRMC's census to drop.

Had Hud looked beyond his office (and the BS Dickie was telling him), he would have seen the decline in census stems from the policies and practices Essent has put into place. Cut staff, demoralize who's left, don't give them the right tools to do the job, blow off keeping the place clean, anger the local physician staff, and folks are going to have less-than-stellar experiences. Bad news travels very quickly, and folks will talk, whether good or bad news. Those that can, will go elsewhere rather than deal with the possibility of a bad experience.

If Dr. Slipknot-oops, I meant Lui- has departed the staff, then that's a positive step. Ditto for Pranulis in the overgrown broom closet that passes for an emergency room.

If PRMC is supposed to be the flagship of this sad company, what does this say about the rest of the hospitals? So far, it seems PRMC is the only place making money, and not that much. With the other hospitals losing money hand over fist, Essent's bottom line is written in red, as in red ink. They've been rebuffed in recent attempts at purchasing new properties, dumped off one that was drowning in red ink when it was purchased (and was hemmorhaging worse when Essent sold it), and have been scrambling for more money to stay afloat.

Allegations? Fantasy? Nope, all are facts, and can be gleaned from other sources. Perhaps some slick ambulance-chaser can demean these facts, or even shoot the messenger, but they still stand regardless.

I believe in free enterprise and capitalism as Adam Smith wrote in his excellent text, and have no problem with any company who wants to make a profit- after all, profit means more money to invest in a business (or at least it's supposed to). However, any company who sacrifices its employees and customer base to boost its so-called bottom line will not last for long, nor should last.

Most likely the big cheeses in Essent will laugh, scoff, etc. when they read this, but that's OK. I have broad shoulders, and I know I'll still be employed when Hud and his buds are trying to either rearrange deck chairs on the Titanic/Essent, or start up yet another for-profit healthcare business when Essent finally sinks. And when that happens, I as well as others who are disgusted with Essent and its thugs will have the last laugh.

As a comment it received another comment from Essent--but it was the same person that I spell-checked previously, and his current mistakes made it unreadable. Probably a Duke business major....

Anyway, this one ices the cake--public sentiment, plainly spoken, that echoes the previous:

I miss Christus and all it believed in. Since Essent took over, it's all just a big mess.

I hope all you high and mighty.. Hud, whoever you are and the rest of these jokers realize what a damn mess you've made here. I wouldn't take my worst enemy for treatment at any of your facilities just because of how I've seen you conduct yourselves.

You can't expect the remaining employees to be inspired to do their jobs. I hear the morale is so bad. And you can't provide good service with all the cuts you've made. But, I guess you really don't care. The little people don't really make you lose any sleep at night. Shame on you.
What more could I add?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

What Essent Wants To Do....9/30

A real timely question:

I guess we're all wondering if we're going to be sued too. Seems like you can't voice an opinion without having to defend it in court, especially with the ones you're dealing with.
I think that's the problem here. Are our isp identifications up for grabs, too?
Probably they would if they could. They listed John Does 1-10 to have an opening, but unless Blogger maintains logs, there is no way of telling who left comments. Blogger is owned by Google, so good luck, Wes.... Hotmail is what, Microsoft? I delete emails, so discovery is moot. And, those with a touch of time on their hands, here is how to go through the Tor network and be 'truely' anonymous.

Suddenlink is not offering any resistance to the discovery, merely responding to the order. Almost feels like they helped phrase the judge's original order so as to avoid culpability. I've heard comments about them 'fighting' the order. Unless they actually submit objections to the court in this, they are just being passive, or even cooperative. The only thing I've seen is the posting of their lawyer's vacation schedule.

The only reason my IP address was targeted was obvious, once I actually thought about it: THEY track the visitors to THEIR sites. So, everytime you search out something on Essent, the search parameters are displayed, as well as where you came from. So, if I had thought about it, I would have blocked cookies and possibly gone to the trouble of using a separate workstation/browser for searching. Then it would have been only a guess, with the search parameters used, and what was published.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Gallows Humor....9/26

Man came in said, "All rise." We all stood up, and Obie stood up with the twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures, and the judge walked in sat down with a seeing eye dog, and he sat down, we sat down. Obie looked at the seeing eye dog, and then at the twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one, and looked at the seeing eye dog. And then at twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one and began to cry,'cause Obie came to the realization that it was a typical case of American blind justice, and there wasn't nothing he could do about it, and the judge wasn't going to look at the twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with the circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one was to be used as evidence against us. ...from Arlo Guthrie's Alice's Restaurant

A man falls off the Empire State Building, and half-way to the ground he yells to someone watching, "So far, so good...."

The initial ruling (on disclosure) is apparently against me. Which means the appellate process. While this isn't the actual lawsuit, it is most critical. It's hard to believe the standards for disclosure were met under Cahill.

As Cahill's "Summary Judgment" Standard contends:

It requires that a plaintiff, suing for defamation, must satisfy a summary judgment standard in order to unmask the identity of the anonymous speaker. In this case, Cahill was a public figure, and to prevail in a defamation lawsuit, he had to prove that (1) Doe made a defamatory statement (damaging to Cahill’s reputation); (2) the statement was concerning Cahill; (3) the statement was published (disseminated to others); (4) others would understand the statement to be defamatory; (5) the statement was false; and (6) Doe made the statement with actual malice (he either knew it was false or acted in reckless disregard of the truth).

The Court concluded that Cahill must satisfy the summary judgment standard relating to most of these elements. That means that Cahill must show that there’s a genuine issue of material fact about these issues. In other words, he must show enough evidence to justify why he should proceed to a jury on these issues.

...the easier one can expose the identities of John Does, the more likely it will "chill the use of the Internet as a medium for free-ranging debate and experimentation with unpopular or novel ideas".

The biggest issue is #5: Was it false?

...that element of a summary-judgment-like test still ought to be relaxed, because evidence of "actual malice" could likely only be obtained through discovery, whereas a plaintiff could make a threshold showing of falsity and defamation from his own resources.

Example: Items 24&25 in the suit deal with specific accusations of falsehood by John Doe#1.

So, to prove #24, the hospital would be required to provide logs of call personnel, a list of the types of studies done by the call personnel, and statements from the call personnel and the staff that called in the tech. And a copies of their certifications. All of which they should have on hand.

Up-coding verification requires the patient records, and the submitted billings, but it was indicated in the blog that it was 'suspected', not as an absolute. Didn't one of the supposed Essent resonsive comments mention a Medicare audit? With a specific settlement figure? Maybe they were suspected....

As for demonstrating #25, the hospital would have to provide to the court the same information they provide to the state and CMS. Not a terribly demanding task.

Many of the quotes that are attributed to me in the lawsuit are not mine. A careful study of the context they were clipped from will plainly demonstrate that fact. In many cases, I specifically mention that they are quotations from comments, either before or after, in others I used italics to indicate where my comments started.

The gain from 'unmasking' me towards identifying the commenters is negligible. The thought that an anonymous blogger is going to know who an anonymous commenter is tends to strain the fabric of the argument. The only security one has in this is that which is generated by the anonymity of both parties. Additionally, comments are deleted automatically from the queue as they are published.

The only thing this might do is silence an open criticism of Essent's method of doing business.

Friday, September 14, 2007

But there is no joy in Mudville....9/20

So far, no news news..... The good judge is enjoying his weekend off, and both sides of the lawsuit are waiting...for Monday.

I almost think that should I lose, I'll take the keys out and throw them to the next in line...passwords and monitoring accounts, and let them carry on. There are a few that have made the offer, both here and in the other Essent locations. Everyone is least in Essent's eyes. That way I wouldn't have to worry about new articles during the appeal process, and it could be a set of outside eyes watching the proceedings.... Heck, they might be even more of a burr than I was! Some said I was far too restrained...and I have some advice for avoiding being tracked, now....

So, for those interested, get your best piece together for submission over the weekend, and you too could be the guy or gal that Essent just loves to hate!

If you submit articles under the comments, you can call yourself by what you want your password to be! That way there is no track-back to or for me. It would be like trying a key in a lock at the Toyota-thon.

This could be rather fun!...frank

Thursday, September 06, 2007

The Rule Of Law....9/30

“There is no such procedure in Texas and federal jurisprudence for what is taking place in this case. I find no legal authority for a subscriber having to take part in this action. I challenge anybody involved in this case to show any precedent for employing such a procedure as this.” ...Letter from James Rodgers to the court.

The lawsuit and the third-party disclosure order were two parts of a back-door attempt at ascertaining my identity and silencing the blog. The HIPAA 'violation' was used to justify the disclosure order, even though this was a civil matter. The cited US Code was plainly meant for criminal cases.

The 'two law firms' mentioned in the post, How Essent Really Feels, probably thought that their level of expertise would bulldoze the court into over looking the very law that they were utilizing in a perverted manner. From the article in the Snooze, it didn't happen, and that was due to James Rodgers. I'm feeling fortunate.

While this battle is stalemated, the war goes on.

I would guess that with the last vascular certified ultrasound tech giving notice, they would have to go back to a locum...or not be able to bill for services.... How many US techs have left this hospital since Essent took over, anyway? Bonus points given for this answer....

Second question: The Snooze used another direct quote from the letter, what consequences could that portend?

The fighter might not be appropriate, but the comments that surround it are (click on it and see what I mean.) I thank the men and women of the armed forces of our country for the freedoms which we enjoy and for the existance of the rule of law that protects us.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Labor Day....9/7

The First Labor Day

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.

In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a "workingmen's holiday" on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.

Labor Day Legislation

Through the years the nation gave increasing emphasis to Labor Day. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. From them developed the movement to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. During the year four more states — Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York — created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.

A Nationwide Holiday

The form that the observance and celebration of Labor Day should take were outlined in the first proposal of the holiday — a street parade to exhibit to the public "the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations" of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. This became the pattern for the celebrations of Labor Day. Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the economic and civic significance of the holiday. Still later, by a resolution of the American Federation of Labor convention of 1909, the Sunday preceding Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement.

The character of the Labor Day celebration has undergone a change in recent years, especially in large industrial centers where mass displays and huge parades have proved a problem. This change, however, is more a shift in emphasis and medium of expression. Labor Day addresses by leading union officials, industrialists, educators, clerics and government officials are given wide coverage in newspapers, radio, and television.

The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pay tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation's strength, freedom, and leadership — the American worker.