Saturday, May 23, 2009


What more can be said? Enjoy the holiday, but remember why there is one.

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV

Please join us in our prayers for the men and women of the Armed Forces Of The United States Of America and other countries who are now in harm's way in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other parts of the world. We thank them and their families for their sacrifices.

We are grateful for the ultimate price of freedom paid by those fallen. We pray for strength and courage for the POWS and Missing In Action and those held hostage.

We pray for the protection and safety of selfless relief workers and missionaries who help those in need.

We pray for the protection of children and innocent civilians.

We pray for our nation and our leaders.

- The Howards, Over 22 Years Serving In The US Navy

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


A FYI link sent to me lead to an MSNBC article that highlighted a situation in healthcare. ER AMA (Against Medical Advice) walkouts because of the cost of medical care. I don't know what our percentage is, but I know I've been questioned about the costs of care, items, and tests...and I really don't know the answer.

We watch the medical shows on the television, Hopkins, Rescue Me, ER, and think of the lives they are saving--maybe we ought to think about the lives that we are ruining. It would be an eye-opener if they had a running tab on-screen of the cost of treatment.

We have those who are brought in by EMS, which decline treatment from the start, who didn't want to go to the hospital, but were told they just needed to be "checked out."

Some patients see the back-up in the waiting area and don't want to wait. (Now, if it was serious enough to come to the ER, wouldn't you think that waiting wouldn't be the issue???)

And some that get a sense of the costs when they enter--when the Dr orders a battery of tests, sees the costs mounting and their savings dwindling.

The average cost of an ER visit, nationally, is $1,000.

Sure we have the regulars, those that appear on the ER doorstep at the faintest indication of discomfort. They are the ones that have virtually no out-of-pocket expense, whether from assignment or self-pay (generally no-pay).

The Austin Statesman ran an article about ER abuse, 9 people used the ER 2,678 times in a 6 year period. Costs: approximately $3 million. They either had very good insurance, or the hospital was getting hosed. If it was like Parkland, then the whole county paid for it. If it was like the University Medical Center in Las Vegas, then the shortfalls cause closure of services.

So, where does that leave us? With $75 aspirin. With $200 walk-in-the-door charges. To make up for the shortfalls. And that's why people leave AMA.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

What To Do With South?....5/30

With all the thoughts going towards the move north, you wonder about the plans for the South campus.... Maybe that's why Kevin Gross from RehabCare was appointed to the Essent board. RehabCare has ambitions of owning 17 rehab hospitals by the end of this year, according to its CEO, although the economy may have brought about a change in that timetable.

Or, maybe Kevin's appointment was a backstop in September, but with the uncertainty in the financial markets, it may be significantly longer, if that indeed, was the plan.

On the other hand, maybe he's there to scope out what Essent might have available should they not keep their head above water....