March 3, 2017

Around the nation: OSF St. Elizabeth Medical Center deploys emergency operation plans to handle tornado

Daily Briefing
    • California: Assembly member Kevin McCarty (D) wants to pass a law to tax OxyContin and other prescription opioids. Specifically, the bill—which he announced Wednesday—would establish a 1 cent-per-milligram tax on prescription opioids, with the revenue funding rehabilitation services for people with substance use disorders. McCarty's office estimates the tax would provide tens of millions of dollars to support such programs. The tax would target drug wholesalers, although McCarty acknowledged it would likely result in consumers paying a few dollars more per month (Bollag, AP/Sacramento Bee, 3/1).

    • Illinois: As weather forecasters predicted powerful storms near Chicago Tuesday, OSF St. Elizabeth Medical Center (OSF EMC) activated its emergency operation plan. The hospital moved ED beds to other floors, ramped up communication with nearby hospitals, and called in additional staff. Some patients were also moved out of the ED to free up capacity. Ultimately, a Tornado touched down in nearby Ottawa, and OSF EMC treated 14 patients with storm-related injuries during the night—two patients were transferred to OSF St. Francis for further treatment, while all the others were released. President Ken Beutke said, "Even though there was a high level of activity, there was a sense of calmness and organization" (Castellucci, Modern Healthcare, 3/1).

    • North Carolina: Novant Health plans to raise the wages of 2,000 of its employees. The pay bump is part of the system's drive to implement a so-called living wage policy, which will adjust compensation based on the local cost of living. Some workers' hourly wage could increase by more than 50 percent. Novant used a tool developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to set wage targets at the county level (Reed, Washington Business Journal, 3/1).

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