Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) on Wednesday "checked himself into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to receive treatment for clinical depression," in today’s bite-sized hospital and health industry news from the District of Columbia, Illinois, and Montana.
- District of Columbia: Sen. John Fetterman on Wednesday "checked himself into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to receive treatment for clinical depression," according to his chief of staff, Adam Jentleson. "While John has experienced depression off and on throughout his life, it only became severe in recent weeks," Jentleson said. Last year, Fetterman suffered a stroke before winning the Pennsylvania Senate race. According to the American Stroke Association, depression is commonly seen after stroke. It can result from chemical changes in the brain that make it hard to feel positive emotions or from a psychological response to the stress often associated with stroke. "Post-stroke depression is very, very common," said Lee Schwamm, a neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital who is not involved with Fetterman's care. "Estimates are somewhere up to a third of patients with stroke will have depression at some point after their stroke." (Stolberg/Barry, New York Times, 2/17; Lesniewski/Raman, Roll Call, 2/16; Kapur et al., NBC News, 2/16; Breuninger, CNBC, 2/16; Karni, News York Times, 2/16)
- Illinois: On Wednesday, Robert Spadoni, the former VP and COO of Rush Oak Park Hospital, was indicted on fraud charges by a federal grand jury for allegedly defrauding the hospital of $622,500. According to the indictment, Spadoni was charged with three counts of mail fraud and three counts of money laundering. He allegedly committed fraud by entering the hospital into a professional services agreement with Medical Education Solutions (MES) in 2013, a podiatry company established and owned by Spadoni. Under the agreement, MES was paid $6,500 per month for "administrative support and compliance services," but just $1,500 was used for services in the contract. According to the indictment, Spadoni and his wife instead used the funds for "their own personal benefit." (Davis, Crain's Chicago Business/Modern Healthcare, 2/16)
- Montana: Billings Clinic and Logan Health on Wednesday announced they signed a non-binding letter of intent to explore a merger – a move aimed at expanding access, service, and quality care in the rural frontier of Montana and northern Wyoming. "We're going to redefine how health care is delivered for the next 100 years in Montana," said Logan Health President and CEO Craig Lambrecht. "The next two generations are going to experience what this ditch-digging crew has done in trying to revolutionize and transform rural and frontier care health care in Montana, and I think that's the legacy that excites us." Both organizations are committed to providing high quality primary and complex care to patients in the region. "Our two organizations have a lot in common, as independent, physician-led health systems with deep roots in our communities and a commitment to rural health care. The health needs of our rural communities are unique, and we are excited to explore ways to serve our patients' greatest challenges and raise the bar for health care in Montana and Wyoming together," said Billings Clinic CEO Clint Seger. (Vitiello, NBC Montana, 2/15)