Mount Carmel fires doctor


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FILE - In this Jan. 15, 2019 file photo, the main entrance to Mount Carmel West Hospital is shown in Columbus, Ohio. The Columbus-area Mount Carmel Health System said a doctor's orders for potentially fatal doses of pain medicine given to over two dozen patients were carried out by what he calls "a small number of good people who made poor decisions." Mount Carmel Health System said it fired the intensive care doctor, put six pharmacists and 14 nurses on paid leave pending further review and reported its findings to authorities.   (AP Photo/Andrew Welsh Huggins, File)

FILE - In this Jan. 15, 2019 file photo, the main entrance to Mount Carmel West Hospital is shown in Columbus, Ohio. The Columbus-area Mount Carmel Health System said a doctor's orders for potentially fatal doses of pain medicine given to over two dozen patients were carried out by what he calls "a small number of good people who made poor decisions." Mount Carmel Health System said it fired the intensive care doctor, put six pharmacists and 14 nurses on paid leave pending further review and reported its findings to authorities. (AP Photo/Andrew Welsh Huggins, File)


Doctor who ordered outsize pain meds kept working for weeks

By KANTELE FRANKO

Associated Press

Thursday, January 24

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A doctor who ordered excessive and possibly fatal doses of pain medicine for dozens of hospital patients kept working for four weeks after concern was raised last fall, an Ohio health care system acknowledged Thursday.

Three patients died during those weeks after getting excessive doses ordered by Dr. William Husel, the Columbus-area Mount Carmel Health System said in a statement. The health system noted that it “should have begun a more expedited process to investigate and consider immediate removal” of the since-fired intensive care doctor after a report about him was received Oct. 25.

Mount Carmel also said it now knows of more affected patients — at least 34 over the past few years. It initially said that affected patients were near death and their families had decided to stop lifesaving measures. But now, it says it’s investigating whether some patients got excessive doses while they might still have had opportunity to improve with treatment.

Questions about that have been raised by some of the families who are suing Husel , the hospital and other medical staff who approved or administered the drugs. They’ve also questioned whether hospital employees misled them about their loved ones’ conditions.

The health system said it’s investigating whether the families received accurate information about patients’ conditions, potential treatments and their likelihood to recover.

“We are committed to being open and honest about what happened and what we are doing to ensure it never happens again,” the statement said.

Husel worked for Mount Carmel for five years. His lawyers haven’t commented.

The allegations have raised questions about whether drugs were used to hasten deaths intentionally or possibly illegally. At least four wrongful-death lawsuits allege that patients died because hospital employees either negligently or intentionally gave them inappropriately large doses of the powerful painkiller fentanyl, unbeknownst to the patients’ families.

Mount Carmel said 28 of the 34 patients received doses that were potentially fatal, and six got doses that were larger than necessary to provide comfort “but were likely not the cause of their deaths.”

The hospital previously apologized and said it put six pharmacists and 14 nurses on paid leave pending further investigation. It said Thursday that it anticipates more affected patients might be discovered as the review proceeds.

Meanwhile, the Ohio Department of Health is investigating on behalf of the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the Franklin County prosecutor confirmed a local investigation.

Husel’s work also is under internal review by the Cleveland Clinic, where he was a supervised resident from 2008 to 2013. The medical center said its preliminary review found his prescribing practices were “consistent with appropriate care.”

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost on Thursday called for the State Medical Board to immediately suspend Husel’s license.

Asked about Yost’s comments, medical board spokeswoman Tessie Pollock said the board can’t disclose confidential investigative information. But she noted that it works with the attorney general’s office in high-profile cases and coordinates with authorities about the timing of administrative actions to protect the integrity of possible criminal investigations.

Records show the board hasn’t previously taken disciplinary action against Husel. It doesn’t disclose whether it has received complaints if no formal disciplinary action is taken.

Hospital: ‘Poor decisions’ by staff giving outsize pain meds

By KANTELE FRANKO

Associated Press

Wednesday, January 23

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio doctor’s orders for potentially fatal doses of pain medicine given to at least 27 hospital patients were carried out by employees who “made poor decisions” and ignored existing safeguards, a top administrator told staff in an internal video.

The Columbus-area Mount Carmel Health System said it fired the intensive care doctor, reported its findings to authorities and has put six pharmacists and 14 nurses on paid leave pending further review.

“Sadly, our investigation revealed some of our colleagues did not meet our standard of care,” President and CEO Ed Lamb said in an internal video message last week to employees that was obtained by WBNS-TV. “The actions that created this tragedy were instigated by this physician and carried out by a small number of good people who made poor decisions. They ignored the safeguards we have in place.”

Mount Carmel has notified affected families of the deceased patients.

The announcement involving patients from the past few years raised questions about whether drugs were used to hasten deaths intentionally or possibly illegally. It also spurred at least four lawsuits alleging patients died because hospital employees either negligently or intentionally gave them inappropriately large doses of the powerful painkiller fentanyl, unbeknownst to the patients’ families.

Mount Carmel said all the patients were near death but the dosages were significantly larger than necessary to provide comfort. However, some of the families suing the hospital, Dr. William Husel and other staff who approved or administered the drugs are questioning whether relatives were given accurate information about the graveness of their loved ones’ conditions.

A wrongful death lawsuit filed Tuesday over the March 2015 death of 65-year-old Jan Thomas also accuses Husel of fraud, alleging he withheld information about Thomas’ prognosis, led her family to believe she would die naturally after being removed from life support, and didn’t disclose that she would receive lethal fentanyl.

Husel worked for Mount Carmel for five years. His lawyers aren’t commenting.

The Ohio Department of Health is investigating on behalf of the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the Franklin County prosecutor confirmed a local investigation.

Husel’s work also is under internal review by the Cleveland Clinic, where he was a supervised resident from 2008 to 2013. The medical center said its preliminary review found his prescribing practices were “consistent with appropriate care.”

Records show the State Medical Board in Ohio has never taken disciplinary action against Husel. The board doesn’t disclose whether it has received complaints if no formal disciplinary action is taken.

Twenty-six of the 27 patients were at Mount Carmel West, the system’s flagship hospital just west of downtown in the lower-income Franklinton neighborhood. The site already was a source of community concern in recent years after Mount Carmel announced it would move inpatient services and hundreds of employees to a new hospital in suburban Grove City this year, leaving some residents near West concerned about the impact on businesses, development and access to medical care.

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MORPC Announces Government Affairs Director

Garrity to Serve in New Government Affairs Position

(Columbus – Jan. 24, 2019) The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) has promoted Joseph Garrity to serve as its director of government affairs.

The director of government affairs serves as the agency’s chief government affairs officer and leads the agency’s public policy and advocacy efforts.This lead position also provides support throughout the agency and to local governments on related initiatives, public policy and collaborative efforts.

“Joe has played an instrumental role in elevating our government affairs and advocacy efforts,” MORPC Executive Director William Murdock said. “Hisenthusiasm and experience will serve him well in this new leadership position at a time our member communities are taking an increased interest in how legislation and regulations at the state and federal levels are affecting them.”

Garrity has worked at MORPC for four years, in varying capacities, most recently as senior government affairs coordinator. Prior to that, Garrity served as a legislative aide in the Ohio General Assembly. He also served as a congressional intern in the U.S. Senate.

“As a native of Central Ohio, I am honored to serve in this new capacity at MORPC,” Garrity said. “I am eager to get to work on behalf of our local government members and in ensuring that Central Ohio becomes an even better place to live, work and move.”

In his free time, Garrity serves as a board member of the Central Ohio National Kidney Foundation and as the vice chair of the Columbus International Visitors Council.

Garrity has a bachelor’s degree in specialized studies from Ohio University and a master’s degree in applied politics from The Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at The University of Akron.

The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) serves as a resource for local officials as they make decisions about economic growth, development, transportation, energy, and environmental sustainability. Through a variety of transformative programs and services, we work to improve the lives of all Central Ohio residents and make the region stand out on the world stage. For more information, please visit www.morpc.org.

911 Emergency: Call If You Can, Text If You Can’t

City of Columbus

After more than two years of work and cooperation between Franklin County and its jurisdictions, Franklin County residents can now send text messages to 911 dispatchers – with one very key caveat. Calling is better than texting because emergency dispatchers can get more immediate answers to questions from callers, listen for distress in voices and background information that could assist police in a potentially life-threatening emergency. Call if you can, text if you can’t.

Safety agencies throughout Franklin County collaborated to share 911 systems and develop partnerships to improve emergency service delivery for all Franklin County residents while simultaneously reducing implementation costs for the agencies. These agencies will be able to receive Text-to-911 texts either directly or via transfer – Franklin County Sheriff’s Office; the cities of Bexley, Columbus, Gahanna, Grove City, New Albany, Reynoldsburg, Westerville, Whitehall and Worthington; the Dublin Northwest Regional Emergency Communications Center (which also serves Upper Arlington and Hilliard); The Ohio State University and the John Glenn Columbus International Airport Police.

The 911 dispatchers in the agencies noted above will see Text-to-911 messages in a similar fashion to what shows up on a smart-phone text chain and have the ability to text back specific questions to the sender. With this in mind, agencies jointly developed pre-programmed responses aimed to address the text emergencies they receive and quickly ask for key information.

Text-to-911 works on cell phones, tablets and other devices with the capability of sending texts. Though the initial Text-to-911 roll out will not include the ability for texters to send pictures and videos, partners throughout Franklin County will keep working with individual agencies and expect this to happen at some point in the future. Text-to-911 service is subject to cell signal availability and not every text sent will be received – another reason why those attempting to contact 911 should call when they can and text when they can’t. In the event a text does not go through, the person attempting to use Text-to-911 will receive an automated bounce-back message indicating the text’s failure to be delivered.

For more information about the new Text-to-911 service, go to www.text911.franklincountyohio.gov.

Ohio Inspector General Investigation Finds Ohio Department of Medicaid Employee Conducted Personal Business on State Time

Columbus, Ohio, January 24, 2019

The Ohio Inspector General issued a report of investigation today after being informed by the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) that Aristotle Mante, ODM Health Services policy specialist, may be working secondary jobs that he failed to report per ODM policy.

Investigators conducted a forensic review of Mante’s state-issued computer and discovered 97 downloaded files related to Strayer University and Indiana Wesleyan University and nearly 200 logons to university websites that occurred during his ODM work day. In addition, Mante emailed faculty and students, responded to student questions, reviewed student assignments, posted student grades, and uploaded assignments while at work at ODM. Investigators subpoenaed and evaluated records from both universities and confirmed that Mante was being paid for his work as an adjunct professor.

The Office of the Inspector General found reasonable cause to believe that a wrongful act occurred based on violations of ODM policies requiring employees to report secondary employment and for engaging in activities for personal profit during paid work hours using state resources.

The report of investigation has been sent to the Columbus City Attorney and Ohio Ethics Commission for consideration.

Ohio Inspector General Report of Investigation file number 2018-CA00029 is now available at: http://watchdog.ohio.gov/investigations/2019investigations.aspx

Based on the Emmy-winning PBS Kids Show PEG + CAT LIVE! Plays the Davidson March 2

Based on the Emmy-winning PBS Kids show “PEG + CAT,” this totally awesome musical features wild comedy, countless favoritesongs from the show, and Peg’s super coolest pal Ramone. When Peg’s mom asks Peg and Cat to mail some really important letters, they come face to face with a really big dog. To solve it, they’ll need math—bar graphs, size comparison, position words, fair sharing, and a whole lot of counting. They’ll also need to count on each other, and the audience too, for their problem to be solved.

CAPA presents PEG + CAT LIVE! at the Davidson Theatre (77 S. High St.) on Saturday, March 2, at 1 pm. Tickets are $36.50 and $51.50 and can be purchased in-person at the CAPA Ticket Center (39 E. State St.), online at www.capa.com,or by phone at (614) 469-0939 or (800) 745-3000.

Peg + Cat

CALENDAR LISTING

CAPA presents PEG + CAT LIVE!

Saturday, March 2, 1 pm

Davidson Theatre (77 S. High St.)

Based on the Emmy-winning PBS Kids show “PEG + CAT,” this totally awesome musical features wild comedy, countless favorite songs from the show, and Peg’s super coolest pal Ramone.When Peg’s mom asks Peg and Cat to mail some really important letters, they come face to face with a really big dog. To solve it, they’ll need math—bar graphs, size comparison, position words, fair sharing, and a whole lot of counting. They’ll also need tocount on each other, and the audience too, for their problem to be solved. Tickets are $36.50 and $51.50 and can be purchased in-person at the CAPA Ticket Center (39 E. State St.), online at www.capa.com,or by phone at (614) 469-0939 or (800) 745-3000. www.capa.com

The Ohio Arts Council helped fund this program with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, education excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. CAPA also appreciates the generous support of the Barbara B. Coons and Robert Bartels Funds of The Columbus Foundation and the Greater Columbus Arts Council.

About CAPA

Owner/operator of downtown Columbus’ magnificent historic theatres (Ohio Theatre, Palace Theatre, Southern Theatre) and manager of the Riffe Center Theatre Complex,Lincoln Theatre, Drexel Theatre, Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts (New Albany, OH), and the Shubert Theater (New Haven, CT), CAPA is a non-profit, award-winning presenter of national and international performing arts and entertainment. For more information, visit www.capa.com.

Ohio Sharing Insurance Regulation Expertise With Other States

Ohio Department of Insurance

Thursday, January 24, 2019

COLUMBUS — Department of Insurance Director Jillian Froment announced today that Ohio is assuming a leadership role in the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), an organization that provides insurance regulation guidance to all 50 states,the District of Columbia and U.S. territories.

Froment was selected to serve on the NAIC’s Executive Committee and 22 total committees and task forces in 2019 to address important issues associated with consumer protection, product pricing, fraud, financial monitoring of insurance companies, and technology.

“Having the opportunity to serve in a number of leadership roles is a testament to the work of the Department and our staff on behalf of every Ohio consumer and the industry we regulate,” Froment said. “I am excited for the opportunity to work collaboratively with regulators from across the country. Together, we are helping shape the framework of insurance regulation nationwide in an increasingly innovative and technology driven world.”

Froment’s appointment to the executive committee follows her recent re-election by state insurance regulators to chair the Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Commission. The commission ensures consumer safeguards in asset protection insurance products through uniform legislation and regulatory oversight for life insurance, annuities, disability income and long-term care insurance.

Ohio will serve as Vice-Chair of the Financial Regulation Standards and Accreditation Committee responsible for ensuring all state departments of insurance are equipped to carry out their duties in regulating the industry. The committee conducts an accreditation of each state insurance department review on a five year rolling basis. Ohio will also serve as Chair of the Examination Task Force and Vice-Chair of the Life Actuarial Task Force.

The NAIC is a national organization of insurance regulators whose main objective is to provide support to insurance regulators across the country by promoting competitive markets, improvement of insurance regulations and equitable treatment of insurance consumers.

Ohio is home to 270 insurers, is the sixth largest insurance state in the country and the 19th largest insurance market in the world with $84 billion in premium volume. The Ohio Department of Insurance regulates more than 1,600 insurance companies, 220,000 insurance agents and 18,000 insurance agencies.

Rep. Russo to serve on Joint Medicaid Oversight Committee

Lawmaker brings health policy expertise to important position

COLUMBUS — State Rep. Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) has been appointed to the Joint Medicaid Oversight Committee, a bicameral, bipartisan body that oversees the various facets of Ohio’s Medicaid program.

“Ohioans deserve the security of knowing that when they or a loved one are sick or injured, they’ll be able to get the care they need. That’s why I ran for office,” said Rep. Russo. “I look forward to bringing my experience to this committee to help address some of the critical healthcare issues facing Ohio families, like addiction, infant mortality and an aging population. By working together, we can promote efficiency, protect the integrity of Medicaid and improve health outcomes for all Ohioans, especially our most vulnerable.”

Russo has spent the last two decades advising leaders and policymakers on issues related to the healthcare financing and care delivery needs of seniors, vulnerable populations, veterans and military families. She earned a Doctor of Public Health in health policy from the George Washington University and a Master of Public Health in epidemiology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association to Welcome Begley and Magers to Hall of Fame

Bill Begley (Southwest Ohio papers and Lima) and Pat Magers (Fostoria and Tiffin) will enter OPSWA Hall of Fame March 23

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The officers of the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association (OPSWA) have announced the 2019 OPSWA Hall of Fame induction class, which includes Southwest Ohio native Bill Begley and Northwest Ohio’s Pat Magers, who still writes for the Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune.

They will join 65 sports writing greats previously enshrined in the OPSWA Hall of Fame during ceremonies on Saturday, March 23 at the OHSAA boys basketball state tournament at the Schottenstein Center.

FILE – In this Jan. 15, 2019 file photo, the main entrance to Mount Carmel West Hospital is shown in Columbus, Ohio. The Columbus-area Mount Carmel Health System said a doctor’s orders for potentially fatal doses of pain medicine given to over two dozen patients were carried out by what he calls "a small number of good people who made poor decisions." Mount Carmel Health System said it fired the intensive care doctor, put six pharmacists and 14 nurses on paid leave pending further review and reported its findings to authorities. (AP Photo/Andrew Welsh Huggins, File)
https://www.sunburynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/48/2019/01/web1_122190332-415d0802e73f43cdac43370647a13f44.jpgFILE – In this Jan. 15, 2019 file photo, the main entrance to Mount Carmel West Hospital is shown in Columbus, Ohio. The Columbus-area Mount Carmel Health System said a doctor’s orders for potentially fatal doses of pain medicine given to over two dozen patients were carried out by what he calls "a small number of good people who made poor decisions." Mount Carmel Health System said it fired the intensive care doctor, put six pharmacists and 14 nurses on paid leave pending further review and reported its findings to authorities. (AP Photo/Andrew Welsh Huggins, File)
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