grist for the mill

A not-so-secret research cache

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Maynard H. Jackson Jr., First Black Mayor of Atlanta, Dies at 65

Monday, June 23, 2003

Scientific American: How to Build a Time Machine -- It wouldn't be easy, but it might be possible

Sunday, June 22, 2003

The Many Costs of Conflict

Excerpt: The current system embodies struggle, control, and a survival of the fittest mentality. It is based on dialectic, right/wrong, either/or patterns that originated in Aristotelian logic. Even though we live in a densely populated, rapidly changing technological world that cries out for systems that foster collaboration, individuals and institutions tenaciously cling to old habits.

Police oversight chief resigns in Cincinnati

Saturday, June 21, 2003

DMC officials face questions on emergency funds - 06/18/03

The DMC has lost more than $350 million during the past five years, mostly caring for uninsured patients, or those with government-funded health plans that don't fully cover the costs. DMC leaders have threatened to close Receiving and Hutzel hospitals this year without more public funding.

DMC officials face questions on emergency funds - 06/18/03

The DMC has lost more than $350 million during the past five years, mostly caring for uninsured patients, or those with government-funded health plans that don't fully cover the costs. DMC leaders have threatened to close Receiving and Hutzel hospitals this year without more public funding.

Friday, June 20, 2003


by Gil Gallegos, National President Bush sees U.S. as meddling in local police affairs
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

June 1, 2000

Excerpts: Bush said in a written statement that while lawlessness by police cannot be tolerated, "I also do not believe that the federal government should instruct state and local authorities on how police department operations should be conducted, becoming a separate internal affairs division."

Ironically, FOP is now moving to endorse Gore, even though the vice president generally supports the Justice Department's police misconduct investigations. Union leaders consider the probes political "blackmail."

One union source said that in his in-person interview with union leaders, the governor appeared "ill-prepared" to discuss the critical issue. And he came across as somewhat flippant when asked what he had done to help state troopers in Texas get more bargaining rights.

"He said, 'Well, we make sure they have a heck of a Christmas party.' That went over pretty poorly," the source said.

ACLU Opposes Chicago's Move to Modify Consent Decree Governing Police Spying
Thursday, March 13, 1997

Akron weighs police auditor plan
City officials check out popular system used in San Jose, Calif., to
review complaints made by citizens

By Julie Wallace
Beacon Journal staff writer

Schenectady councilmen seek oversight

Gazette Reporter

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

City Council approves improved process for oversight of police conduct

On Aug. 29, 2002 the Minneapolis City Council approved a measure to improve the process for reviewing citizens' complaints of police misconduct and moved oversight of the civilian review authority to the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights. In the next 60 days, Civil Rights will develop a plan to integrate the civilian review function into the department's operation.

New police oversight agency meets

Excerpt: City Council created the Citizen Complaint Authority as part of a package of police reforms following the shooting of Timothy Thomas by a police officer in Over-the-Rhine in 2001. A U.S. Justice Department investigation and the settlement of a racial profiling lawsuit, known as the collaborative agreement, recommended a stronger, more independent police oversight agency.

Independent Review Office of the
Police Oversight Commission - Albuquerque

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Related Topic: Detroit police need database tracker to ID rogue cops
Detroit Free Press - March 12, 2003

Excerpt: Between 1997 and 2001, the City Council authorized more than $123 million in lawsuit damages against police.
Personal Comment: It would seem then that City Council has a compelling interest in being involved in consent decrees.

PARC - Police Assessment Resource Center Publications

PARC regularly publishes reports and articles concerning police oversight. Some of these reports detail monitoring activities in various jurisdictions where PARC has been engaged as a consultant to the monitor. Others were articles produced by the PARC staff. On a monthly basis, PARC publishes the Best Practices Review , a newsletter containing up-to-date news, interviews and events ... This page also contains other publications and websites of interest to those concerned with police reform and oversight.

Council News

In other matters, the Sewerage and Water Board submitted its first written reports to the City Council, as required by the Council?s adoption of Resolution R?02-761 on December 5, 2002. Written reports regarding the status of the Consent Decree must be presented to the Council on a monthly basis, as part of an ongoing effort to retool the agency and provide proof of goal fulfillment prior to requesting any additional rate increases.

Salisbury "Crossroad of Delmarva"

A RESOLUTION of the Council of the City of Salisbury, Maryland approving the Consent Order in Civil Case No. 22-C-02-0011217;

City of Highland Park and the ACLU Reach Landmark Agreement to Prevent Racial Profiling

Harvey Grossman, director of the ACLU’s legal arm, commended Highland Park’s Mayor and City Council for its work in reaching this national model to prevent racial profiling and called on other communities to follow Highland Park’s lead.

Black v. City of Atlanta

The City afterwards moved to set aside the consent order on the ground that its attorneys lacked the authority to bind the municipality to the agreement without the prior approval of the City Council. The primary focus of the objection was the provision for payment of monetary damages to the plaintiffs in the amount of $37,500.00.

Auditor watches over police

"There's things in that consent decree I really appreciate and like, such as the monetary value of the computers,'' the chief said. "The things I appreciate the most is the schooling and education. In the past it was always a problem getting the money. Now, since the consent decree, it's a must.''

The money comes from a city council that had been reluctant in the past to approve such funds for training, he said.

With federal investigators suggesting various changes to the way Cincinnati police operate, City Council is considering backing out of a separate effort to mediate a settlement for a racial profiling lawsuit.

The Providence Phoenix This Just In
POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY - Civilian review comes a step closer


2002 Council Actions, February 22, 2002 96
FEBRUARY 22, 2002

ACLU Press Release: 11-29-2000 -- Stronger Police Accountability in Oakland

Oakland City Council Approves Consent Decree Requiring Discussion of Citizens' Police Review Board Matters in Open Session

Monday, June 16, 2003

NJ L&PS - State Police Consent Decree Information

U.S. v. New Jersey Joint Application for Entry of Consent Decree and Consent Decree

TOM WALSH: Health crisis pits Detroit vs. suburbs
Excerpt:The Detroit-based St. John and Henry Ford Health systems want to build new hospitals in Novi and West Bloomfield, if state lawmakers waive state rules that limit such expansion. [They already have. See related article below.] They'd like to do more business in the suburbs to offset losses in Detroit.

Detroit's Big Three Health Providers Are Drowning in Red Ink (4/4/2003 10:00:00 AM). Critical to the ability of St. John to generate revenue and sustain its charity mission long term, Joseph said, is the health system's ability to compete in the suburbs, where there is a higher percentage of privately insured patients.
Late last year, the state Legislature passed changes to the laws that restrict hospitals' ability to build new hospitals, add beds and expand services. At the urging of the three Detroit hospital systems, the legislature agreed to let health systems add bed capacity in locations where they already have a presence.
As a result, St. John plans to build a hospital in Novi that Joseph said could generate $10 million in operating profit when it is fully operational.

HEALTH SYSTEM'S TURNAROUND PLAN: DMC hospitals must survive on their own

Excerpt: Last year's losses resulted from lower-than-expected patient volume and unexpected costs associated with delays in relocating Hutzel Women's Hospital.

DMC: Brief chronology of the financial spiral

Thursday, June 12, 2003

RELATED TOPIC: Star Telegram | 06/12/2003 | Hold on to your wallet: Health insurance rates expected to rise

Excerpt:The coalition's study predicts that rising prices will increase the number of uninsured Americans -- now 41 million -- to at least 51 million and as many as 54 million by 2006.

RELATED TOPIC, THE COST OF HEALTH CARE: Human resource news - BenefitsNext

Excerpt:"Recent evidence from our site visits suggests hospitals continue to use their formidable negotiating leverage to seek large payment rate increases from health plans—in part to reverse the effect of discounted hospital payment rates in the mid-1990s," said Bradley C. Strunk, an HSC research analyst and study coauthor.
Hospitals also may be seeking to pass through higher wage increases granted in response to labor shortages, particularly for nurses. Growth in hospital wage rates slowed in 2002 but continued to be high, growing 5.5 percent, down from 6.1 percent in 2001

Crain's Detroit Business

Letters To The Editor: Crains Detroit

Council questions Detroit Receiving's funding

Excerpts:But Leon Atchison, former board member of Receiving Hospital, told the council that money was being taken out of Receiving Hospital's reserve accounts and transferred to other DMC operations without approval of Receiving's board. He claimed the money was not being repaid, nor was the DMC paying interest on the "loans" made by Receiving.

"We recognize our responsibility to support the viability of the whole system, but I get questions about what is happening to our (reserve) account," Atchison said.

Atchison said Receiving's unrestricted cash reserves fell from $225 million three years ago to $37 million today "and even that might be gone now," he said.

The DMC has said it cannot continue to operate all of its hospitals without some form of public funding from the local, county, state or federal government. The DMC has identified Receiving as one of its most vulnerable hospitals because of the volume of free care it delivers to poor and uninsured people. Systemwide, DMC delivered $130 million in free care in 2002 with Receiving delivering $78 million alone.

[DMC Chief Executive Arthur] Porter said all reserves belong to the DMC since the separate hospitals formed an "obligated group" in 1986. He said money is transferred among the hospitals to help cover costs of operations and is used to pay interest on DMC's collective debt.

"Detroit Receiving and its financials are within the DMC organization," Porter said. "All monies are owned jointly and severally by all the DMC organizations . . . all DRH money was made for the entire institution."

Detroit Receiving Hospital and University Health Center

Main page. Basic facts

Current and breaking news on health Bioterrorism Training for Emergency Physicians

President's Task Force to Improve Health Care Delivery for Our Nation's Veterans

Short Porter Bio

TOM WALSH: DMC needs aid sooner as well as later

Excerpts: Her [Granholm's]reluctance to seek Band-Aid cash infusions for DMC has some political appeal. Outstate legislators always resent doling out subsidies to southeastern Michigan institutions, be they Detroit museums or the Pontiac Silverdome.
Therefore, Granholm wins points from the anti-Detroit crowd with her suggestion -- echoed in recent days by state health director Janet Olszewski and even by Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick -- that DMC needs to resolve its own "structural issues" and not expect a blank check.
OK, I get it, I understand the political need to stress fiscal discipline as you try to herd Republicans, Democrats and competing health care systems together to forge a solution to the hospital crisis.
But the vague reference to "structural issues" at DMC is a smoke screen. Or worse, this implication that DMC is inefficient or mismanaged becomes the first step in a blame game, where key players start to duck responsibility for a public policy failure that becomes almost pre-ordained.

But there's enough evidence to conclude that DMC President Arthur Porter and his management team aren't idiots. They have cut employment from 15,500 to 12,000 since 1999, cut accounts receivable in half, and reduced the cost per discharged patient three years in a row. DMC is well below the national average in the cost of supplies per patient and ranks above national hospital firms HCA and Tenet in revenue generated per employee from paying customers, says Nick Vitale, DMC's chief operating officer.

Some DMC doctors have suggested a total shutdown of Receiving to spark a full-blown crisis if the city's only top-level trauma center closes and its 87,000 patients a year are diverted to other hospitals. Granholm said Wednesday that she will not allow Detroit to be without a Level One trauma center, but she didn't elaborate.

If there's confusion about DMC's structure because some Detroit City Council members are ranting about promises made -- or not -- in 1978 when the city's public hospital was closing, forget about it. It's silly. DMC's current financial structure has been in place since 1985 and has been no big secret.

YES:Providing care to poor should be reimbursed - 6/9/03
by Arthur T. Porter

Exerpt: Recent announcements of layoffs and consolidation shouldn't have surprised anyone. For months, we have been appealing to city, county, state and federal officials to help us work out a solution that will allow us to continue our services at full strength. And while the DMC made progress in getting on government agendas, no dollars have come our way. Therefore, the DMC needed to act immediately or risk the financial health and well-being of the system's other jewels, including Children's Hospital of Michigan, Sinai-Grace Hospital and the six other DMC hospitals that make budget.

TOM WALSH: Top leaders to meet on plan to bail out Detroit Receiving

Kilpatrick said he understands that the DMC has other funding issues, and that a Granholm task force will continue to work toward establishing a public authority for better long-term care of the region's indigent and uninsured.
"But my mission at this time is to save Receiving Hospital," he said. "It's a burn center; it's a Level 1 trauma center; it's the bio-terrorism center. These things touch a lot of stuff -- the Super Bowl, pope visits . . . You can't have any of those things if you don't have a Level 1 trauma center."
Porter understands the urge to keep Receiving afloat. "Receiving stands for a lot in this community and appropriately so, but I really do feel we really need to think about obstetric care and mental health on an urgent basis," he said

Detroiters speak out on hospital woes

Dr. Arthur Porter - 2000 Michiganian of the Year

Recommendo - cool link.

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

Visonary Leadership: What Do We Do Now? - Presentation to Washington State Medical Association by Edward J. O'Connor Ph.D

PDF format. Lists accomplishments of DMC turnaround plan, pg 17-23.

Accident Stats - General Interest


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