In a recent feature, American Health Line talked to experts to help answer two key questions:
- How is the U.S. is doing at measuring health care quality?
- How we can do it better?
The experts came to the conclusion that the nation's efforts at measuring quality are improving, but there is more room to grow. The experts had far more to say than that, but we had limited space. To give you a more in-depth look at what else our interviewees had to say, below are some additional key themes from our discussions.
More From the Experts on Measuring Quality
Federal officials on Wednesday announced that a co-owner and a pharmacist at a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy linked to a meningitis outbreak in 2012 have been charged with murder, racketeering and other charges.
The outbreak -- which began in September 2012 -- was linked to tainted steroid injections made by New England Compounding Center, which now is bankrupt. An estimated 14,000 people in dozens of states received the tainted injections, resulting in more than 700 illnesses and dozens of deaths.
Officials released a federal indictment that charges NECC co-founder Barry Cadden and pharmacist Glenn Chin, who oversaw the sterile room where the products were made, with "acting in wanton and willful disregard of the likelihood" that their actions could cause individuals great bodily harm or death. Cadden and Chin also have been charged with 25 counts of second-degree murder for deaths spanning seven states, according to the Department of Justice.
According to DOJ, the charges typically do not require the government to prove that Cadden and Chin intended to kill the individuals but only that they acted with indifference to human life, depending on state statutes. DOJ said that if convicted on all counts, Cadden and Chin could face up to life in prison.
Attorney General Eric Holder in a statement said Cadden and Chin "knew they were producing their medication in an unsafe manner and insanitary conditions, and authorized it to be shipped out anyway, with fatal results." He added, "With the indictment and these arrests, the Department of Justice is taking decisive action to hold these individuals accountable for their alleged participation in grievous wrongdoing. Actions like the ones alleged in this case display not only a reckless disregard for health and safety regulations, but also an extreme and appalling indifference to human life."
Separately, Stephen Weymouth, an attorney representing Chin, called the murder charges are "a bit of an overreach." He said that Chin "feels hugely remorseful for everything that's happened -- for the injuries and the deaths -- but he never intended to cause harm to anybody."
Pharmacy Owner, Employee Facing Murder Allegations: Should They Be Charged?
American Health Line will publish just two more times in 2014. If you've been following our blog for the last week, you'll know that we've been recapping the year with a series of best-of lists. If you missed any of them, below you'll find links and a short description of each end-of-year feature.