Health Watch USA Logo Op-Eds Opinion Editorials (opposite editorials)


Op-Ed Sections of Newspapers & Major Websites:


2019-1-HW (Link to Article):  Arguments for medical review panels unjustified
"We the people — we the patients — deserve health policy shaped by facts, not rhetoric reflecting fears and fantasies. Let’s work together to solve real problems within health care in Kentucky. Melissa Clarkson is a member of Health Watch USA and an assistant professor of biomedical informatics at the University of Kentucky."  Lexington Herald Leader.  Publication Online Jan. 4, 2019.   Print Jan. 7, 2019.

2018-5-HW (Link to Article):  Patients have few remedies for spiraling health-care costs, but here are a few tips.  "It is fair to say that all of us have had experience with skyrocketing health-care costs and are astonished that this situation is allowed to continue. Policymakers seem to have an insurmountable inertia. The conclusion: the United States spends almost twice as much on health-care than other developed nations but has similar health-care utilization. Although, commonly blamed, this is not the patient’s fault."  Lexington Herald Leader.  Publication Online Nov. 27, 2018.   Print Dec. 3, 2018.

2018-4-HW (Link to Article):  Politics is Protecting Pathogens, Not Patients.  "The current United States government is still relying on the widely held misconception that the health-care industry is in a competitive market and will improve its quality because of market pressures.  At the same time, access to health-care quality information — essential to consumers’ choice — is under attack."  Lexington Herald Leader.  Sept. 21, 2018.  

KY Hospital Rankings2018-3-HW (Link to Article):  How to choose a hospital (spoiler: its not getting any easier).  "Even in Kentucky’s leading hospitals, infections rates are alarming, which makes it even harder for patients to be smart consumers."  Lexington Herald Leader.  June. 1, 2018.  

2018-2-HW (Link to Article):  ‘Roseanne’ reflects how much opioid use is now engrained.  "I know from studying the science and personal experience that prescription narcotics are not an effective treatment for chronic pain.  Yet, narcotic usage has become rampant and even trivialized as a laugh line on the “Roseanne” reboot .."  Lexington Herald Leader.  April. 13, 2018.

2018-1-HW (Link to Article):  Survival tips in the age of drug-resistant bacteria.  "There is a war going on, reminiscent of a zombie apocalypse. The insidious agent is spread easily between people, a bite is not required. It does not turn its captors into mindless killing drones but instead, when they least expect it, they are slowly eaten from the inside out. The apocalypse is called drug-resistant bacteria and, so far, modern medicine is failing miserably at stopping it."  Lexington Herald Leader.  Dec. 29, 2017. (Print Publication: Jan. 13, 2018)

2017-5-HW (Link to Article):   Kentucky doctor says Medicare-style plan could curb costs, empower consumers (Print Title:  "The fix: Revive competition to cut health costs").  "The answer to healthcare reform is simple, you must lower health care costs. Either instill true provider competition or give more power to the purchasers with a variation of a single-payer system. In our present political climate, a pragmatic solution may be Medicare-Advantage-For-All."  Lexington Herald Leader.  Oct. 20, 2017.

2017-4-HW (Link to Article):   Shoddy research, deadly results.  "(The problem of Conflicts of interest) is of paramount importance. Research is the foundation for treatment protocols and health policy. A murky fog has descended over what works and what does not."  Lexington Herald Leader.  July. 30, 2017.    

2017-3-HW (Link to Article):   The incidence of MRSA infections in the United States: is a more comprehensive tracking system needed?  "If MRSA is being spread by the hands of healthcare workers, then their hands must at one time have become contaminated with MRSA and there must have been a failure of containment and control, which should be viewed as our frontline intervention. "  BioMed Central.  On Health.  Mar. 10, 2017.    

2017-2-HW (Link to Article):   Hospitals, doctors must come clean when patients are harmed.  "There is room for improvement in patient safety in every facility, even in higher-functioning ones. As stated by Jim Conway, past senior vice president of Institute for Healthcare Improvement, 'In the gap between excellence and perfection, there is suffering, harm, tragedy and death.' "  Lexington Herald Leader.  Mar. 5, 2017.   References 

2017-1-HW (Link to Article):   Choosing a hospital? Read this first.  So how did the hospitals do? In the Lexington region, they overall have improved.  Lexington Herald Leader.  Feb. 2, 2017.  References

Coverage by Kentucky Health News

2016-4-HW (Link to Article):   Drug industry’s quest for profits yields superbugs.  The next bailout: Big Pharma  now asking for tax dollars to fund new antibiotics.  Lexington Herald Leader.  Sep. 24, 2016.   References

2016-3-HW (Link to Article):    US Health Reform Now Needs Reforming   We spent $24,691 for each family on healthcare— almost half of the average family income of $54,000.  Lexington Herald Leader.  Aug. 20, 2016.   References

2016-2-HW (Link to Article):    Non-profit hospitals an oxymoron (Healthcare Rendition)   Kentucky Hospital Charges and Those In the Nation are Far Too High.  Lexington Herald Leader.  May 20, 2016.   References

2016-1-HW (Link to Article):    Buyer beware: no return, redo in hospital care   Kentucky Hospital Rankings by Major Hospital Ranking Organizations, Including CMS (Medicare)  Lexington Herald Leader.  Jan. 16, 2016.   
Download Expanded Ranking Table        References

2015-6-HW (Link to Article):    Needed: Greater Surveillance, New Norms in the Fight Against Antibiotic Resistance  The 21st Century Cures Act needs to assure effective antibiotic stewardship and Antibiotic Resistant Organism Surveillance  Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy.  Oct. 8, 2015.     

2015-5-HW (Link to Article):    Without more monitoring, medical devices will keep harming patients  We all need to encourage Congress to amend the 21st Century Cures Act to assure effective pre-market testing and post-market monitoring of medical devices.
 Lexington Herald Leader.  Aug. 14, 2015.     

2015-4-HW (Link to Article):  hospitals should act as Ky. falls on key infection ranking. One of the most prevalent superbugs is MRSA which causes the deadly staph infection. Until recently, Kentucky had one of the highest rates of staph bloodstream infections in the nation. New data from the Centers for Disease Control's National Healthcare Safety Network show that our MRSA bloodstream infection rate has worsened; Kentucky is now dead last among the 50 states in controlling this deadly disease.  Lexington Herald Leader.  June 18, 2015.     

2015-3-HW (Link to Article):  Single-payer health care may emerge as best option. Returning to a free-market system will be more difficult than just saying "repeal Obamacare." Six difficult changes would have to be made to create a free market.  Lexington Herald Leader.  May 16, 2015.     

2015-2-HW (Link to Article):  Health-care non-profits may not be what they seem. Profits soar Yet cost is the often repeated excuse for not doing more to control infections.  Lexington Herald Leader.  Mar. 27, 2015.     

2015-1-HW (Link to Article):  Legislative panel must support more hospital reporting of infection outbreaks.  Lexington Herald Leader.  Jan. 13, 2015.    

2014-7-HW (Link to Article):  How Ebola reveals scary gaps in U.S. health care.  Lexington Herald Leader.  Oct. 12, 2014.   

2014-6-HW (Link to Article):  Beshear moving to protect Kentuckians from health-care associated infections.  Lexington Herald Leader.  Sept. 15, 2014.   

Kentucky Hospital Rankings

2014-5-HW (Link to Article):  Use Hospital Rankings to Help Stay Out of Harm's Way.  Lexington Herald Leader.  Aug. 10, 2014.    Download Complete Expanded Table

2014-4-HW (Link to Article):  VA lesson: defend and deny bad health policy.  Lexington Herald Leader.  Jun. 22, 2014.  View Op-Ed References   More on Full Disclosure - Steve Kraman

2014-3-HW (Link to Article):  Overuse of antibiotics aids attacks of deadly bacteria.  Lexington Herald Leader.  Mar. 13, 2014.

Healthcare Paradox2014-2-HW (Link to Article):  Book Review - The American Health Paradox.  Louisville Courier Journal.  Mar. 13, 2014.

2014-1-HW (Link to Article):  Mandate reporting of Ky. health-care related infections.  Lexington Herald Leader.  Mar. 13, 2014.

2013-8-HW (Link to Article):  Surcharge on smokers under Ky. health reform is unfair, shortsighted.  Lexington Herald Leader.  Sep. 5, 2013.

Lexington Herald Leader Editorial Board:  Pricing smokers out of health care is bad policy. Kentucky's 40 percent surcharge is short-term gain for long-term pain  Sep. 8, 2013.   

Burchett M.  The Lazer.  State health-insurance exchange plans to make smokers pay 40 percent more for coverage; varied interests object...   Sep. 9, 2013.

2013-7-HW (Link to Article):  Disclosure key to curbing medical errors; UK board should demand it.  Lexington Herald Leader.  Aug 11, 2013.  UK board responsible for hospital safety.

2013-6-HW (Link to Article):   Better monitoring needed in a post-antibiotic era.  Lexington Herald Leader.  July 11, 2013.  The case is made for public reporting of Healthcare Associated Infections and for Engagement of the Health Department.

2013-5-HW (Link to Article):   Tough Diagnosis: Hospital Rankings.  Lexington Herald Leader.  May 12, 2013.  An Op-Ed which describes the various hospital rating systems and give Kentucky Hospital Ratings.  Download PDF of how Kentucky Hospitals do on these rating systems. 

2013-4-HW (Link to Article):  Costs soar when doctors work for hospitals.  Lexington Herald Leader.  April 22, 2013.  The case is made to reduce hospital facility fees.  View Op Ed      View Op-Ed References   

See Shortened Version of the Published in Op-Ed in US News & World Report  
View Op Ed

2013-3-HW (Link to Article):  'Book Review - Bad Pharma'  Courier Journal, Louisville, Ky.   Feb 23, 2013.   Details of Drug Company Tactics.    
View Book Review References


2013-2-HW (Link to Article):   More scrutiny on spread of infections; health care industry resists surveillance.  Lexington Herald Leader.  Feb. 11, 2013.   Healthcare Industry Resists Surveillance.   View Op-Ed References

2013-1-HW (Link to Article):  Hospital Facility Fees Raise Out-of-Pocket Costs for Medicare Patients.  US News & World Report.  Jan 11, 2013.  The case is made to reduce hospital facility fees.  View Op Ed    View Op-Ed References  

Opposing Op-Ed from American Hospital Association:  View Op-Ed 

2012-11-HW (Link to Article)  Consumers must scrutinize details of hospital rankings.  Herald Leader Lexington, Ky,  Nov. 7, 2012.  The Quality Measures used in different hospital ranking systems.   View Op-Ed References   

2012-10-HW (Link to Article)  The Changing Role of the Physician.  American College of Surgeons Surgical News,  Oct. 23, 2012.   Changing healthcare governance, fiduciary responsibility and the driving forces behind integration.   View Op-Ed References 

2012-9- HW (Link to Article)  Assessing Changes in Reform.   Courier Journal,  Aug 27, 2012.   Healthcare Consolidation, Integration and Oligopolies are increasing healthcare costs.     View Op-Ed References   View Op-Ed Text

Rooted in the Mountains, Reaching to the World2012-8- HW (Link to Article)  'Book Review:  Rooted in the Mountains, Reaching to the World'.   Courier Journal,  Aug 17, 2012.   The book is more about adventures involving horses shod with ice nails and the forging of swollen streams; about the power and courage of humanity to overcome obstacles, to instill hope.  

Appalachian Health and Well-Being2012-7- HW (Link to Article)  'Book Review:  Appalachian Health and Well-Being'.   Courier Journal,  July 14, 2012.   Healthy living challenge for Appalachia.  

2012-6-HW (Link to Article)  'Patients dissatisfied with unnecessary, expensive care'.  Herald Leader, Lexington, Ky,  June 25, 2012.  There is a wide variation in the recommended medical care which is received by patients.    View Op-Ed References

My Father 2012-5-HW (Link to Article)    'Book Review:  My Father'.   Courier Journal, Louisville,   Jun. 16, 2012.  "One of the most disturbing chapters details the legislative hearings and ill-motivated national politics that have prevented an effective national response, spurring the birth of the consumer advocacy movement to combat hospital-acquired infections."  

Battle Over Healthcare2012-4-HW (Link to Article)   'Book Review:  The Battle Over Healthcare'.   Courier Journal, Louisville,   May. 19, 2012.    As stated by the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, “If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” Unless we change, we are headed for a health care system that few can afford and few will want.

2012-3-HW (Link to Article)  'A tale of two cows: Why we have a cow map and not a healthcare acquired infection map.   Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy,   Mar. 13, 2012.  A parody comparing the availability of data between agriculture and healthcare.  View Op-Ed References

Coverage by William Heisel's Antidote: Spotting MRSA & Other Superbugs

Coverage by William Heisel's Antidote: Better Definitions and Better Data

2012-2-HW (Link to Article)  'More doctors controlled by hospitals mean restricted care.   Herald Leader, Lexington, KY,   Mar. 1, 2012.  Healthcare Integration, Medicare Expenditures and the Shrinking Role of Physicians in Healthcare.  View Op-Ed References

See Letter to Editor by Cameron S. Schaeffer, M.D.

2012-1-HW (Link to Article Text)  'Hospital Infections are Underreported.  Courier Journal, Louisville, KY,  Jan. 31, 2012.  The case is made for Public Reporting and Full Disclosure of Adverse Events and Not to Charge Patients for These Events.   View Op-Ed References    Link to Archived Abstract    Link to Article Text

2011-9-HW (Link to Article)  'Don't Tell' Culture a Plague Health Care.  Herald Leader, Lexington, KY,  Dec. 5, 2011.  The case is made for Full Disclosure of Medical Errors.   View Op-Ed References

2011-8-HW (Link to Article)  One in Seven Hospitalizations Results in Harm:  Hospital performance tied to Board Engagement.  Medical News,  Nov. 2011.  View Op-Ed References

2011-7-HW (Link to Article)   Outpatient Antibiotic Utilization Highest in West Virginia and Kentucky  The Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy.  Washington, DC,  Nov. 17, 2011.  Quoted by Charleston Daily Mail 

2011-6-HW (Link to Article)   Investigate staffing, infection rates at UK hospital  Herald Leader.  Lexington, KY,  Sep. 4, 2011.   

2011-5-HW (Link to Article)   Public, patients have right to know hospitals' infection rates  Herald leader. Lexington, KY,   July 11, 2011.   The case is presented for patients right to know hospital infection rates.

2011-4-HW (Link to Article Text)   Tracking of Hospital Acquired Infections   Courier Journal, Louisville, KY,  Apr. 20, 2011   Norton Healthcare System's Award from the NQF is Outstanding.  Other Kentucky hospitals should follow its example.   Link to Archived Abstract    Link to Article Text

2011-3-HW (Link to Article)  UK Wrong To Downplay Loss of Nursing Honor  Herald Leader, Lexington, KY,  Mar. 21, 2011   It is important for hospitals to achieve the Magnet Recognition and to participate in the Leapfrog Group Survey.

2011-2-HW (Link to Article Text)  Revising Health Care Reform  Courier Journal, Louisville, KY,  Jan. 21, 2011   The healthcare system still has significant problems with increasing insurance premiums.   
 View Op-Ed References    Link to Archived Abstract
  Link to Article Text

2011-1-HW (Link to Article)  State Reporting on Hospital Infections - Lax, Dangerous    Lexington Herald Leader, Lexington, KY, Jan. 21, 2011   As other states are issuing infection reports to the public.  Kentuckians are endangered by the lack of reporting and inhibited health department oversight.  View Op-Ed References

2010-5-HW (Link to Article Text)  Health Care Strom Brewing   Courier Journal, Louisville, KY,  Dec. 8, 2010   The healthcare system is still in crisis, checks and balances on quality and costs have been weakened.  
View Op-Ed References     Link to Archived Abstract    Link to Article Text

2010-4-HW (PDF)  Hospital Acquired Infections Reporting and Kentucky's HAI Health Plan    Lexington Herald Leader, Lexington, KY,  July. 25, 2010   The State of Kentucky Needs to require hospitals to report all Hospital Acquired Infections.  

2010-3-HW (Link to Article)  Kentucky Should Award CONs so All Hospital Systems in The State Benefit, Not Just One  Medical News - The Business of Healthcare, Louisville, KY,  March. 12, 2010  The certificate of need should be abolished or placed up for bid so all facilities can benefit.

2010-2- HW (Link to Article Text)  Fight Hospital-Acquired Infections  Courier Journal, Louisville, KY,  Jan. 12, 2010   The healthcare industry can and needs to do more to prevent healthcare acquired infections.   
Link to Archived Abstract    Link to Article Text

2010-1-HW (PDF)  Poor Way to Decide Who Gets Hospitals   Lexington Herald Leader, Lexington, KY,  Jan. 11, 2010   The Certificate of Need is adversely affecting the health of residents of Jessamine County and is running up healthcare costs.   

2009-3-HW (PDF)  Keep Public Reporting in Reform Plan - Lexington Herald Leader, Lexington, KY,  Oct. 4, 2009   Public reporting of healthcare acquired infections is now supported by major national medical organizations.

2009-2-HW (PDF)   Stop Hospital Borne Infections  Courier Journal, Louisville, KY, July 9, 2009   Public reporting of healthcare acquired infections is now in the process of implementation in 27 states.    View CJ Editor's Comment on HAI

2009-1-HW (PDF) Kentucky's Certificate of Need Process Needs Overhauling- Courier Journal, Louisville, KY, January 5 2009  Kentucky's CON process for acute care facilities is frozen with decronian regulations making it impossible to build additional facilities.  The State not petitioners, should decide where CONs are needed; they should place them nationally up for bid. 

2008-3-HW (PDF) Hospitals Reckless to Leave Floors Short of Nurses- Lexington Herald Leader, Lexington Kentucky, May 28, 2008  Low levels of hospital staff has been reported by nurses and lack of facility cleanliness and responsiveness by patients.  Medicare is no longer paying for preventable adverse patient outcomes, Medicaid should follow suit.

2008-2-HW (PDF) The Case for Surveillance for MRSA - Lexington Herald Leader, Lexington Kentucky, March 21, 2008  One could argue that Medicare patient admissions in the State of Kentucky would develop 2,500 hospital acquired infections and at risk of losing between $80,000,000 to $131,000,000 in revenue.

2008-1-HW (PDF) Mandatory Reporting of MRSA and HAIs - Lexington Herald Leader, Lexington Kentucky, Feb. 4, 2008  HAIs are more common than any other reportable disease and deaths exceed several of the causes listed in the top 10 causes of death in the US vital statistics.

2007-7-HW (PDF) Health Care Crisis Unites Disparate Groups, Interests - Lexington Herald Leader, Lexington Kentucky, Oct. 15, 2007  Problems in Kentucky's health care system are discussed in a statewide conference.

2007-6-HW (PDF) Too Much to Expect From Too Few Nurses - Lexington Herald Leader, Lexington Kentucky, April 16, 2007  Frontline Caregivers get little support in protecting patients.

2007-5-HW (PDF) The CON Steals Jessamine's Health Care Access - Jessamine Journal, Nicholasville Kentucky, April 12, 2007  As long as hospitals exist in Lexington, the CON is preventing Jessamine County from building a hospital.

2007-4-HW (PDF) The Fletcher Administration & Oakwood, a Sordid Affair - Lexington Herald Leader, Lexington Kentucky, Feb 26, 2007  Reason for outrage, scrutiny -- Fletcher aides, donors hurt Oakwood, State.

2007-4-BG (PDF) CON Law Shrinks Health-Cares Iron Triangle - Bluegrass Institute, Kentucky, Jan 8, 2007 The CON fails to lower prices or improve quality or access.

2007-3-HW (PDF)  Give Public Info About Health Care Facilities - Lexington Herald Leader, Lexington Kentucky Jan 29, 2007 A call to increase the transparency of health care quality.

2007-2-HW (PDF)  Medical Tourism or Creative Destruction - Courier Journal Online, Jan 18, 2007 Foreign countries are competing and trying to attract patients from the United States.

2007-1-BG (PDF)  Prognosis for Ailing Health Care System Will Improve Only With Competition, Transparency - Bluegrass Institute, Kentucky, Jan 8, 2007  The high cost and low quality of the United States healthcare system

2007-1-HW (PDF)  Quality Not Rising With Cost of Health Care - Herald Leader, Lexington KY, Jan 2, 2007  The high cost and low quality of the US healthcare system

2006-8-HW (PDF)  Certificate of Need Unneeded - Herald Leader, Lexington KY, November 13, 2006  

2006-45-BG (PDF)  Eliminate CON, Embrace Competition - Bluegrass Institute, Kentucky, OCT 23, 2006

2006-7-HW (PDF) State Blocking Medical Competition - Herald Leader, Lexington KY, July 31, 2006

2006-6-HW (PDF)  Health Care in Crisis: What is Wrong With Frankfort? - Jessamine Journal, Nicholasville KY July 27, 2006

2006-5-HW (PDF)  Frankfort Didn't Tell Whole Story on CON Details - Commonwealth Journal, Somerset KY July 5, 2006

2006-4-HW (PDF) Certificate of Monopoly - Courier Journal, Louisville KY, June 22, 2006

2006-3-HW (PDF)  Second Hospital Now Out of Reach ? - Commonwealth Journal, Somerset KY, April 26, 2006

2006-2-HW (PDF)  Nursing Shortage Argument Doesn't Hold Water - Commonwealth Journal, Somerset KY, January 8, 2006

2006-1-HW (PDF)  Kentucky's New Healthcare Plan - Courier Journal, Louisville KY January 3, 2006

2005-3-HW (PDF)  Let Consumer Demand Ensure Adequate Nursing Staff  - Herald Leader, Lexington KY November 21, 2005

2005-2-HW (PDF)  Health Savings Accounts a Possible Solution for the Kentucky Health Care Crisis - Herald Leader, Lexington, KY February 26, 2005

2005-1-HW (PDF)  Marriage of Managed Care, Medicaid Can Be Saved - Herald Leader, Lexington, KY January 24, 2005

2004-1-HW (PDF)  RX For High Drug Costs - Herald Leader, Lexington, KY October 21, 2004


MRSA Picture

The picture on the right is a photomicrograph of
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA).