By Kristen Welker and Daniel Arkin, NBC News
As the Obama administration scrambles to rectify the rocky rollout of the online health care marketplace, the Health Department said Sunday that it has enlisted the “best and brightest” to help fix the website’s torrent of technical glitches and bugs as the president prepares to address the problems at the White House on Monday.
“Our team is bringing in some of the best and brightest from both inside and outside government to scrub in with the team and help improve HealthCare.gov,” the Department of Health and Human Services said in a blog post published Sunday.
The blog post also says technology officials have been working “around the clock” to ensure that individuals can create accounts and apply for health care coverage without any digital roadblocks.
“We’re proud of these quick improvements, but we know there’s still more work to be done,” the post says. “We will continue to conduct regular maintenance nearly every night to improve the experience.”
President Obama is “frustrated” by the problems in the rollout of his signature domestic policy achievement, Treasury Secretary and former White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew said Sunday.
“I think there’s no one more frustrated than the president at the difficulty in the website,” Lew said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday morning.
By Michelle Castillo
CARTOON IS NOT PART OF THIS ARTICLE
A Syracuse, N.Y. hospital is facing $22,000 in fines due to improper handling of patients, including one “dead” patient who opened her eyes as doctors were about to remove her organs.
The Syracuse Post-Standard reported that the New York State Health Department found St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center negligent in the case, and admonished the hospital for not adequately looking into how this mistake was made.
Patient Colleen S. Burns was reportedly admitted into St. Joseph’s emergency department in 2009 after overdosing on Xanax, Benadryl and a muscle relaxant. Hospital notes obtained by the Post-Standard revealed that the doctors thought she had undergone “cardiac death.” After doctors consulted with the family, they agreed to withdraw life support and donate her organs.
What actually happened was that Burns was in a deep coma from her overdose, and did not have irreversible brain damage.
The Health Department discovered that the staff did not perform a recommended treatment to stop the drugs from being absorbed into her stomach and intestines, did not test to see if she was free of all drugs and did not complete enough brain scans. They also did not wait long enough before recommending the patient was taken off life support.