With a contract between 14 large Washington, D.C., hotels and the Hotel and Restaurant Employees Union Local 25 set to expire Sept. 15, hundreds of unionized hotel workers rallied yesterday, threatening to strike if they don't receive higher wages and improved working conditions. Hotel officials say wage and benefit costs have continued to rise due to high health insurance costs and that the industry is still dealing with a post-Sept. 11 slump.
More than 98% of hospitals are reporting government requested quality-of-care information on how they treat heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia patients, a new report says. While the reporting of the information is voluntary, failure to do so means a possible reduction in Medicare payments. Medicare will make the information available to customers, either online or by phone, by early 2005.
The pharmaceutical company said it has filed federal suit against the operators of 18 Internet sites, saying they are selling unapproved and illegal copies of Pfizer's cholesterol-lowering drug, Lipitor. The company filed suit earlier this year to stop other Web site operators selling fake versions of Lipitor and Viagra.
The makers of an implantable contact lens for nearsighted patients say the product is safe and corrects the vision of 95% of patients to 20/40 or better, and 60% had 20/20 vision. STAAR Surgical said the lens does not have some of the side effects that can occur with laser surgery, such as glare halos, double vision, night vision or difficulty driving at night.
A new study coming out of Denmark finds that although low-carb dieters tend to lose more weight in the first six months than low-fat dieters, after a year's time the results are about equal. Researchers are conflicted, however, on whether the Atkins-style diets will have negative long-term side effects.