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Policy & Law

A New Era for the Public Healthcare Sector

April 15, 2014 by Siemens Healthcare

Gustavo Pulti, Mayor of General Pueyrredón Municipality

Beaches, fishing, and sweet pastries filled with dulce de leche were the hallmarks of Mar del Plata in the past. But now, the city – located on the Atlantic coast, about 400 kilometers south of the Argentine megacity of Buenos Aires – has a new trademark: the Centro de Especialidades Médicas Ambulatorias (CEMA).[read more]

Sued for Medical Malpractice - Again

April 15, 2014 by Michael Kirsch

malpractice suits

Sure, there are positive elements present in the medical malpractice system, but they are dwarfed and suffocated by the drawbacks. The self-serving arguments supporting the current system are far outweighed by the financial and emotional costs that innocent physicians unfairly bear. Tort reform should not be controversial.[read more]

Time Thieves

April 15, 2014 by Kathy Nieder

Currency of time

Age forces the recognition that time is the true currency of our lives. When people waste it for you, it is frustrating and angst producing. One of the underlying tragedies of physicians’ daily lives, especially in primary care, is the theft of our time, stolen away by the health care system.[read more]

Understanding RVUs | Medicare Reimbursement

April 14, 2014 by Linda Ringquist

Relative Value Units

Do you understand Relative Value Units (RVUs) as they relate to Medicare reimbursement? RVU stands for Relative Value Unit and is currently used by Medicare to determine the amount of reimbursement to providers. RVUs are basically a way of standardizing and comparing service volumes across all continuums.[read more]

FDASIA Health IT Report Issued

April 14, 2014 by David Harlow

FDASIA Health IT Report

The FDA, the FCC and ONC issued a long-awaited joint report with a proposed strategy and recommendations for a risk-based framework for regulation of Health IT. The report identifies four key priority areas and outlines next steps to take in each area.[read more]

CMS Medicare Data Dump Shows Why Transparency Is Only Half the Battle

April 14, 2014 by Deanna Pogorelc

Image: Flickr / Images Money

The government has said the public release of how $77 billion in federal dollars was doled out to more than 880,000 providers in 2012 through Medicare Part B services will give consumers insights to inform their healthcare decisions and potentially expose fraud. But the raw data doesn’t tell the whole story.[read more]

ICD-10 Delay: Does ICD-10 Lack Clinical Value?

April 13, 2014 by Abby Norman

ICD-10 delay

ICD-10 was delayed once again as part of a bill that was meant to fix the physician reimbursement issues with Medicare. Incidentally, pushing out the date for ICD-10 implementation pleases many physicians. Some have gone so far as to say, on record, that ICD-10 lacks clinical value.[read more]

Medicare Advantage Cuts Not Only Delayed But Reversed

April 12, 2014 by Linda Ringquist

medicare / shutterstock

As of February 2014, Medicare Advantage reimbursement was set to be slashed by 1.9%. But CMS has reversed its original proposal to cutback Medicare Advantage plan reimbursement for 2015. The reversal is a result of aggressive lobbying from organizations such as the American Medical Association.[read more]

Dissecting Diabetes: Costs and Chronic Disease Impact

April 12, 2014 by Kenneth Thorpe

diabetes / shutterstock

Nearly 26 million Americans live with one of three types of diabetes – type 1, type 2 and gestational. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that if these trends continue, by 2050, one in three Americans will struggle with diabetes.[read more]

The Diagnosis That Could Have You Paying an Extra $40,000 Per Patient

April 10, 2014 by Abby Norman

hospital acquired infections

Common Hospital Acquired Infections, like pneumonia or urinary tract infections, are preventable with proper hand hygiene, isolation procedures and prophylactic antibiotics. Even so, these infections have the U.S. healthcare system paying more than $4.5 billion annually.[read more]

Should Step Therapy and Prior Authorization Be Outlawed?

April 9, 2014 by David E Williams

photo: torbakhopper / photopin cc

Step therapy and prior authorization are legitimate and even necessary tools. This doesn’t mean that these approaches shouldn’t be scrutinized. Balancing cost, quality, access and convenience in today’s healthcare system is not easy. Making things better requires something more than legislating further restrictions on health insurers.[read more]

Dual-Eligibility: An Overworked and Overlooked Population?

April 9, 2014 by Abby Norman

dual eligibility

9 million Americans are covered by both Medicare and Medicaid and are part of a unique community of healthcare consumers known as the dual eligible. Dual-eligible beneficiaries often have complex health conditions and may be low income, meaning that their access to healthcare would be greatly limited if not for their dual-eligibility for coverage.[read more]