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Public Health

CLL and Lymphoma Drug Approvals: Kudos to the FDA

July 30, 2014 by Andrew Schorr

Dr. Richard Pazdur

I gotta be fair to Dr. Richard Pazdur, the king of cancer drug approvals (or rejections) at the FDA. I have been sharply critical of him in the years past, but now it seems a combination of better science, great support from patients and advocates, and yes, a kindler/gentler Dr. Pazdur and the FDA, has all led to quicker drug approvals.[read more]

2014 Medicare Payment Cuts for Radiology Services

July 29, 2014 by Andy Salmen

Radiology payment changes

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its 2014 hospital outpatient prospective payment system updates late last year. Unfortunately for radiology professionals, there was a decrease in many different kinds of imaging procedures that will have an economic impact on the field.[read more]

Medicaid Should Not Impoverish Doctors and Hospitals

July 28, 2014 by David E Williams

photo: nffcnnr via photopin cc

Since Medicaid pays doctors and hospitals 27 to 65 percent less than commercial health plans, it makes it awfully difficult for providers to be payer agnostic. Sure enough, we see even supposedly mission-driven non-profit healthcare systems looking to maximize their share of the commercial population by catering to that group.[read more]

Multiple Lifestyle Interventions May Help Those at Risk for Alzheimer's

July 27, 2014 by Liz Seegert

image: Robert Wallce / Flickr CC

Physical activity, nutritional guidance, cognitive training, social activities and management of heart health risk factors improved cognitive performance, according to Finnish researchers. The two-year randomized controlled trial included 1,260 participants aged 60 to 77 with modifiable risk factors for cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s.[read more]

Medical Mistakes: To Err Is Human - Yes and No?

July 26, 2014 by Bill Crounse

medical mistakes

According to information shared at a recent Senate hearing, preventable medical errors are the number three killer in America. It is estimated that medical mistakes kill 1000 Americans every day and harm another 10,000 people a day due to complications resulting from non-fatal medical errors. How can that be, you say?[read more]

Millions of Americans Could Lose ACA Subsidies

July 21, 2014 by Linda Ringquist

ACA in danger?

Yet another provision of the ACA, this one concerning ACA subsidies, is under scrutiny, and this one could change health insurance as we know it. A case which has become the topic of discussion as of late is Halbig v. Burwell. This is one of four currently flowing through the appeals process, with similar emphasis and focus.[read more]

We Need to Measure What Counts, Not What We're Paid to Count

July 16, 2014 by Zal Press

SOCAP

A couple of weeks ago I attended the SOCAP Health Conference held at the New York Academy of Medicine in NYC. It took me some time to comprehend that the focus was on health, not healthcare. This led to some extraordinary discussion and many compelling comments.[read more]

CMS to Begin Implementing Payment Penalties Tied to Patient Outcomes

July 16, 2014 by Michael Douglas

penalties / shutterstock

Currently, approximately 13 percent of hospital admissions — according to the feds — ultimately contract an iatrogenic infection. The problem many teaching hospitals have with making inroads into this number has more to do with the population that is served than with simply identifying the source of these infections.[read more]

Why the U.S. Healthcare System Ranks Worst in the Developed World

July 15, 2014 by Abby Norman

The U.S.’s expenditures are higher than any other developed nation’s when it comes to healthcare. When you consider how poorly the U.S. measures up against countries spending less money, it might make you wonder where all that money does end up. So what happened?[read more]

How to Communicate with Patients When Words Won't Work

July 14, 2014 by Joan Justice

What if you were a patient with a serious illness, alone in a hospital and you couldn’t communicate verbally with the medical staff? The feeling of loneliness and isolation on top of the emotional burden of being hospitalized with a serious illness would certainly be overwhelming.[read more]

Healthcare Progress Depends On "E Interventions"

July 10, 2014 by Tim Kilpatrick

What are “E Interventions”? These patient interventions don’t qualify for Medicare Part A (hospital), Part B (physician), Part C (health plan) or Part D (medicines) reimbursement. Yet “E Interventions” can significantly improve patient outcomes and reduce cost, as two innovative programs are demonstrating.[read more]

exclusive

Big Data = Big Brother? Leveraging Transaction Data for Better Healthcare

July 9, 2014 by Charles Settles

photo: Jorge Franganillo / photopin cc

Based on the results of countless studies - such as a 2011 Synovate study in which 52% of women admitted lying to their healthcare providers - and the experience of thousands of physicians, the fact patients lie should come as no surprise to any medical provider. But what if physicians didn't have to rely on patient honesty?[read more]