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California agency issues 'report cards' on insurers, medical groups

California agency issues 'report cards' on insurers, medical groups

The California Office of the Patient Advocate Wednesday released the report cards, which are based on 2013 claims data and patient surveys, a month ahead of Covered California's 2015 open enrollment period. [More]

FDA probes malfunctions of medical devices made by man who has championed patient safety

A Food and Drug Administration investigation last year found that Masimo Corp. did not adequately look into reports of problems with its devices, ProPublica reports, even though the company owner, Joe Kiani, has created a foundation dedicated to eliminating medical mistakes. In addition, the Boston Globe examines how medical technology companies are looking for new strategies to boost sales. [More]
COMS Interactive, PointRight partner to integrate advanced clinical services and predictive analytics

COMS Interactive, PointRight partner to integrate advanced clinical services and predictive analytics

PointRight Inc., the industry-standard analytics leader for healthcare providers and payers, and COMS Interactive, also known as Clinical Outcomes Management Systems, the leading disease management software provider in the post-acute care marketplace, announce that the two companies will leverage their collective clinical strengths and sales and marketing resources. [More]
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta integrates GaHIN’s Georgia ConnectedCare product in its HIE application

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta integrates GaHIN’s Georgia ConnectedCare product in its HIE application

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta (Children's) joins the Georgia Health Information Network (GaHIN), the statewide health information exchange network that electronically connects Georgia hospitals, physicians and clinicians to safely and securely exchange patient health information. [More]
Viewpoints: Many beneficiaries of health law don't vote; reboot for healthcare.gov

Viewpoints: Many beneficiaries of health law don't vote; reboot for healthcare.gov

For starters, my strong hunch from my own reporting in the region over the past couple years-;including several trips to Kentucky for a new book on McConnell-;is that the Democrats' biggest problem in Appalachia and the Upland South is not that the people who are benefitting from Obamacare or would stand to benefit from it if their states fully implemented the law are voting against their own interests, for Republicans. [More]
State highlights: Texas abortion clinic to reopen after ruling; Maine Medicaid cuts

State highlights: Texas abortion clinic to reopen after ruling; Maine Medicaid cuts

An embattled abortion clinic in McAllen, Tex., which was the last provider of abortions in the vast Rio Grande Valley when new state restrictions forced it to stop last fall, will start operating again by this weekend, its owner said Wednesday, after last week's favorable decision by a federal judge (Eckholm, 9/3). [More]
State highlights: Only 1/3 chose Medicaid plan in Fla.; Calif. Prop 46 money

State highlights: Only 1/3 chose Medicaid plan in Fla.; Calif. Prop 46 money

A selection of health policy stories from Florida, Oregon, California, New York, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota and New Jersey. [More]

Poll: Californians support stronger regulation of insurance rates

The ballot initiative, which will likely be the subject of a costly campaign battle, is championed by consumer groups but opposed by many in the medical and insurance industries. [More]
CARE Oklahoma partners with COMS Interactive

CARE Oklahoma partners with COMS Interactive

The Coalition of Advocates for Responsible Eldercare (CARE Oklahoma) has announced their newest CARE Partnership with COMS Interactive, LLC (also known as Clinical Outcomes Management Systems or COMS). [More]
State highlights: Mass. hospitals see 70% jump in mistakes; changes coming to Md.'s state employee health plan

State highlights: Mass. hospitals see 70% jump in mistakes; changes coming to Md.'s state employee health plan

Massachusetts acute-care hospitals reported 753 serious medical errors and other patient injuries last year, a 70 percent annual jump that health officials attributed mostly to expanded definitions of what constitutes medical harm. So-called serious reportable events in other types of hospitals, including those that provide psychiatric or rehabilitative care, rose 60 percent from 2012, to 206. [More]
State highlights: Va. Lt. Gov.'s politics and pediatrics juggle; Md. hospital error reporting; ruling on Fla. 'Docs V. Glocks' law

State highlights: Va. Lt. Gov.'s politics and pediatrics juggle; Md. hospital error reporting; ruling on Fla. 'Docs V. Glocks' law

A selection of health policy news from Virginia, Maryland, Florida, New York, Wisconsin, Washington state, New Jersey and Kansas. [More]
Experts urge Senate panel to increase hospital safety measures

Experts urge Senate panel to increase hospital safety measures

Consumer advocates and medical specialists tell the committee that patients are not much safer today than they were 15 years ago when a landmark study on medical errors spurred calls for reform. [More]
First Edition: July 18, 2014

First Edition: July 18, 2014

Today's headlines include reports from the marketplace, including UnitedHealthcare's move toward the health law's insurance marketplaces and the latest on the Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into insider trading related to a health policy change. [More]
Study: Minimally invasive aortic repair procedure safer for patients

Study: Minimally invasive aortic repair procedure safer for patients

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have documented the safety benefits of aortic stent grafts inserted during minimally invasive surgery to repair abdominal aortic aneurysms - weaknesses in the body's largest artery that can rupture, causing potentially lethal internal bleeding. [More]
State highlights: Ore. mediation for medical errors; Mich. home-help aides

State highlights: Ore. mediation for medical errors; Mich. home-help aides

A mediation program spearheaded by Gov. John Kitzhaber went into effect Tuesday, giving patients and their families an option besides suing when medical errors happen. But questions remain over how the mediation program will develop, including whether hospitals, doctors and other providers will take advantage of the program, or candidly discuss errors if they do. The result of a compromise between trial lawyers and the Oregon Medical Association approved in SB 483 last year, the Early Discussion and Resolution program is intended to cut down on lawsuits and boost the reporting of medical errors to help improve health care practices (Budnick, 7/1). [More]

Hacking of health records is 'matter of time,' say experts

Specialists in cybercrime say the health industry "is flirting with disaster" as so much patient data goes digital, Politico reports. Also, speakers at a health care conference explore the difficulties of cutting waste and medical errors. [More]
First Edition: July 2, 2014

First Edition: July 2, 2014

Today's early morning highlights from the major news organizations, including reports about a new audit's findings that the health law's online insurance marketplaces did not adequately screen applicants seeking subsidies. [More]
Study calls for improvements in physicians' inconsistent record of ordering lab tests

Study calls for improvements in physicians' inconsistent record of ordering lab tests

Why does one physician in a walk-in practice order laboratory monitoring tests for patients more often than a colleague working down the hallway? [More]

Medical errors most likely to occur among patients with limited proficiency in English

Despite widespread public and professional attention devoted to medical errors and ways to prevent them, few efforts have focused on addressing a leading cause of errors -- communication problems involving patients with limited proficiency in English. [More]
New technology needed to avoid improper placement of feeding tubes in pediatric patients

New technology needed to avoid improper placement of feeding tubes in pediatric patients

Universal guidelines and improvements in technology are needed to reduce injuries and deaths from improper placement of nasogastric feeding tubes in pediatric patients, according to a comprehensive review of published literature. [More]