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Death rate increases with hospitals shift from inpatient procedures to outpatient for urological surgeries

Death rate increases with hospitals shift from inpatient procedures to outpatient for urological surgeries

As hospitals have shifted an array of common urological surgeries from inpatient procedures to outpatient, potentially preventable deaths have increased following complications. [More]
St. Elizabeth Hospital meets Meaningful Use Stage 2 criteria with MEDITECH technology

St. Elizabeth Hospital meets Meaningful Use Stage 2 criteria with MEDITECH technology

Defying the national trend of only 1.5 percent of eligible hospitals attesting in 2014, St. Elizabeth Hospital in Enumclaw, Wash. achieved Meaningful Use Stage 2 using MEDITECH technology. St. Elizabeth accomplished Stage 2 with information technology (IT) support from Engage, a division of Inland Northwest Health Services. [More]
First Edition: August 19, 2014

First Edition: August 19, 2014

Today's early morning highlights from the major news organizations, including stories about a how a hospital system's data was hacked, involving as many as 4.5 million patients' records. [More]
Viewpoints: Va. GOP's 'Medicaid charade'; Paul Ryan's health Rx for poverty; giving the sick unapproved drugs

Viewpoints: Va. GOP's 'Medicaid charade'; Paul Ryan's health Rx for poverty; giving the sick unapproved drugs

Virginia lawmakers will convene in a special session next month to address the question of expanding Medicaid and, more broadly, the fact that hundreds of thousands of poor and disabled people in the state have no health insurance coverage. Democrats and some moderate Republicans have advanced a variety of ideas to tackle that problem. Conservative Republicans, who control the legislature in Richmond, have rejected those solutions while proposing no alternative. Does the GOP intend for the special session to be anything more than a charade at taxpayers' expense? (8/15). [More]

House GOP focuses on administration official's instruction to delete email

House Republicans are pointing fingers at Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner's direction to delete an email related to the health law's troubled launch. [More]
Mount Sinai researchers receive federal funding to treat HCV in primary care settings

Mount Sinai researchers receive federal funding to treat HCV in primary care settings

With the number of people with chronic hepatitis C reaching record levels in New York City and the recent availability of more effective treatments, researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai recently announced the receipt of $1.9 million in federal funding to increase its capacity to treat HCV in primary care settings. [More]
Medicare to begin paying physicians to coordinate care for patients with chronic illnesses

Medicare to begin paying physicians to coordinate care for patients with chronic illnesses

In a policy change, the Obama administration is planning to pay doctors to coordinate the care of Medicare beneficiaries, amid growing evidence that patients with chronic illnesses suffer from disjointed, fragmented care. [More]
Feds to withhold some doctor payment data after inconsistencies

Feds to withhold some doctor payment data after inconsistencies

The Centers For Medicare & Medicaid Services said Friday that, because of data inconsistencies, a third of the records in a database showing drug and device-maker contributions to doctors will be withheld next month when the website goes live. [More]

Combating Medicare fraud proves to be a difficult proposition

The New York Times reports that, despite stepped-up enforcement and investments in anti-fraud efforts, the administration's push has so far not made much progress. Meanwhile, The Washington Post examines a classic Medicare scam. [More]
First Edition: August 18, 2014

First Edition: August 18, 2014

Today's headlines stories about the pervasive nature of Medicare fraud and the difficulties involved in fighting it. [More]
61% of U.S. adults unaware of the importance of high dose flu vaccine in flu prevention for older adults

61% of U.S. adults unaware of the importance of high dose flu vaccine in flu prevention for older adults

A new survey from CVS/pharmacy released today found that three in five U.S. adults (61 percent) are unaware of the importance of the high dose flu vaccine in flu prevention for adults 65 years and older. [More]
Study reports rising prevalence of chronic opioid use by SSDI recipients

Study reports rising prevalence of chronic opioid use by SSDI recipients

More than 40 percent of Social Security Disability Insurance recipients take opioid pain relievers, while the prevalence of chronic opioid use is over 20 percent and rising, reports a study in the September issue of Medical Care. [More]
Nutrition counseling by registered dietitian nutritionist can help prevent or delay diabetes

Nutrition counseling by registered dietitian nutritionist can help prevent or delay diabetes

A new study, indicating that Americans have approximately a 40 percent risk of developing diabetes during their lifetime, offers more evidence that nutrition counseling provided by a registered dietitian nutritionist can help prevent or delay diabetes and its related health problems through lifestyle and dietary changes, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. [More]
Research roundup: Benefits of smaller practices; Rx price growth; fixing Medicare claims reviews

Research roundup: Benefits of smaller practices; Rx price growth; fixing Medicare claims reviews

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services within the Department of Health and Human Services has taken steps to prevent its contractors from conducting certain duplicative postpayment claims reviews-;reviews of the same claims that are not permitted by the agency-;but CMS neither has reliable data nor provides sufficient oversight and guidance to measure and fully prevent duplication. [More]
UCSF study shows price differences for ten common blood tests across California hospitals

UCSF study shows price differences for ten common blood tests across California hospitals

New UC San Francisco research shows significant price differences for ten common blood tests in California hospitals, with some patients charged as little as $10 for one test while others were charged $10,169 for the identical test. [More]

Physician disclosure website back on track

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announces it has fixed the glitch that took down the website where doctors and hospitals can review information about payments from drug and device makers. Meanwhile, The New York Times looks at how costly compounded medicines are drawing the ire of health insurers, and a U.K. agency recommends the government pay for a costly new hepatitis treatment. [More]

Cops, computer analysts hunt for Medicare fraud

The Wall Street Journal looks closely at the work of the Medicare Strike Force, which includes FBI agents and CMS workers. Meanwhile, the Government Accountability Office finds Medicare audit contractors may hammer hospitals with multiple reviews of the same payment claims. [More]
Viewpoints: Enrollment 'plummeting'?; Arkansas' 'boondoggle'; move Medicare to Obamacare exchanges

Viewpoints: Enrollment 'plummeting'?; Arkansas' 'boondoggle'; move Medicare to Obamacare exchanges

In the latest leg of their endless journey to find bad news about the Affordable Care Act, conservative analysts and websites have seized on some ambiguous figures to declare that enrollment is "plummeting," "shrinking," "sinking rapidly"--choose your headline. The most charitable interpretation of this claim is that it's based on extreme cherry-picking. The most accurate interpretation is that it's wrong (Michael Hiltzik, 8/13). [More]
First Edition: August 15, 2014

First Edition: August 15, 2014

Today's headlines include a variety of updates regarding health policy and the health care marketplace. [More]

The rush is on: Process immigrant paperwork to keep them insured

The Wall Street Journal reports on reaction to the Obama administration's announcement that coverage would be cut off for as many as 310,000 people if they don't prove they are citizens or legal residents by Sept. 5. Other news outlets offer local takes on the issue. [More]