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Drug firms shift sales calls from doctors to administrators controlling hospital formularies

Drug firms shift sales calls from doctors to administrators controlling hospital formularies

Since many hospitals now work to help keep costs down by watching what drugs are used, pharmaceutical representatives must include administrators in their sales pitches. Also in the news, new concerns about the government's plan to open a database next week on drug makers' payments to doctors. [More]
GuideWell, OSI partner to provide affordable, quality health care to growing Hispanic market

GuideWell, OSI partner to provide affordable, quality health care to growing Hispanic market

GuideWell Mutual Holding Corporation and Organizacion Sanitas Internacional have established a strategic alliance to create a new company with the purpose of offering a culturally relevant health delivery model that provides affordable and quality health care to the important and growing Hispanic market. [More]
State highlights: Calif. gov. signs rural telehealth bill; Louisiana's ex-health secretary indicted

State highlights: Calif. gov. signs rural telehealth bill; Louisiana's ex-health secretary indicted

States around the country are taking advantage of a once little-used policy that allows them to bill Medicaid for the healthcare expenses of prisoners who leave a correctional institution for treatment. Since 1997, states have been allowed to bill Medicaid for the care of inmates who required treatment at a hospital or nursing facility for longer than 24 hours. The provision has drawn new attention this year as millions of Americans, including those serving time in correctional institutions, have become newly eligible for Medicaid under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Dickson, 9/23). [More]
HCA faces class-action lawsuit for allegedly concealing revenue declines

HCA faces class-action lawsuit for allegedly concealing revenue declines

A Nashville district court judge allowed the shareholders' case to move forward by rejecting the hospital chain's arguments that the plaintiffs had missed 'multiple opportunities' to learn more about the company before buying shares. [More]
West Virginia home health community takes part in Save Home Health rally

West Virginia home health community takes part in Save Home Health rally

Representatives of the West Virginia home health community – including Parkersburg area clinicians, family members and advocates as well as national leaders – today took part in a Save Home Health rally to commend special guest Congressman David McKinley (WV-1) and speak out against unprecedented Medicare cuts of 14 percent to home health services that went into effect on January 1 as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). [More]
Physicians wage campaign to urge Congress not to allow Medicaid Pay Parity to expire

Physicians wage campaign to urge Congress not to allow Medicaid Pay Parity to expire

A national report showing the benefits of preventing a reduction in the rates physicians receive for providing Medicaid services was released today by the American College of Physicians. [More]
Viewpoints: Surgery surprise: Out-of-network doctors' bills; consequences of making Medicaid enrollees pay premiums

Viewpoints: Surgery surprise: Out-of-network doctors' bills; consequences of making Medicaid enrollees pay premiums

The New York Times' Elisabeth Rosenthal offered an important lesson in healthcare economics over the weekend that's a must-read for anyone about to undergo a major medical procedure. [More]

Drugmakers warned against giving coupons to Medicare beneficiaries

While brand-name drugmakers regularly use coupons to boost sales, it is illegal to induce Medicare Part D enrollees to use them. Meanwhile, a researcher asks members of the public how they would fix Medicare. [More]
State highlights: Medicaid bankruptcy ruling could save some nursing homes; high HIV rates in Southern states

State highlights: Medicaid bankruptcy ruling could save some nursing homes; high HIV rates in Southern states

A federal judge's recent ruling blocking Medicaid officials from cutting off a struggling nursing home could help troubled health care facilities survive using bankruptcy, according to restructuring professionals. [More]
Court dumps Obamacare lawsuit brought by doctors

Court dumps Obamacare lawsuit brought by doctors

A federal appeals court in Chicago tosses a lawsuit challenging the administration's delay of the health law's employer mandate -- a case similar to the one that House Republicans plan to file. [More]

New study reveals differences in payment and income between physicians

A surprising new study pulls back the curtain on one of the most contentious issues in health care: differences in payment and income between physicians who perform operations, procedures or tests, and those who don’t. [More]
ACP and 20 other groups applaud Senate bill that ensures primary care access for women, children

ACP and 20 other groups applaud Senate bill that ensures primary care access for women, children

The efforts and leadership of Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) to ensure access to vital primary care services were lauded yesterday by the American College of Physicians and 20 other organizations, representing internal medicine and related subspecialties. [More]
Viewpoints: CHIP funding needed; GOP's flawed plan to make 'the pill' OTC; millennials' health issues

Viewpoints: CHIP funding needed; GOP's flawed plan to make 'the pill' OTC; millennials' health issues

Federal financing for a beneficial health insurance program for low-income children, known as the Children's Health Insurance Program or CHIP, will run out next year unless Congress agrees to extend it. Bills are pending in both the House and the Senate to extend financing for four years, to 2019. Congress should approve the extension in the lame-duck session after the midterm elections so that families and state officials will know what the future holds. The program needs to be maintained amid uncertainty as to whether other good coverage will be available for these children (9/21). [More]
Highlights: Hawaii public hospital cuts; La. struggles with state worker health program costs; aging in Ky.

Highlights: Hawaii public hospital cuts; La. struggles with state worker health program costs; aging in Ky.

Public hospitals across Hawaii are finding ways to reduce staff and cut services because they don't have enough money to make ends meet. Executives from the Hawaii Health Systems Corp. told lawmakers Friday that even after layoffs they are facing a $30 million deficit in 2015. One hospital on Maui chose to close its adolescent psychology unit because it couldn't sustain the appropriate staffing levels to provide the services. It's also considering cuts to oncology and dialysis services if the situation doesn't improve (9/20). [More]
UHC participates in three-year project to improve quality of care and reduce overall costs

UHC participates in three-year project to improve quality of care and reduce overall costs

UHC will be participating in a three-year project, funded by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services, that aims to improve the quality of care and the patient experience while reducing the overall cost of care by enhancing communication and coordination between primary care physicians and specialists. [More]
Medicare experiment shows initial promise

Medicare experiment shows initial promise

Accountable care organizations, an Affordable Care Act model that rewards providers who produce better quality at lower cost, are showing promise in Wisconsin and Iowa. Meanwhile, a top Medicare adviser outlines other needed changes. [More]
GOP candidates explore middle move ahead of election

GOP candidates explore middle move ahead of election

Democrats, in the meantime, try a new tactic -- talking up their commitment to Social Security and Medicare. Elsewhere, Sens. Kay Hagan and Mark Warner face campaign fights centering largely on the health law. [More]
Falcon Physician certified for Meaningful Use Stage 2

Falcon Physician certified for Meaningful Use Stage 2

Falcon Physician, a provider of electronic health record (EHR) software to nephrologists and a subsidiary of DaVita HealthCare Partners, a leading provider of kidney care and health care services, announced that it has successfully completed the rigorous requirements needed to become certified for Meaningful Use Stage 2. [More]
EYLEA Injection gets approval in Japan for treatment of myopic CNV

EYLEA Injection gets approval in Japan for treatment of myopic CNV

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced that Bayer HealthCare's Japanese subsidiary, Bayer Yakuhin, Ltd. has received approval from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare for EYLEA (aflibercept) Injection for myopic choroidal neovascularization (myopic CNV). [More]
Viewpoints: Ezekiel Emanuel's choice of an age to die; new enrollment numbers still confusing

Viewpoints: Ezekiel Emanuel's choice of an age to die; new enrollment numbers still confusing

Seventy-five. That's how long I want to live: 75 years. This preference drives my daughters crazy. It drives my brothers crazy. My loving friends think I am crazy. They think that I can't mean what I say; that I haven't thought clearly about this, because there is so much in the world to see and do. To convince me of my errors, they enumerate the myriad people I know who are over 75 and doing quite well. They are certain that as I get closer to 75, I will push the desired age back to 80, then 85, maybe even 90. I am sure of my position. [More]