Headlines Archive for August 2010
The American Medical Association and state medical societies are supporting a proposal by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners on what expenditures insurers can consider medical spending under the new health law
Healthcare consolidation has begun to attract the attention of anti-trust officials, journalists, and other watchdogs, and the added scrutiny may create a headwind for hospitals looking to make a deal.
The U.S. Department of Labor forecasts that the two fields projected to have the most jobs are technology and healthcare. In the developing area of biomedical and health informatics, you can get the best of both worlds.
The FDA approved a first-of-its-kind technology: a tiny telescope implanted inside the eye. The company wouldn’t estimate total costs connected with the procedure but said the device itself costs $15,000.
Nine out of 10 physicians polled in a new study said passwords and the length of time it takes to access electronic health records “negatively impact” job satisfaction. A full 60 percent said it’s a major factor in whether they like their work.
CMS reminded healthcare providers, health plans, clearinghouses, and vendors about looming compliance deadlines for new diagnosis and procedure codes, and updated standards for electronic healthcare transactions
Only 11.9% of U.S. hospitals had adopted at least basic electronic medical records by last year, and only about 2% had done enough to qualify for future government financial incentives, a study finds.
A Michigan judge heard arguments in two of three lawsuits filed by public-school unions and retirees who opposed a new law that for the first time required them to contribute toward their health-care benefits.
CMS issued a final regulation to protect against fraudulent medical equipment and supplies vendors – the rule will require suppliers to maintain proper ordering documentation and remain open at least 30 hours a week
Leading UK firm Telehealth Solutions has been awarded a framework agreement for providing telecare, telehealth and telecoaching by Buying Solutions, the national procurement partner for all UK public services
Four Part Series on Aging: (1) Seniors Finding Long-Term Care Close To Home; (2) High-Tech Aging: Tracking Seniors’ Every Move; (3) Wired Homes Keep Tabs On Aging Parents; (4) Building Homes To Age In
After months of being pummeled by Republican attacks on the new healthcare law, the Obama administration and its allies are striking back in an attempt to stem public disaffection with the health overhaul
Healthsense, Inc., a leading provider of next-generation wireless sensors and remote monitoring solutions for the senior care market is pleased to announce the close of a growth capital financing round
More than $22 million will go to the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program, which supports improvements in healthcare quality for any of 1,300 critical access hospitals, defined as hospitals with no more than 25 beds
Arnold Schwarzenegger celebrated the launch this week of an ambitious “telehealth” system that will use a dedicated broadband network to link hospitals and clinics throughout the country’s most populous stat
If regulations deem that only the treatment judged most effective is paid for, “my concern is that .. we begin to limit what people are willing to do in terms of developing new products,” Cosgrove said
Key White House allies are dramatically shifting their attempts to defend health care legislation, abandoning claims that it will reduce costs and deficit, and instead stressing a promise to “improve it”
Although the trustees 2010 report represents the official projection for Medicare, its actuaries simultaneously published an unusual dissent suggesting a more likely alternate scenario than the one endorsed by the trustees.
By telling governors they have until Sept. 24 to ask for additional Medicaid funds, Sebelius is forcing the hands of Republicans who have been vocal about their distaste for additional deficit spending
A survey of big employers finds they expect their health-care costs to rise nearly 9% next year and plan to share some of that burden with employees via higher premiums and higher out-of-pocket limits
CVS Caremark’s Behavioral Change Research Partnership was launched last year to study how behavioral economics — the science behind the idea of using beneficial “nudges” to help consumers improve their decisions
Patients diagnosed with incurable lung cancer who were given palliative care usually reserved for people close to death had a better quality of life and lived longer than those getting standard treatment
According to a report released last week from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), diabetes is costing Americans $83 billion a year in hospital fees — 23 percent of total hospital spending
More than 85% of the uninsured in Massachusetts were between the ages of 19-64; more likely to be male, young and single; a member of a racial or ethnic minority; or a non-citizen and lack proficiency in English
If there’s an American precedent for the medical central planning of ObamaCare, it’s the Food and Drug Administration. Witness a looming FDA ruling that may deplete the drug arsenal for terminally ill cancer patients.
The health insurance industry on Tuesday criticized state regulators for adopting a narrow category for what health plans can count as medical care and quality improvements when calculating their medical loss ratios.
Royal Philips Electronics today announced that it has joined Gilde Healthcare III – a new venture capital fund focusing on innovative early and growth stage healthcare technology companies in Europe and the US
ResCare Inc. received a proposal from Toronto-based investment firm to buy the stake of company it doesn’t already own, valuing the provider of home care to the elderly and people with disabilities at $365.4 million
Forty-five states and the District of Columbia will each get $1 million in federal funds to monitor proposed health insurance premium hikes in their jurisdictions, and take action against unreasonable increases
Among the uninsured, 7.4 percent made two or more visits to an E.R., but so did 5.1 percent of people with private insurance. Medicaid recipients were the heaviest users of E.R.’s, with 15.3 percent of them making two or more visits during the year.
Hospitals have made huge strides against hospital-acquired infections caused by hospital-onset methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, better known as MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus)
Faced with the need to review insurance rates and enforce a panoply of new rights granted to consumers, states are scrambling to make sure they have the necessary legal authority to carry out the responsibilities being placed on them by health care law.
Insurers can seek a waiver from the government to keep their current limited plans if they can prove that offering better benefits would cause significant premium increases or force employers to drop or severely limit coverage
The House voted Tuesday to send money to the states – most of it to prevent the states from cutting off health benefits for millions. If that doesn’t strike you as strange, perhaps you weren’t paying attention to last year’s health care debate.
At least a dozen major drug and device makers are under investigation in a broadening bribery inquiry into whether the companies made illegal payments to doctors and health officials in foreign countries.
The federally funded risk pools offer subsidized coverage until 2014, when the broader state-run insurance exchanges are due to go into effect and insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.
It’s a widespread belief that many hospitals and health systems won’t be able to make their necessary margins on essentially Medicare rates of reimbursement as healthcare reform takes hold, and they will close.
The Centres for Medicare and Medicaid Services lose more than $60 billion a year to scam artists, according to the non-profit Coalition Against Insurance Fraud – in what has become a massive black hole in government spending
CMS is readying a set electronic accounting and processing tools that will help authenticate, track and manage payments to health care providers participating in the federal meaningful use financial incentive program.
Emergency room nurse Erin Riley suffered bruises, scratches and a chipped tooth last year from trying to pull the clamped jaws of a psychotic patient off a doctor’s hand at a suburban Cleveland hospital
The new health overhaul law aims to end all annual dollar limits on health insurance policies by 2014. Federal regulators contend such limits can leave policyholders “virtually uninsured” for the rest of the year once caps are hit
There are about 2,000 mobile clinics in the United States. Advocates say the approach can help control the rising cost of health care by helping people with chronic diseases to stay out of the emergency room
Aggressive, drug-resistant staph infections caught in hospitals or from medical treatment are becoming scarcer, another sign of progress in a prevention effort that has become a national public health priority
The $26 billion legislation provides $16 billion for Medicaid and $10 billion to avert teacher layoffs. It is funded by cutting some food-stamp payments that were raised by the stimulus bill, and by limiting the foreign tax credits
A bill proposing to extend Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) financial incentives for e-health record use by mental health professionals has been introduced into the U.S. Senate, complementing similar legislation introduced in the U.S. House
The National Health Services Corps has gotten an infusion of more than $1 billion to incentivize young primary-care physicians to practice in underserved areas – keeping the recruits once their service contracts are up will be the hard part
ACOs require a strong financial base and a degree of risk — that’s why doctors need hospitals as partners. They also demand a broad range of providers — that’s why hospitals need to bolster their ranks with more doctors.
Thousands of nurses and geriatric specialists—many of them minorities—will be trained for the provider workforce under $159.1 million in federal grants under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Look for the AHA to try an end-run around Berwick to rescind the cuts through Congress. If they’re smart, they’ll ask the same representatives that signed their letters to come through for them again via legislation.
A broad array of healthcare plans, providers and professional licensing bodies on Thursday announced a slew of initiatives aimed at getting hospitals and physicians’ offices to adopt electronic health records
IBM launched a service, developed with Aetna subsidiary ActiveHealth Management, to help physicians access patients’ health data like previous medical records, claims, and lab data from multiple sources and quickly analyze what the best treatment might be
Senate Majority Leader Reid responded today to a Missouri vote that Republicans call a rebuke to the sweeping new health law by saying voters like the legislation better the more they know more about it
Medicare and Social Security are facing strains from an aging population and an economy that can’t seem to get out of low gear – and despite assertions to the contrary the new health care law doesn’t improve Medicare’s solvency by much.
Harden Healthcare announced today the purchase of Voyager HospiceCare – the combined company will provide healthcare services in 13 states and will employ approximately 32,000 full-time and part-time associates in nearly 200 locations
Independence Blue Cross announced Wednesday that it is selling its four-year-old pharmacy-benefits arm to Catalyst Health Solutions Inc., the country’s fourth largest publicly traded pharmacy-benefits firm
Pay-for-performance may be coming to New Hampshire’s health-care industry. Under a five-year pilot program health-care providers will be compensated based on their quality of care instead of the current fee-for-service model.
Don’t bother trying to count up the number of agencies, boards and commissions created under the new health care law. Estimating the number is “impossible,” a recent Congressional Research Service report says, and a true count “unknowable.”
Government Health IT reports that while the new certification and standards final rule from the ONC do allow some additional flexibility for how patient information is entered and used, the guidelines may not be specific enough.
On July 30, CMS issued the inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) final rule to update policies and rates for fiscal year (FY) 2011, which maintains long-standing CMS policy and implements some provisions of the PPACA
Missouri voters on Tuesday easily approved a measure aimed at nullifying the new federal health care law, becoming the first state in the nation where ordinary people made known their dismay over the issue at the ballot box
A Senate effort to extend federal help to states struggling with swelling Medicaid rolls hit a road block yesterday when a crucial vote to move the measure forward was delayed until at least Wednesday
The new health overhaul law will start producing savings for Medicare right away, and add 12 years of solvency to the program’s trust fund for inpatient care, according to a report to be released Monday
Republicans may not be able to repeal the Democrats’ health care reform law next year, but they’re eyeing the next best thing: denying the Obama administration the money it needs to implement the law.
In the latest case of foreigners invading the American homeland to make a buck, a Paris-based IT company seeking to enter the U.S. health IT market has bought Pulse Systems, a maker of electronic health records based in Wichita, Kansas
The state-based pools provision is one of the high-profile features of the new health law taking effect this year. It allocates $5 billion to create plans to cover people who have been uninsured for at least six months and have a pre-existing health condition.
Germany, Greece and Spain have cut or plan to reduce their health spending after European Union policy makers agreed to an almost $1 trillion rescue fund in May to prevent the fiscal collapse in Greece from spreading
Four months after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi famously declared “We have to pass the bill so you can find out what’s in it,”a congressional panel has released the first chart illustrating the 2,801 page health care law