Headlines Archive for May 2012
Legislation, passed by the Senate yesterday in a 96-1 vote, raises the so-called user fees that industries will pay the FDA for safety and efficacy reviews by more than $2 billion from the previous five-year period.
Hospice marketers, exploring possibilities for new revenue to help continue the industry’s remarkable growth, are looking to exploit a provision in the 2010 health care law by persuading hospitals to send Medicare patients into end-of-life hospice care instead of readmitting them to the hospital.
There are people whose household incomes are slightly above the threshold to qualify for Medicaid’s free or low-cost coverage. Congress gave states the option of creating a so-called Basic Health Plan which would complement the health care law’s main program, a health insurance exchange.
The Federal Communications Commission is expected to vote Thursday to open up spectrum for wireless medical devices, raising the possibility of easier hospital-patient monitoring, fewer tubes in emergency rooms, and more remote monitoring at home.
In a move that has investors scratching their heads and consumer advocates voicing concern, a Southern California medical group responsible for nearly 700,000 patients in three states has been acquired by a company that runs dialysis clinics.
Half the people who buy their own health insurance, rather than depend on an employer, are in plans that have fewer benefits than what the U.S. health-care law will require beginning in 2014, a study found.
Royal Philips Electronics NV dropped the most in three weeks in Amsterdam after Chief Executive Officer Frans van Houten signaled the outlook for health-care equipment for 2013 has been clouded by Europe’s debt crisis.
The new health care law is already transforming the way care is delivered, and the changes will continue regardless of how the Supreme Court rules on the mandate for most Americans to carry health insurance.
A new study finds that patients’ opinions of the care they receive can be quite different from the actual quality of the medical care. More alarming is that opinions and experiences vary greatly by race.
Although the code set change is intended to be revenue neutral, ICD-10 includes more than 155,000 codes, a significant expansion from the current 17,000 codes in ICD-9. The transition touches nearly every member of a hospital or health system
The University of Notre Dame, the Archdiocese of New York and 41 other Roman Catholic institutions sued the Obama administration in federal court Monday, the latest push against a requirement in the health-care-overhaul law that employers cover contraception in workers’ health plans.
Data trove – previously confidential information, scrubbed of identifying details, is being provided by three of the nation’s largest insurance companies whose combined customers account for about 20 percent of Americans under age 65.
Higher prices charged by hospitals, outpatient centers and other providers drove up health care spending at double the rate of inflation during the economic downturn– even as patients consumed less medical care overall
As the federal government pumps billions of bonus dollars into private Medicare health plans to encourage better care, the quality rating system used to award the bonuses is coming under increasing fire.
The Obama administration forged ahead with healthcare reforms on Wednesday, announcing a November 16 deadline for state governments to submit proposals showing how they intend to operate health insurance exchanges in 2014.
While Supreme Court watchers focus on the controversial insurance requirement in President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, lesser known is that the court’s ruling next month will also decide the fate of billions of dollars in new taxes.
Piramal Healthcare Ltd. said Wednesday it will acquire U.S.-based health-information manager Decision Resources Group for about $635 million, the second recent overseas buy by the Indian company that is looking to invest its huge cash pile.
Accretive Health was subject of a scathing report in April from Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson is convening national policy leaders to set standards for how hospitals should inform patients about the money they owe for health care.
As hospitals digitize patient records and amass huge amounts of data, many are relying on companies such as Microsoft, SAS Institute Inc., International Business Machines Corp. and Oracle Corp., whose data-mining technologies can help them detect patterns and improve medical care.
Australia’s top pathology and radiology group, has agreed to buy some pathology assets from private equity-owned Healthscope for A$100 million ($100 million), in what could be a test for the competition watchdog
Health policy experts anticipate that the wave of new insurance subscribers will lead to a spike in demand for medical services. Nurse practitioners are rolling out a campaign this week to explain what, exactly, nurse practitioners do — and why patients should trust them with their medical needs.
Computer-based clinical decision-support systems offer great opportunities to improve care and reduce costs, but healthcare leaders have to remember who’s ultimately in charge: the human operating the computer.
As U.S. argues over health care, nations embrace global coverage – Many political leaders around the world also have concluded that creating a system of universal health care is crucial to remaining competitive and sustaining economic growth.
Health-insurance companies must tell customers who get a premium rebate this summer that the check is the result of the Obama administration’s health-care law, according to federal guidelines released Friday.
Meaningful Use Quality Measures May Be Meaningless - The problem is that many of these measures were endorsed in settings that used hand-written notes in medical records. Now those notes must be adapted for use by EHR systems – the transition has been bumpy.
Alere, the maker of medical diagnostics equipment received a subpoena from the Department of Health and Human Services related to quality testing and performance characteristics on Alere Triage products.
The Medicare data can pinpoint differences between hospitals wherever they might be — across the country from one another or right next door. If Medicare’s calculations are right, there may be a little bit of McAllen in a lot of places.
The government has identified hundreds of hospitals whose Medicare patients are incurring especially high bills, a first step toward using bonuses and penalties to encourage more efficient health care nationwide.
Primary care providers, some subspecialist physicians, and nurse practitioners who treat Medicaid patients would be paid at Medicare rates–in some cases up to nearly three times the amount that Medicaid pays–under a proposed rule
Employee benefit administrator WageWorks made the greatest gain, but only after cutting its price. The stock closed at $12.60 on the New York Stock Exchange, up 40% from its initial public offering price of $9
More than 270 interested parties filed public comments regarding the Meaningful Use Stage 2 proposed rules, but it is a few paragraphs in the 68-page comment letter from the American Hospital Association (AHA) that has drawn the attention and ire of patient and consumer advocate groups.
Healthways is broadening its business model as it prepares for the loss of its Cigna contract, which over the course of the 14-year relationship grew to represent about 20% of Healthways’ annual revenue.
NowClinic, which started in 2010 and has expanded into 22 states, is part of the explosion of Web- and telephone-based medical services that experts say are transforming the delivery of primary health care
Obesity rates largely leveled off in the U.S. a decade ago, suggesting the worst might have been over. But about one-third of Americans are still obese, and a new study out Monday predicts that percentage will climb to 42% by 2030.
The Food and Drug Administration is weighing policy changes that could make some of America’s most commonly used medications. The proposal would make accessing drugs significantly easier — and, in the eyes of some, perhaps make doctors less necessary.
What if how much you paid for a drug was based on how much it might help you, instead of the sticker price? Some big employers are already taking this tack, known as value-based insurance design, by lowering copayments for medicines to manage chronic conditions like diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
In 2010, some 21% of adults under the age of 65 told a government survey that they had an unmet health-care need, 20% said they hadn’t been able to get into a doctor’s office and 39% said they hadn’t had a dental visit.
Overall, there were 13.8 million cosmetic procedures in 2011, up 5% since 2010, and 5.5 million reconstructive plastic surgeries in 2011, up 5% over 2010. Hospitals that have offered a wide range of multidisciplinary programs related to cosmetic as well as medical procedures are seeing increased patient load
The latest proposed rules for how federal payers would reimburse hospitals in years to come call for important changes in the way quality is measured. But you wouldn’t know it unless you dug through the 1,313-page proposal for Inpatient Prospective Payment System rules.
BenefitMall and CompuPay have merged through an equity financing led by Austin Ventures and including HarbourVest Partners. The merger of BenefitMall and CompuPay will create a national provider of employee benefit and payroll solutions.
Royal DSM (DSM) NA agreed to buy U.S.-based Kensey Nash (KNSY) for $360 million in cash to drive expansion in the market for medical devices and materials engineered from proteins and synthetic polymers.
The Obama administration has tentatively agreed to chip in $1.9 billion over five years Oregon. The Oregon plan would create “coordinated care organizations” to manage all mental, physical and dental care for 600,000 low-income patients on the Oregon Health Plan, the state’s Medicaid program.
Omnicell, Inc., a leading provider of medication and supply management solutions to healthcare systems, today announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire MTS Medication Technologies, Inc., a worldwide provider of medication adherence packaging systems
Federal regulators are now scrutinizing whether small companies with relatively healthy employees will pull out of the group health insurance market by self-insuring—meaning the companies take on the risk of paying for employees’ medical care.
ConvaTec, a world-leading developer and marketer of innovative medical technologies for community and hospital care today announced that it has acquired AbViser Medical, LLC, a Salt Lake City, UT-based company that specializes in products for the critical care marketplace.
More than 80 percent of hospitals have yet to achieve the requirements for the first stage of a $14.6 billion U.S. program to encourage doctors to adopt electronic medical records, the industry’s largest trade group said.
Productivity in healthcare, in the sense of wringing out incremental savings in labor, has lagged far behind the rest of business largely because competitive pressures present in other industries simply didn’t exist in healthcare.