Headlines Archive for July 2012
Annual retainer fee buys patients more time with their doctors – Some physicians in solo practice, frustrated by long hours and less time with patients, opt for so-called concierge medicine. Critics say it could reduce access to care.
Accretive Health, one of the nation’s largest collectors of medical debt, has agreed to pay $2.5 million to the Minnesota state attorney general’s office to settle accusations that it violated a federal law
A new study showed that in 2009 half the population – fully 150 million people – spent an average of just $236 per person on health care. That was a paltry $36 billion for the entire group out of $1.3 trillion in personal health care expenditures.
Thirteen states are moving to cut Medicaid by reducing benefits, paying health providers less or tightening eligibility, even as the federal government prepares to expand the insurance program for the poor to as many as 17 million more people.
President Obama’s health care law is expected to extend insurance coverage to thousands of people by 2014. But coverage will not necessarily translate into care: Local health experts doubt there will be enough doctors to meet the area’s needs. There are not enough now.
In the wake of a widely publicized report advising against prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing for prostate cancer, a new study finds not screening would triple the number of U.S. men developing advanced cancer.
McKesson Corp. will pay $151 million to 29 states over allegations the company artificially raised Medicaid drug prices for years, the latest settlement over claims the pharmacy supply chain overcharged for prescription medications.
President Obama’s health care law is putting new strains on some of the nation’s most hard-pressed hospitals, by cutting aid they use to pay for emergency care for illegal immigrants, which they have long been required to provide.
The U.S. market for advanced patient monitoring systems has grown from $3.9 billion in 2007 to $8.9 billion in 2011 and is forecast to reach $20.9 billion by 2016, according to a study by Kalorama Information.
Health insurance executives who met at the White House yesterday to mark their contributions to fighting fraud told the Obama administration that the cost of those efforts shouldn’t be counted toward profit limits that were imposed under the 2010 U.S. health-care overhaul.
Under the Premier program, launched July 23, participants will share best practices and data with other members, and focus on improving care and reducing costs in hip/knee replacement, lumbar spine fusion, coronary artery bypass graft, heart valve replacement, percutaneous coronary intervention, and colon resection.
Of all the healthcare providers most severely impacted by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ruling last month, public safety net hospitals, of which there are 1,000 in this country, are at the top of the list.
Instead of renewing their efforts against the law as a whole, his team of lawyers and lobbyists has pinpointed three particularly onerous elements they believe can be made less burdensome for small business owners, either through legislative or regulatory action.
Healthcare services, which includes physician groups, hospitals, and managed care, recorded 133 transactions valued at $23.1 billion in second quarter 2012 compared with 139 transactions valued at $7.3 billion for second quarter 2011.
An eight-story commercial office and laboratory building nearing completion in the Louisville central business district signals the steady expansion of the city’s biggest new economic sector — a field local development specialists call “lifelong wellness and aging care.”
WebMD, which gets more than 80 percent of revenue from advertising and sponsorships, said it expects customers to “re-evaluate expenditures,” including marketing, as they deal with drug-patent expirations and delays in product approvals.
The number of rating downgrades for non-profit hospitals outpaced upgrades in the first quarter of 2012, Moody’s Investors Service said on Monday, adding it remains cautious about the effects of a slow economic recovery, federal deficit cutting measures and state budget pressures on the sector.
Around one in 10 employers in the U.S. plans to drop health coverage for workers in the next few years as the bulk of the federal health-care law begins, and more indicated they may do so over time, according to a study to be released Tuesday by consulting company Deloitte.
IBM’s Watson computer marched into pop-culture history last year by outscoring two former “Jeopardy!” champions on national television. Now, the Minnesota-made computer system is moving into real-world business applications, and the state’s health care industry is looking for ways to tap in.
The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) announced Monday the start of a public comment period for its landmark draft Methodology Report, which proposes standards for the conduct of patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR).
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s new registry of registries would provide access to data from observational trials, quality improvement programs, and perhaps accountable care organizations.
With palliative care, hospitals can avoid needless tests and procedures, in part, because patients no longer want them. Palliative care is the comprehensive treatment focused on pain, symptoms and stress of serious illness, or even spiritual assistance for the very sick. Some studies have shown it can extend life.
About 20 states, including Arizona, Illinois and Maryland, have shifted all or portions of their prison health-care operations to private providers in an attempt to cut costs, a trend that is raising concerns among unions and prisoners’ rights groups.
The Obama administration and congressional Republicans are escalating their fight over administration plans to change the way the federal government enforces work requirements in the Clinton-era welfare overhaul
The nation’s hospitals are making little headway in reducing the frequency at which patients are readmitted despite a campaign by the government and the threat of financial penalties, according to Medicare data released Thursday
Republicans on a House Appropriations subcommittee won passage of a spending bill that would defund the Affordable Care Act, eliminate a decades-old health research agency and slash the budget for other health programs.
Ellman International, Inc., a global leader in advanced radiofrequency (RF) technology for precision surgical and aesthetic procedures today announced that it has acquired the assets of Sandstone Medical Technologies, LLC
States that sit on the sidelines waiting for the results of the November election before they commit to healthcare reform and health insurance exchanges will face a “herculean effort” to establish their exchanges
A new study finds that so-called “safety-net” hospitals that serve the poor do a worse job overall than other hospitals, a potentially big problem as health care reform boosts the number of people who have insurance and more choice about where they can go for care.
The CMS dual eligible demonstration program enrollment has far exceeded CMS’s early expectations, and provider and advocacy groups warn the size of what was meant to be a pilot program has effectively turned it into the equivalent of a waiver.
On nearly every measure of the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Health Plans Survey patient experience questionnaire, 769 hospitals that treat the largest share of low-income patients scored 5.6 percentage points lower than their 2,327 non-safety net counterpart
Science Applications International Corporation today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire maxIT Healthcare Holdings, Inc., a leading healthcare IT (Information Technology) consulting firm based in Westfield, Ind.
The immediate reaction on Wall Street to last month’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding President Obama’s health care law was to buy hospital stocks and dump health insurance stocks. But at least one analyst expects the long-term outcome to be exactly opposite of that.
While the resistance of Republican governors has dominated the debate over the health-care law following last month’s Supreme Court decision to uphold it, a number of Democratic governors are also quietly voicing concerns about a key provision to expand coverage.
Becton, Dickinson and Company, a leading global medical technology company, announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Safety Syringes, Inc., a privately held California-based company that specializes in the development of anti-needlestick devices for prefilled syringes
Care.com, the largest and fastest-growing online service in the U.S. used by families seeking high-quality care providers, announced today that it has acquired Besser Betreut GmbH, the largest online destination for care and service providers in Europe
ERT, a global technology-driven provider of health outcomes services to biopharmaceutical sponsors and contract research organizations (CROs), announced today the acquisition of invivodata, Inc, a leading provider of electronic Patient Reported Outcomes (ePRO) solutions and Consulting services, based in Pittsburgh, PA.
The takeover of Amerigroup Corp. at the richest premium for a managed care company in 15 years is turning Medicaid insurers from Centene Corp. to Molina Healthcare Inc. into the industry’s next targets.
The Obama administration says low-income residents in states that decide to opt out of a big Medicaid expansion in the new health care law will not risk federal penalties as an unintended consequence.
Critics of the new health care law, having lost one battle in the Supreme Court, are mounting a challenge to President Obama’s interpretation of another important provision, under which the federal government will subsidize health insurance for millions of low- and middle-income people.
WellPoint Inc.’s purchase of Medicaid insurer Amerigroup Corp. catapults WellPoint deep into the chase for a huge—but potentially risky—new market covering people with costly health problems known as dual-eligible patients
WellPoint Inc. (WLP), the second-biggest U.S. health insurer, will buy Amerigroup Corp. (AGP) for $4.9 billion, a move that may spur a wave of acquisitions as companies compete to manage an expanding Medicaid market.
Dignity Health, formerly Catholic Healthcare West, said Monday it will acquire U.S. HealthWorks, which bills itself as the largest independent operator of occupational medicine and urgent care centers in the United States.
Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) introduced the End Debt Collector Abuse Act of 2012 last Wednesday. The act would amend the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to include medical debt and would set limits on the access that debt collectors can have to hospital patients.
A growing number of Republican lawmakers and state Medicaid officials, including those in Florida, Texas and at least seven other Republican-leaning states, have said they may indeed walk away from the nearly $1 trillion federal pot
Hospitals are urging states to expand Medicaid under the new health-care law, bringing a potent political force to bear on governors who face pressure from Republican leaders to opt out of the beefed-up program.
Obama proposed giving home attendants and aides the protections, like overtime pay, that most American workers take for granted. With a work force of about 2.5 million, home health and personal care is the second-fastest-growing job category in the country