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The Perils of Cut-and-Paste Documentation

Healthcare News - 11 hours 56 min ago

Not only is the practice of copying a block of prewritten text and pasting it into a patient record a questionable billing practice, it also creates the potential for adverse patient outcomes.

Categories: Healthcare News

Readmission Location Linked to Post-Surgical Mortality Rates

Healthcare News - 12 hours 1 min ago

Patients with complications after major surgery are 26% more likely to survive if they return to the hospital where they had their operation, researchers find.

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Patient safety in children's hospitals: The journey to zero harm

Healthcare News - 12 hours 20 min ago

In contemporary society, we like to talk about thinking outside the box. Sometimes, though, you have to build an entirely new box. Such is the case for children's hospitals working to improve patient safety in their facilities. Since the Institutes of Medicine first published "To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System," their report on patient safety in 1999, health care has struggled with how best to protect those cared for in our system. Now, 16 years later, the search for how to do just that might be close to finding that elusive treasure.

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Replacing doctor's visits with apps could save $104 billion a year

Healthcare News - 12 hours 23 min ago

Going to the doctor's office is expensive. Not only is there the cost of co-pays, but the cost of traveling to the office and the time taken out of the day to do so can add up. In a lot of cases checking in on minor issues, like a rash or nausea, doesn't even require the doctor to look at the symptom and listen to the patient. What if you could cut out the office visit? According to research done by Goldman Sachs, moving those minor doctor visits from the brick and mortar offices to video conference platforms, similar to Skype or FaceTime, would reduce healthcare costs by around $104 billion per year.

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Half of all heart disease deaths in US could be prevented

Healthcare News - 12 hours 24 min ago

While progress has been made in reducing the number of heart disease-related deaths in the United States over the past three decades, preventable risk factors continue to account for half of all cardiovascular deaths, according to new research. About 610,000 Americans die of heart disease every year, accounting for one in every four deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is the number one killer of both men and women in this country. While experts say prevention is key to reducing these numbers, a study published today in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggests the message isn't getting across to the public.

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Opinion: What doctors really want from the latest medical technology

Healthcare News - 12 hours 26 min ago

Technology has much to offer doctors, but it is not the health-care technology agenda you hear about in the news. Big data, the electronic medical record, and the connected patient are frequently hyped as remedies to medicine's ills. But improving and restoring health is a messy business that requires investment inhuman capital more than physical capital. Here's a modest technology agenda from the perspective of the front-line clinician who hopes to master their craft and continually improve the care they provide to their patients.

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ADHD online application proves helpful to doctors

Healthcare News - 12 hours 29 min ago

School isn't my favorite thing to do. I think 'Eh' about school." Not an uncommon sentiment among 10-year-olds like Eli Bak of Belmont, but there's one subject he really struggles with: writing. "He has difficulty with things that require a lot of handwork and difficulty with things that require a lot of steps," says Randy Bak, Eli's father. Bak's parents consulted with Dr. Marilyn Augustyn, a developmental and behavioral pediatrician at Boston Medical Center. She wanted to rule out attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Mehealth for ADHD is an online application developed by a company in Marlborough.

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His wife is ill. He's a doctor. Isn't he supposed to know what do do?

Healthcare News - 12 hours 31 min ago

Two weeks after my wife has a hysterectomy, she begins experiencing fevers that rise and spike each evening: 99.2, then 100.7, then 101.5. I am an infectious-disease doctor and a consultant for Medicare. And I am puzzled and a bit frightened. "What do we do?" asks my wife — also a physician. She is lying on the sofa, covered with a blanket, color drained from her face, a drop of sweat rolling down her neck. It is Friday night. "Do we call the surgeon, go to the emergency room or wait until Monday?" Shouldn't I know what to do?

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Gun Laws in Health Systems Vary by State

Healthcare News - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 07:09

A federal law bars guns from schools, but there is no such law about firearms in hospitals.

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DOJ Sues 4 Michigan Health Systems for Limiting Competition

Healthcare News - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 07:06

"These hospitals conspired to deprive consumers and physicians of important health information and education, "says the Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department's Antitrust Division.

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6 new healthcare topics to debate now that Obamacare's been upheld

Healthcare News - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 06:47

The country finally has an opportunity to change the subject on health care, after the Supreme Court again upheld President Barack Obama's law. There's no shortage of pressing issues, including prescription drug prices, high insurance deductibles and long-term care. But moving on will take time, partly because many Republicans want another chance to repeal the Affordable Care Act if they win the White House and both chambers of Congress next year. Also, it's difficult to start new conversations when political divisions are so raw, and there's a big disconnect between what people perceive as problems and the priorities of policymakers, business and the health care industry.

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Genesis Hospital (OH) open for business

Healthcare News - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 06:44

Community Ambulance transported nearly 100 Good Samaritan patients 2 miles down the road Saturday to a new facility that opened its doors this weekend after months of renovation and construction. Cloudy skies and intermittent rain didn't stall the move, as hospital personnel transported a patient about every four minutes from Good Samaritan Hospital to the new Genesis Hospital, formerly known as Bethesda. The move began around 7 a.m. and was expected to take 10 hours for all 91 patients to be settled in their rooms at the Maple Avenue hospital.

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35 CA counties extend healthcare to immigrants

Healthcare News - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 06:41

A group of 35 California counties have agreed to provide basic health care to people who are in the United States illegally. The decision was made Thursday by the governing panel of the County Medical Services Program, which pools resources of the mostly rural and sparsely populated counties to provide health services to the poor. The counties include Yolo, Sonoma and Marin in the north and Imperial near the southern border with Mexico. The program could begin next year, and several thousand people are expected to enroll. "Frankly, it's just the right thing to do," Yolo County Supervisor Don Saylor told the Los Angeles Times. "For us to have an underclass that is left out is unconscionable."

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No joke: Hospital patients endangered by food, report finds

Healthcare News - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 06:36

When you think of safety mishaps at hospitals, what likely comes to mind is patients who got surgery on the wrong leg or were exposed to deadly bacteria. Those are problems that have received widespread attention from safety experts. A recent report by the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority highlights another potential danger in hospitals: food. Snicker all you like about the quality of hospital food. That's not what the report was about. It looked at mistakes involving patients with special dietary needs who got the wrong food. These were no laughing matter.

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Fixtures provide germ-zapping light for hospitals

Healthcare News - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 06:33

A Kenosha company is poised to begin marketing bacteria-killing light fixtures that could open a new front in the war on hospital-acquired infections. Light, though not the visible variety, already has joined the fight. Many hospitals, including some in Milwaukee, have recently deployed robot-like devices that disinfect rooms with powerful pulses of ultraviolet radiation. Kenall Manufacturing Co. is taking a different approach. Unlike ultraviolet lights, its fixtures can be left on continuously and be used while people — and the bacterial baggage they often bring with them — are in the room. "It just seemed to me like this was a game changer," said Clifford Yahnke, Kenall's director of clinical affairs.

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The downside of medical screening

Healthcare News - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 06:15

If you had a disease, and you could find out sooner rather than later, why wouldn't you? Medicine has long focused on early detection of diseases as part of a move toward preventive care. But imperfect tests, false positives, and overdiagnosis mean that sometimes the tests do more harm than good, and in recent years, there have been more recommendations to reduce some kinds of screening, including pap smears, colonoscopies, mammograms, and even annual pelvic exams. The more you look for disease, the more you find it. And in the case of cancer, it's hard for doctors to know if what they find is dangerous and needs to be addressed, or if it's just a small tumor that won't grow and poses no threat.

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Providers Frustrated, Seek Accommodation as ICD-10 Draws Near

Healthcare News - Fri, 06/26/2015 - 07:07

Opponents of the new coding standard are calling on Congress to divorce ICD-10 from reimbursement policy altogether and to provide a better transition to a system that is "more appropriate" and "less burdensome." From MedPage Today.

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CA lawmakers just approved one of the toughest mandatory vaccine laws

Healthcare News - Fri, 06/26/2015 - 06:45

California's General Assembly just approved a controversial bill that will require schoolchildren to be vaccinated — unless they have a medical reason for opting out. The bill, SB277, would change the law so that people could no longer refuse to get vaccines for religious or philosophical reasons — measures parents sometimes try to take on behalf of their kids. The bill was a response to a large measles outbreak that originated at the Disneyland theme park in the state in December. Since then, more than 160 people across the US have been diagnosed with the disease (the majority of them in California).

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Doctors and hospitals need to talk more. This app can help

Healthcare News - Fri, 06/26/2015 - 06:44

As an intern fresh out of medical school at Columbia University, Joe Mayer says one of the most frustrating tasks in the ER was spending hours trying to track down a patient's primary care physician. It was tedious, yes. But more than that, it was just one more obstacle to making a decision about that patient's care in an already byzantine healthcare system. And so, during his intern year, Mayer, who had worked for and founded several healthcare IT companies in the past, started work on a company to cut through this complexity.

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Medicare slow to adopt telemedicine due to cost concerns

Healthcare News - Fri, 06/26/2015 - 06:42

Nearly 20 years after such videoconferencing technology has been available for health services, fewer than 1% of Medicare beneficiaries use it. Anthem and a University of Pittsburgh Medical Center health plan in western Pennsylvania are the only two Medicare Advantage insurers offering the virtual visits, and the traditional Medicare program has tightly limited telemedicine payments to certain rural areas. And even there, the beneficiary must already be at a clinic, a rule that often defeats the goal of making care more convenient. Congress has maintained such restrictions out of concern that the service might increase Medicare expenses.

Categories: Healthcare News