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Eight Texas Communities Receive Vaccination Grants

Texas Medical Association - Hot Topics - Mon, 06/01/2015 - 12:26

Eight communities across Texas will receive disease-preventing and potentially life-saving vaccinations, thanks to Texas Medical Association’s (TMA’s) Be Wise —ImmunizeSM program. The program awarded grants totaling nearly $18,000 to physicians, medical students, and TMA Alliance chapters (comprising physicians and physicians’ spouses), who often partner with other local organizations to provide free and low-cost vaccinations to uninsured and underinsured Texans.

Categories: Healthcare News

Federal investigators fault Medicare's reliance on doctors for pay standards

Healthcare News - Mon, 06/01/2015 - 08:54

The government relies too heavily on advice from the American Medical Association in deciding how much to pay doctors under Medicare, and the decisions may be biased because the doctors have potential conflicts of interest, federal investigators say in a new report. This reliance on the association, combined with flaws in data collected by the influential doctors' group, "could result in inaccurate Medicare payment rates," the investigators said. The report, by the Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan arm of Congress, reveals new details of an obscure process that distributes more than $70 billion a year to doctors treating Medicare patients.

Categories: Healthcare News

Dedicated Trauma ICU Cuts Infection Rates

Healthcare News - Mon, 06/01/2015 - 07:26

Two changes affecting trauma care at a Florida hospital cost nothing to make, but saved the hospital more than $100,000 in costs over nine months.

Categories: Healthcare News

Halamka: 'Probably Time to Retire the Meaningful Use Construct'

Healthcare News - Mon, 06/01/2015 - 07:15

John Halamka, MD, the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center CIO who is co-chair of the federal HIT Standards Committee, shares his views on interoperability, information blocking, and the lifespan of Meaningful Use.

Categories: Healthcare News

TX public hospitals help nursing home operators get federal funds

Healthcare News - Mon, 06/01/2015 - 07:05

From their headquarters in Brooklyn, N.Y., Teddy Lichtschein and Eliezer Scheiner operate some of the most poorly rated nursing homes in Texas. Their small empire has amassed more than $800,000 in federal fines over the past three years. Regulators reported numerous problems. One patient who fractured his leg waited four days to have his broken bone treated. Another resident, given food he could not chew, choked to death in his wheelchair. An 80-year-old woman with rectal cancer screamed in agony for two weeks before attendants phoned her doctor. Despite this record, Lichtschein and Scheiner have new partners in the nursing home trade: seven public agencies, which could position the Brooklyn duo for a taxpayer-funded windfall.

Categories: Healthcare News

Man turned away from two TX hospitals before crashing stolen ambulance

Healthcare News - Mon, 06/01/2015 - 07:04

Terrance King said it was a cry for help. He said that's why he impersonated a doctor and crashed an ambulance earlier this week near the Dallas Medical District. "There was no other way to do it," he said during a jailhouse interview with News 8 Friday. "That's what's going to get people's attention." King, 23, says he's homeless and mentally ill, having diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. On the day of his arrest, he tried twice to get admitted. He was turned away because he did not have insurance.

Categories: Healthcare News

Large cities oppose Scott's plan for FL hospitals

Healthcare News - Mon, 06/01/2015 - 07:02

Gov. Rick Scott is having a hard time getting officials in the state's largest counties to back his proposal that would require cuts for many public hospitals and instead funnel money to for-profit ones. The governor's plan could mean a possible hit of more than $80 million for Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital and $22 million for Broward General Hospital. Leaders in both counties have said they won't support that. Federal officials also worried Friday that the plan was not viable for local communities. Miami Dade County Commissioner Xavier Suarez said the cuts would come on top of 15 percent that the hospital doesn't get reimbursed for caring for undocumented or uninsured patients.

Categories: Healthcare News

NY hospitals expand cardiac care as competition grows

Healthcare News - Mon, 06/01/2015 - 07:01

Two Lower Hudson Valley hospitals spent $14.5 million to open new cardiac departments this year despite declines in patients requiring treatment, state data show. Lawrence Hospital Center in Bronxville opened an $8.6 million cardiac catheterization laboratory last month; 10 miles away, White Plains Hospital spent $5.9 million to construct its second cardiac catheterization lab. The projects underscore the increasing competition for cardiac patients in Westchester County at a time when state and federal regulators are focused on reducing overuse of some cardiac surgeries and exams. A critical factor is the push north by New York City health systems, said Dr. Robert Amler, vice president for government affairs at New York Medical College in Valhalla.

Categories: Healthcare News

Drugs heists shows area hospitals' security not 'bulletproof'

Healthcare News - Mon, 06/01/2015 - 06:59

As the demand for black market narcotics grows, so has the level of hospital security around drugs. Safeguards at Chattanooga hospitals include restricted rooms, heavy surveillance, pill counts performed each shift and dispensing machines that track every drug withdrawal. In spite of all this, 26-year-old Ryan Epperson was still able to repeatedly foil security for weeks at all three of Chattanooga's major downtown hospitals to steal painkillers like Demerol, fentanyl and morphine, according to an affidavit. "The hospitals may have had every security measure in place, but they may not have anticipated someone so brazen," said Tennessee Board of Pharmacy President Reggie Dillard.

Categories: Healthcare News

MN doctors' unease puts medical marijuana patients in a bind

Healthcare News - Mon, 06/01/2015 - 06:41

Sarah Wellington thought she had everything squared away to register for Minnesota's medical marijuana program. Her multiple sclerosis fit the narrow list of conditions that qualify. Her neurologist was on board with trying medical marijuana. Just check back in a month and we'll get your paperwork started with the state, she was told. But the follow-up was a shock: Her clinic decided it doesn't want a part in the state's new program yet. Her primary care clinic doesn't, either. As Minnesota officials start signing up patients on Monday, Wellington's predicament underscores a logistical hurdle for the state and the patients hoping to get the medicine come July.

Categories: Healthcare News

Jury in the Bronx awards $45 million for a death after surgery

Healthcare News - Mon, 06/01/2015 - 06:39

A Bronx jury has awarded $45.6 million to the parents of a man who was paralyzed at 14 and later died as a result of a spinal operation at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, according to court papers released Friday. The man, Edward Beloyianis, who lived in Dix Hills, Long Island, had gone to the Manhattan hospital in November 2002 for surgery to correct his scoliosis, a condition that made his spine curve in an S-shape, his lawyer, Evan Torgan, said on Friday. Mr. Beloyianis was paralyzed from the waist down by four screws that had been misplaced during the surgery and were pressing on his spinal cord, Mr. Torgan argued during a six-month trial in State Supreme Court in the Bronx.

Categories: Healthcare News

AMIA Unveils Recommendations for Advancing EHRs by 2020

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 13:13

The American Medical Informatics Association has unveiled the 10 recommendations from its EHR-2020 Task Force for improving electronic health record systems by 2020. The report outlines five key focus areas, including supporting person-centered care delivery. MedCity News et al.

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use

Contest Seeks Wearables To Improve Health in Developing Countries

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 13:03

The “Wearables for Good” challenge — launched by UNICEF in partnership with smartphone chip manufacturer ARM and design firm Frog — seeks wearable devices that can be used to help individuals in underdeveloped countries avoid death, disease and disasters. MedCity News et al.

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use

Study: ICD-10 Transition Could Pose Problems for Hospital EDs

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 12:39

A new study finds that hospital emergency departments could be negatively affected by the upcoming transition to ICD-10 code sets if challenges posed by current mapping tools are not addressed. Specifically, the study finds EDs could experience problems with clinical workflow and finances. FierceHealthIT et al.

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use

Health Data Breaches Cost More To Remediate Than in Other Sectors

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 12:08

A Ponemon Institute study finds that health care data breaches are the costliest to remediate, at $363 per exposed personally identifiable record, compared with $154 in other industries. In addition, researchers find that the cost of remediating health care data breaches is increasing. Modern Healthcare et al.

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use

Health IT Business News Roundup for the Week of May 29, 2015

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 11:59

Xerox has acquired Healthy Communities Institute, a cloud-based public health data company, for an undisclosed sum. Susannah Fox — former associate director of the Pew Research Center and “entrepreneur in residence” at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation — has been named HHS CTO.

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use

Survivorship Plans: The Next Phase of Cancer Care

Texas Medical Association - Hot Topics - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 08:28

The success of cancer treatments brings new issues to light, including how physicians — both oncologists, or cancer doctors, and primary care physicians — can support patients once treatment is over. Survivorship plans can help improve the quality of care for cancer survivors and empower them to care for themselves, live better lives, and reduce the risk of recurrence.

Categories: Healthcare News

Interstate Licensure Agreement Adds Two More States

Healthcare News - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 06:59

A campaign to remove barriers preventing physicians from practicing across state lines and promising to pave the way for further expansion of telemedicine continues to gain participants.

Categories: Healthcare News

Slideshow: Healthcare Leaders on Outpatient Care Spending

Healthcare News - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 06:55

Four senior healthcare executives discuss how they're investing in ambulatory and outpatient services.

Categories: Healthcare News

Cancer is getting more expensive, forcing doctors to take notice

Healthcare News - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 06:43

Cancer care has long been costly. There are signs it's getting even more expensive for consumers, who are now required to shoulder a greater portion of medical bills in the form of insurance copays. ASCO has pointed to a National Institutes of Health study that estimates total treatment costs in the U.S. will rise 40 percent to $175 billion between 2010 and 2020. Drug prices are part of the concern. Global spending on oncology medication is projected to rise 6 percent to 8 percent a year through 2018 to as much as $147 billion, the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics said in a report this month.

Categories: Healthcare News