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Doctors reiterate need for free medical clinic

Healthcare News - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 06:23

One by one, patients filled out paperwork, received a folder with personal information and waited to see a doctor. They came for many reasons — a general health check, to have blood work done or even to see a specialist — but all who came were in need of free medical care. About 120 Monroe County residents were expected to take advantage of the fifth annual Free Medical Screening Camp held Saturday at the Salvation Army of Monroe County. Local physicians and specialists offered a variety of services to patients, including free EKGs, cholesterol screenings, dental work and ophthalmological and gynecological exams.

Categories: Healthcare News

Novant Health exec pay jumps to $25.2M amid retirement-plan changes

Healthcare News - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 06:21

Compensation for Novant Health's top seven executives jumped 200 percent to nearly $25.2 million in 2013, primarily because of changes to the system's executive retirement program. But with the retirement payments excluded, Novant paid those executives nearly $7.7 million in base salaries and incentive compensation — a 9.4 percent drop from the $8.5 million it paid in 2012. The Winston-Salem-based health-care system paid out roughly $17.5 million in retirement benefit payments last year as it ended a program designed to retain and reward Novant's top executives for long-term service. That figure includes all dollars accumulated over the life of the plan.

Categories: Healthcare News

Crittenden Regional Hospital to close next month

Healthcare News - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 06:20

After financial losses, fire and a special tax passed to support it, Crittenden Regional Hospital is closing. The hospital is no longer admitting people, and will close September 7. We are told clinics located within the hospital are looking for alternatives. In a statement, CEO Gene Cashman said, "With counsel from national health care consulting firms and the passage of a county-wide sales tax, we had identified a long-term strategic plan that had set our organization on a path to improvement. This summer's fire and the subsequent shut-down derailed that plan's success."

Categories: Healthcare News

Mayo offers at-home colon cancer test; stool sample goes in the mail

Healthcare News - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 06:18

Patients often plead they'll do anything to avoid a colonoscopy for cancer screening. Now doctors at the Mayo Clinic have an alternative that will put that sentiment to the test. Mayo officials announced Monday they will be the first in the United States to offer patients the Cologuard test, by which patients collect their stool samples and mail them in sealed containers for DNA analysis of their colon cancer risks. While the colonoscopy will remain the gold standard for colon cancer screening — particularly among elderly adults with family histories of the disease — Mayo officials said this alternative will lead to more screening of adults who are squeamish about a rectal exam and will identify more colon cancers at early and treatable stages.

Categories: Healthcare News

Todd Park To Step Down as U.S. Chief Technology Officer

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Mon, 08/25/2014 - 10:51

U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park is expected to step down by the end of the year to take on a new role as an IT recruiter for the federal government. During his nearly five-year tenure with the Obama administration, Park helped lead efforts to fix HealthCare.gov and implement several health IT initiatives, such as openFDA. Modern Healthcare et al.

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use

Oregon Sues Oracle Over Botched Health Insurance Exchange Website

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Mon, 08/25/2014 - 10:35

Oregon has filed a lawsuit against Oracle America alleging that the company submitted fraudulent claims and failed to deliver on its contractual obligations for the state health insurance exchange. The suit comes two weeks after Oracle filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit against the state. Los Angeles Times‘ “Nation Now” et al.

Categories: Making Sense of Meaningful Use

Proton Beam Therapy Poised for Growth in US

Healthcare News - Mon, 08/25/2014 - 06:52

Fueled by patient demand and advances in technology, the construction of costly proton beam centers is picking up steam. Insurers are paying for limited applications.

Categories: Healthcare News

'Kafkaesque' Value System Unfairly Penalizes Doctor Pay

Healthcare News - Mon, 08/25/2014 - 06:44

How much physicians get paid is increasingly determined by a formula that penalizes doctors whose patients are more expensive—even when those higher costs stem from services that other doctors perform, according to a new report.

Categories: Healthcare News

Hospitals look for new ways to collect unpaid medical bills

Healthcare News - Mon, 08/25/2014 - 06:33

Patients who end up with hefty medical bills now have another payment option: an interest-free loan without the worry of a credit check. As patients' deductibles continue to rise, leaving them unable to pay for services in one lump sum, health finance experts say hospital officials are looking for creative ways to collect on patient balances. Five months ago, SSM Health Care inked a deal with Commerce Bank to offer these interest-free loans with three- and five-year terms to patients in the health system's four-state footprint — Missouri, Illinois, Oklahoma and Wisconsin.

Categories: Healthcare News

As investors buy struggling hospitals, big change comes to NJ healthcare

Healthcare News - Mon, 08/25/2014 - 06:31

Bayonne Medical Center wasn't just bragging about efficiency when it posted a big digital clock on a highway billboard a few years ago to show the real-time waits in its emergency room. It wanted patients to come to its ER. Lots of patients. It didn't matter if the hospital was in the patient's insurance network. On the contrary, to the businessmen who had recently purchased the medical center, those "out-of-network" patients held the key to reversing Bayonne's fortunes. These owners, who bought the hospital in bankruptcy, had found an unintended — and very profitable — consequence to a state regulation that was designed to protect patients with urgent medical needs.

Categories: Healthcare News

Patient worries emerge over chargemasters at Pittsburgh's regional hospitals

Healthcare News - Mon, 08/25/2014 - 06:29

Once Pennsylvania Insurance Department officials sign off on Highmark's transition plan for separating from UPMC, Highmark members may learn they have more access to UPMC physicians and facilities than they expected — but it could come at a very steep price. They also may soon become familiar with a new term: chargemaster. The chargemaster is a hospital's master list of how much it will charge for services, including every treatment, test, scan and aspirin. But, unlike a restaurant that lists meal prices on a menu, the hospital prices are secret and — almost uniformly — many times higher than what the service actually cost the hospital to provide.

Categories: Healthcare News

CHS breach a sign of healthcare's security illness

Healthcare News - Mon, 08/25/2014 - 06:25

Community Health Systems announced Aug. 18 that hackers had breached its health care network of 206 facilities and stolen sensitive information on approximately 4.5 million patients. The compromise and subsequent data loss is part of a general trend in the sector. The health care industry has given short shrift to IT security, spending less on protecting its systems and data than most, if not all other, industries, as measured as a percentage of the overall IT budget. And data from firms that track threat intelligence shows that signs of breaches are rampant in the health care industry.

Categories: Healthcare News

Community Healthcare forms a clinical integration model for patient care

Healthcare News - Mon, 08/25/2014 - 06:20

Community Healthcare System will soon be implementing an integrated approach to its patient care. Community Healthcare Partners, a clinical integration organization, is designed to develop ongoing clinical initiatives to provide a higher quality, more efficient, less costly care for its patients. It's a model similar to an Accountable Care Organization, but it's not tied to the Affordable Care Act or Medicare. "We're in the early stages of creating a clinical integration organization that will make Community a better healthcare system, with the goal of improving quality and reducing costs," says Kevin Mybeck, vice president of managed care for Community Healthcare System.

Categories: Healthcare News

Opinion: The new face of healthcare innovation—7 ways telemedicine changes the healthcare landscape, and what it means for you

Healthcare News - Mon, 08/25/2014 - 06:13

It's no secret that the healthcare space is broken. A 2013 study conducted by the Journal of Patient Safety estimates that between 210,000 and 440,000 patients die in the US each year from accidental practice. To put this into perspective, an estimated 600,000 Americans die from heart disease each year and another 565,000 from cancer (source: www.cdc.gov), which puts healthcare incompetence as the third leading cause of death in the United States. The pool of entrepreneurs in the race to offer mobile health consulting is growing larger by the day. With telemedicine, users have the power of accessibility in their hands with apps such asTouchCare and iBluebutton (see below). While the concept of telemedicine isn't anything new, having the accessibility to one's doctor is.

Categories: Healthcare News

Advisory Opinion 12-09

Advisory Opinions - Thu, 07/10/2014 - 09:58

This file is a .PDF

Categories: OIG Advisory Opinions

Advisory Opinion 12-08

Advisory Opinions - Thu, 07/10/2014 - 09:58

This file is a .PDF

Categories: OIG Advisory Opinions

Advisory Opinion 12-07

Advisory Opinions - Thu, 07/10/2014 - 09:58

This file is a .PDF

Categories: OIG Advisory Opinions

Advisory Opinion 12-06

Advisory Opinions - Thu, 07/10/2014 - 09:58

This file is a .PDF

Categories: OIG Advisory Opinions

Advisory Opinion 12-05

Advisory Opinions - Thu, 07/10/2014 - 09:58

This file is a .PDF

Categories: OIG Advisory Opinions

Advisory Opinion 12-04

Advisory Opinions - Thu, 07/10/2014 - 09:58

This file is a .PDF

Categories: OIG Advisory Opinions