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Morning Read: What states have the most medical technology jobs?

8:41 am by | 0 Comments

Highlights of the important and the interesting from the world of healthcare:

What states have the most med-tech jobs? It won’t come as news to many people that California is the overwhelming leader when it comes to medical technology jobs in the U.S. But it was somewhat surprising to see Massachusetts wasn’t No. 2, edged out by Minnesota, according to a (pdf) report from the trade group AdvaMed. (We’ll overlook the fact that the study was conducted on AdvaMed’s behalf by the odious Lewin Group, purveyor of much questionable healthcare data.) Other surprises include Indiana at No. 7 and Wisconsin at No. 10.

A “meaningless platitude”: That’s what your company culture is, according to an Xconomy blogger. “‘Hire the best, teamwork, ethics … all meaningless platitudes. Real company cultures are made of four things: polarizing decisions, excesses, quirks and dysfunctions.”

Why one doctor quit: Ex-pediatrician Karen Li writes that when her job had become more about dealing with managed care than helping patients, it was time to run for the exits. Of course, it was about money, too. “I hope the system will one day realize that our goal is to take care of the patient, not to pad the pocketbook of the healthcare businessman,” Li says.

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Children are a growth industry: That’s no pun to Big Pharma, which is increasingly selling prescription drugs to kids to drive growth. A study released last month found that 26 percent of kids under 19 are now taking prescription medications for a chronic condition. Meanwhile, spending on prescription drugs for children increased by almost 11 percent last year, the largest increase experienced by all segments of the market, including the elderly. Much of that growth is driven by the seemingly never-ending expansion of American children’s waistlines and the cardiovascular disease risk that expansion brings.

FDA slaps Pfizer: Pharmalot has the story: In a stinging, 12-page letter, the FDA has scolded Pfizer for failing to meet regulatory deadlines for reporting serious side effects with many of its drugs, and neglecting to tell the agency about missing samples.

Cutting cost with “turnkey clinics”: The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel profiles a company that specializes in “turnkey clinics,” which are similar to retail clinics but are set up for health systems by private companies. The company oversees the building and design, supplies the furniture and signs, and provides the marketing campaign. It also pays the build-out costs, typically about $150,000. The health care systems operate the clinic but pay a monthly fee to the private company. Why should consumers care? The clinics save money. A study by the independent policy research program Rand Health last year estimated that one in five visits to a primary care physician and one in 10 to an emergency department are for a problem that could be treated at a retail clinic.

Hospitals suffering along with the economy: During economic downturns, hospitals typically hold up well financially, but not this time, according to University of Michigan researchers. That financial instability brings the cancellation of expansion plans and staff cuts, which can hurt quality. “Our primary concern is that hospitals are making decisions to hold off on improvements in infrastructure and technology and cut staffing in ways that lead to a decrease in quality of care,” the lead researcher said.

Photo from flickr user greenforall.org

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Brandon Glenn

By Brandon Glenn MedCity News

Brandon Glenn is the Ohio bureau chief for MedCity News.
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