More than 750 hospitals face $330M in penalties for patient injuries, infections

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More than 750 hospitals face $330M in penalties for patient injuries, infections

June 23, 2014 6:13 am by | 0 Comments

During a hernia operation, Dorothea Handron’s surgeon unknowingly pierced her bowel and sent her home. It took five days for doctors to determine she had an infection. By the time…


CMS experiment tests the impact of eliminating ‘observation care’ penalties

CMS experiment tests the impact of eliminating ‘observation care’ penalties

July 22, 2014 10:01 am by | 0 Comments

Medicare officials have allowed patients at dozens of hospitals participating in pilot projects across the country to be exempted from the controversial requirement that limits nursing home coverage to seniors…


CMS names finalists for $360M in grants to help kids, seniors, dual eligibles

CMS names finalists for $360M in grants to help kids, seniors, dual eligibles

July 11, 2014 3:50 pm by | 0 Comments

CMS announced the second batch of prospective recipients of its Health Care Innovation Awards, which brings the total amount of funding for the project to about $360 million for health…



High-risk surgery patients may benefit most from primary care follow-up

High-risk surgery patients may benefit most from primary care follow-up

June 26, 2014 8:09 am by | 0 Comments

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – People who visit their primary care doctors shortly after high-risk surgeries are less likely to end up back in the hospital during the next month,…


Understanding how Medicare calculates scores for hospital-acquired conditions

Understanding how Medicare calculates scores for hospital-acquired conditions

June 23, 2014 6:13 am by | 0 Comments

A quarter of the nation’s hospitals in October will receive lower Medicare payments because their rates of patient complications are higher than their peers. Federal officials released a preliminary analysis in April scoring hospitals and provisi…


Medicare patients learning the costly way that being ‘observed’ and ‘admitted’ aren’t the same

Medicare patients learning the costly way that being ‘observed’ and ‘admitted’ aren’t the same

June 11, 2014 4:21 pm by | 0 Comments

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – People on Medicare who spend one or two nights in the hospital are finding out, and often too late, that they weren’t really “admitted” to…


Time – The Impediment to Being a Good Primary Care Doctor

Time – The Impediment to Being a Good Primary Care Doctor

May 27, 2014 7:41 am by | 0 Comments

Did you get more than a few minutes with your doctor at your last visit? Probably not. Why not? Not enough time. The primary care physician (PCP) is the most…


Should Medicare payments be the same no matter where patients get care?

Should Medicare payments be the same no matter where patients get care?

May 22, 2014 5:00 pm by | 0 Comments

That question was the focus of a House subcommittee hearing Wednesday, and it’s an important issue in the context of the debate over ending the Medicare SGR. Mary Agnes Carey…



California doctors’ Medicare billing patterns raise questions for patients and payers

California doctors’ Medicare billing patterns raise questions for patients and payers

May 21, 2014 10:51 am by | 0 Comments

When people think of seeing a doctor, generally the first thing that comes to mind is an office visit. But not all visits are the same. Frequently, patients have minor…


New lung cancer screening guidelines could double early diagnosis but cost Medicare billions

New lung cancer screening guidelines could double early diagnosis but cost Medicare billions

May 15, 2014 2:25 pm by | 0 Comments

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A study of Medicare beneficiaries with a history of heavy smoking found that new lung cancer screening guidelines would likely double the proportion of lung cancers found at an early stage, but at a steep cost of some $9.3 billion …


Under new Medicare model, members may not have to choose between treatment and hospice

Under new Medicare model, members may not have to choose between treatment and hospice

May 14, 2014 3:11 pm by | 0 Comments

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – A new program from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services may remove a barrier that makes patients hesitate to opt for hospice care near…


Is a cure for hepatitis C worth $84,000? Insurers grapple with the cost of new drugs

Is a cure for hepatitis C worth $84,000? Insurers grapple with the cost of new drugs

May 12, 2014 9:11 am by | 1 Comments

Walter Bianco has had hepatitis-C for 40 years, and his time is running out. “The liver is at the stage next to becoming cirrhotic,” the 65-year-old Arizona contractor says. Cirrhosis…


Medicare now covers screening for dementia — but which seniors should get it?

Medicare now covers screening for dementia — but which seniors should get it?

May 6, 2014 1:01 pm by | 0 Comments

For the millions of seniors who worry that losing their keys may mean they’re losing their minds, the health law now requires Medicare to cover a screening for cognitive impairment…


AHRQ releases hospital readmission data for Medicare, Medicaid and private payers

AHRQ releases hospital readmission data for Medicare, Medicaid and private payers

April 24, 2014 10:01 am by | 0 Comments

Efforts to reduce hospital readmissions have been focused on a handful of diagnoses and on government payors (primarily Medicare). In order to get a handle on the roughly 15% of…


Why Posting Doctors Medicare Earnings is Misleading

Why Posting Doctors Medicare Earnings is Misleading

April 20, 2014 11:20 pm by | 0 Comments

It has been much debated and many people are welcoming the new transparency. I have heard people say that doctors are just too whiny and don’t want people to know…


Wal-Mart exec who led health care expansion steps down

Wal-Mart exec who led health care expansion steps down

April 15, 2014 9:33 am by | 0 Comments

News emerged Monday in an internal staff memo that John Agwunobi would leave his post running the retailer’s health and wellness division. The Wall Street Journal: Executive Who Led Wal-Mart…