Policy

Most seniors don’t understand health reform (Morning Read)

Highlights of the important and the interesting from the world of healthcare: Most seniors don’t understand health reform: A survey by the National Council on Aging showed that only 17 percent of seniors  could correctly answer even half of 12 questions about key provisions of the health reform law. Worse, only 14 percent knew that […]

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

Most seniors don’t understand health reform: A survey by the National Council on Aging showed that only 17 percent of seniors  could correctly answer even half of 12 questions about key provisions of the health reform law. Worse, only 14 percent knew that the law doesn’t include cuts to doctors treating Medicare patients. So we do we blame the messenger (the media, and likely especially TV news) or those (not) receiving the message? These numbers bring to mind what earlier polls often showed–much of people’s opposition to reform stems from ignorance of what it actually does.

UnitedHealth moving in on $1.5B deal? UnitedHealth Group  is nearing a deal to buy medical services firm Executive Health Resources  for about $1.5 billion, Bloomberg News has reported. The Minnesota-based insurer would add the acquired firm to its Ingenix database management consulting unit.

Big potential Medicaid savings from generics: A new report shows that every 2 percent substitution of generic drugs for brand-names saves Medicaid $1 billion a year.  With the generics utilization rate at 64 percent for Medicaid–10 percentage points lower than the population as a whole–that’s a lot of public money left on the table.

Sanofi files suit over generic rival: Sanofi-Aventis has filed a lawsuit to prevent Novartis from selling a generic version of its blockbuster blood-thinner Lovenox. Sanofi says the generic isn’t equal “with respect to safety or efficacy” to its drug, but the company is obviously more concerned about all the sales it stands to lose if the generic hits the market.

Why doctors should be paid salaries: The New York Times takes a look at a small hospital in Cooperstown, New York, that pays its doctors salaries like the much-celebrated Cleveland Clinic, instead of under the far-more-common fee-for-service model. And the results at Bassett Healthcare are impressive–medical costs are lower than those at 90 percent of the hospitals in the state, while the quality of care ranks among the top 10 percent in the nation, surveys show.

What VCs want: An executive search firm recently completed a survey of about 1,000 venture capitalists, and asked them what sectors they’ll be interested in investing in in the future. Unfortunately, drugs, devices and health services didn’t make the list. The top three? Consumer internet/web 2.0, cleantech/energy and internet marketing.

Photo from flickr user Ethan Prater