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What Have We Learned About Bundling Medical Conditions? Print E-mail
Written by FHI's Week in Review   
Monday, 03 September 2018 15:13
In an Aug. 28, 2018 Health Affairs blog post we get an insightful update from authors Amol S. Navathe, Eric Shan, and Joshua M. Liao:
...the impact of bundled payments appears to differ between surgical and medical episodes. On one hand, Medicare has achieved promising results from bundling surgical care for lower extremity joint replacement...On the other hand, recent evidence corroborates analyses conducted by Medicare and its contractor, suggesting that as designed, bundles for medical conditions such as congestive heart failure (CHF) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are not associated with significant changes in quality or Medicare spending.
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Last Updated on Monday, 03 September 2018 15:24
Hospitals battle for control of lucrative heart valve procedure Print E-mail
Written by Phil Galewitz | KHN   
Friday, 24 August 2018 17:04
When Medicare in 2011 agreed to pay for a revolutionary procedure to replace leaky heart valves by snaking a synthetic replacement up through blood vessels, the goal was to offer relief to the tens of thousands of  patients too frail to endure open-heart surgery, the gold standard. To help ensure good results, federal officials limited Medicare payment only to hospitals that serve large numbers of cardiac patients. The strategy worked. In the past seven years, more than 135,000 mostly elderly patients have undergone transcatheter aortic valve replacement, known as TAVR. And TAVR's in-hospital mortality rate has dropped by two-thirds, to 1.5 percent.  
Now, in a campaign motivated by a muddy mix of health care and business, smaller hospitals and the medical device industry are arguing that  the technique should be more widely deployed. They note only about half of the nearly 1,100 hospitals offering surgical valve replacement can do TAVR. And they say current limitations discriminate against minorities and people in rural areas, forcing patients to undergo a riskier and significantly more invasive treatment - or miss getting a new valve altogether.
Last Updated on Friday, 07 September 2018 06:56
Trump urges Sessions to bring federal suit against opioid makers Print E-mail
Written by FHI's Week in Review   
Monday, 20 August 2018 00:00
Jordan Fabian and Nathaniel Weixel report for on 08/16/18:
President Trump on Thursday urged Attorney General Jeff Sessions to bring a federal lawsuit against drug companies that produce opioids. Speaking during a Cabinet meeting, the president also asked his embattled attorney general to look at opioid drugs coming into the country from China and Mexico, saying those countries were "sending their garbage and killing our people."
Read more in the current issue of Week in Review>>
Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 August 2018 07:05
Jury Awards $289M to Man Who Blames Roundup for Cancer Print E-mail
Written by FHI's Week in Review   
Monday, 13 August 2018 16:51
AP, via, informs us that Dewayne Johnson, 46, alleged that heavy contact with the herbicide Roundup caused his non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. On August 10 the California Superior Court jury agreed that Roundup contributed to Johnson's cancer and Monsanto, the manufacturer of the herbicide, should have provided a label warning of the potential health hazard. Monsanto has denied a link between the active ingredient in Roundup - glyphosate - and cancer, saying hundreds of studies have established that glyphosate is safe.
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Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 September 2018 16:58
5 reasons you should put physicians in charge of hospitals Print E-mail
Written by Edward R. Mariano, MD | KevinMD   
Monday, 13 August 2018 00:00
Putting physicians in charge of hospitals seems like a no-brainer, but it isn't what usually happens. A study published in Academic Medicine states that only about four percent of hospitals in the United States are run by physician leaders, which represents a steep decline from 35 percent in 1935. In the most recent 2018 Becker's Hospital Review "100 Great Leaders in Healthcare," only 29 are physicians.
The stats don't lie, however. Healthcare systems run by physicians do better. When comparing quality metrics, physician-run hospitals outperform non-physician-run hospitals by 25 percent. In the 2017-18 U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals Honor Roll, the top four hospitals (Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital) have physician leaders.  
While not all physicians make good leaders, those that do really stand out. For those physicians who may consider applying for hospital leadership positions, specific characteristics should distinguish them from non-physician applicants and help them make the transition successfully. Of course, this is my opinion, but I think it comes down to these five things...
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Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 August 2018 18:42
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