In The News

Newborn Pulse Oximetry Screening: A Tale of Two States, 4-19-13, Journal Watch

Cara Adler reports Separate accounts in MMWR describe the experiences of Georgia and New Jersey in implementing newborn pulse oximetry screening for heart defects and illustrate some obstacles to improved public health. The screening was recommended by the Department of Health and Human Services in 2011.

Prescription for Change, 4-20-13, Modern HealthCare  

Andis Robeznieks reports as governor of Oregon, not only has Dr. John Kitzhaber brought Democrats and Republicans together to reform his state’s Medicaid program, he brought physicians and lawyers together to advance tort reform.  Kitzhaber’s leadership in getting bipartisan passage of legislation dealing with volatile subjects helped put him on top of the roster of 43 men and seven women who were selected by Modern Healthcare and Modern Physician readers and editors as the nation’s 50 Most Influential Physician Executives in Healthcare.


Dual-eligible Dilemma, 4-20-13, Modern HealthCare

Jonathan Block reports policymakers are hoping moving Medicare- and Medicaid-eligible seniors and the disabled into managed-care plans will save taxpayers a lot of money through better coordination of care. But as a few state demonstration programs get off the ground, critics are beginning to question just how cost-effective the strategy will be.

Good Samaritan Law Aimed at Cutting Overdoses, 4-20-13, Star News  

Brian Freskos reports prompted by Kay Sanford’s analysis, the state has moved to attack what many view as an epidemic. Legislators established a system for tracking highly addictive prescription drugs. Law enforcement cracked down. Doctors and pharmacists learned how to spot warning signs. State and local groups began staging regular take-back events similar to what some hold for firearms, only now the target is the contents of people’s medicine cabinets.

Apps and Online Tools Make Tough Life a Bit Easier for Alzheimer’s, Autism Caregivers, 4-21-13, Washington Post  

The Associated Press reports from GPS devices and computer programs that help relatives track a wandering Alzheimer’s patient to iPad apps that help an autistic child communicate, a growing number of tools for the smartphone, the tablet and the laptop are catering to beleaguered caregivers. With the baby boom generation getting older, the market for such technology is expected to increase.

Immigration Bill Could Import Foreign-Born Doctors, 4-22-13, Politico

Paige Winfield Cunningham reports the immigration bill might have a partial solution to the doctor shortage in underserved areas: import them. Or more precisely, make it easier for foreign physicians who come to the U.S. for their medical residencies to stay on after their training — if they’ll then serve three years where they are most needed.

Insurer Centene: We Can Do Arkansas-Style Medicaid, 4-23-13, Kaiser Health News

Jay Hancock reports Arkansas is the latest and perhaps best hope for those who want states resistant to the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion to reconsider.

A Health Provider Strives to Keep Hospital Beds Empty, 4-23-13, New York Times

Annie Lowery reports in Chicago a pioneer approach offers doctors and hospitals financial incentives to cut costs rather than funnel patients through an ever-greater volume of costly medical services by keeping patients out of the hospital.

Under the Medical Tent at the Boston Marathon, 4-23-13, New England Journal of Medicine

Dr. Sushrut Jangi recounts the personal story of being one of the many medical professionals who had volunteered to man the medical tent for the Boston marathon and how all the medical volunteers banded together to tend to the victims of the explosions.

Questions Linger after Medicaid Presentation, DHHS asks for Input, 4-23-13, Mountain Xpress

Caitlin Byrd reports after the head of the state Department of Health and Human Services spoke for nearly an hour about her plans to overhaul Medicaid, local providers say details and questions about the future of the program remain unknown and unanswered.

U.S. Hospitals Send Hundreds of Immigrants Back Home, 4-23-13, Modern HealthCare

The Associated Press reports hundreds of immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally have taken unexpected journeys through a little-known removal system run not by the federal government trying to enforce laws but by hospitals seeking to curb high costs.

Lawmakers, Aides May Get Obamacare Exemption, 4-24-13, Politico

John Bresnahah and Jake Sherman report Congressional leaders in both parties are engaged in high-level, confidential talks about exempting lawmakers and Capitol Hill aides from the insurance exchanges they are mandated to join as part of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, sources in both parties said.

Family Doctors Consider Dropping Birth Control Training Rule, 4-25-13, NPR

Julie Rovner reports many reproductive health advocates are worried as efforts are underway to rewrite rules governing the training of the nation’s family doctors. The proposed new rules, they say, drop existing requirements that family medicine residents be required to undergo training in contraception and counseling women with unintended pregnancies.

Campbell to Offer Nursing Program, 4-25-13, Triangle Business Journal

Jason deBruyn reports Campbell University will offer a nursing program beginning in August of 2014. It will be the fifth major health sciences program launched by Campbell in the last three years, building on the university’s move into more medical fields.


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