In The News

Care Coordinators Vital to PCMH Success, 7-8-13, PhysBizTech  

Janet Duni reports thousands of primary care practices have taken the plunge and become recognized as a Patient-Centered Medical Home by the National Committee for Quality Assurance which many have found the process of transformation to be a challenging but rewarding experience.

Researchers Look at Why Poor Patients Prefer Hospital Care, 7-8-13, Kaiser Health News  

Ankita Rao reports a Health Affairs study published Monday says the barriers for poor people looking to get care are even higher, and it’s leading them away from preventive doctor visits and toward emergency rooms and costly, hospital-based care.

Commentaries Highlight the Clinician’s Role in Preventing Gun Violence, 7-9-13, Journal Watch

Amy Orciari Herman reports two commentaries in the Annals of Internal Medicine examine clinicians’ roles in preventing gun violence.

Kentucky’s Rush into Medicaid Managed Care: a Cautionary Tale for Other States, 7-15-13, Kaiser Health News  

Jenni Bergal reports ever since Kentucky rapidly shifted patients from traditional Medicaid to private health plans that manage their care for a set price, problems have been widespread and should be a cautionary tale for other states that rush to switch large numbers of people in Medicaid.

All Pioneer ACOs Improved Quality; Only Third Lowered Costs, 7-16-13, Modern HealthCare  

Gregg Blesch reports the participants in the Obama administration’s most aggressive experiment with accountable care had better success improving quality than lowering costs, according to first-year results revealed in a published report.

Most Health Care Records now are Electronic, 7-16-13, USA Today  

David Jackson reports an ever-expanding amount of the nation’s medical records are now computerized and part of an ambitious electronic medical records program, the Obama administration reports.

Duke, UNC Hospitals, and Duke Regional Ranked Among Top Five N.C. Hospitals, 7-16-13, Herald Sun

Staff Reporters report three of North Carolina’s top five hospitals are in the Triangle, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2013-14 “Best Hospitals” rankings.

Few Medicaid Docs Have Seen 2013 Pay Raise, 7-16-13, Kaiser Health News  

Phil Galewitz reports most primary care doctors are still waiting for that Medicaid pay raise that was scheduled to begin in January under the Affordable Care Act, but a federal official says the government has now approved applications from 48 states to begin paying the higher rates.

The Health Perks of Coffee, 7-18-13, Journal Watch  

Kelly Young reports there is good news for coffee drinkers: a review in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology finds that overall, moderate consumption of coffee has a neutral-to-beneficial effect on cardiovascular health.

Racial Gap in Life Expectancy Narrows, 7-19-13, Journal Watch  

Cara Adler reports the racial disparity in life expectancy at birth is narrowing, but it still favors whites over blacks by nearly four years, according to a report from the National Center for Health Statistics.

Dissent on Device to Help Find Melanoma, 7-20-13, New York Times

Natasha Singer reports on a new device, MelaFind, a system uses pattern-recognition algorithms to help a dermatologist who has picked out a suspicious pigmented spot to decide whether to perform a biopsy.

Medicare Announces Plans to Accelerate Linking Doctor Pay to Quality, 7-22-13, Kaiser Health News

Jordan Rau reports Medicare is accelerating plans to peg a portion of doctors’ pay to the quality of their care.

Washington Post Article Questions AMA’s Role in Establishing Medicare Prices, 7-22-13, Journal Watch

Joe Elia reports the Washington Post casts a skeptical eye on how Medicare sets prices it pays physicians for procedures — and the American Medical Association’s role.


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