In The News

Are Doctors Passing the Buck on Healthcare Costs?, 7-23-13, LA Times

Eryn Brown reports a new survey of physicians indicates that their attitudes toward cutting medical costs are “complex,” researchers wrote Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn.

Most U.S. Physicians Not Enthusiastic About Reimbursement Reforms, 7-24-13, Journal Watch

Amy Orciari Herman reports U.S. physicians are generally enthusiastic for cost-containment strategies that promote better patient care, such as coordinating chronic disease management, but their enthusiasm wanes when it comes to more aggressive financing reforms, such as penalizing physicians for avoidable readmissions.

WellPoint’s 2Q Profit Soars 24%, 7-24-13, Modern HealthCare

Tom Murphy reports shares of WellPoint hit an all-time high Wednesday, after the nation’s second-largest health insurer trounced second-quarter earnings expectations and detailed how it expects to benefit from the healthcare overhaul and other growth opportunities over the next few years.

Physician Payment Bill Attracts Support, 7-25-13, PhysBizTech

Mary Mosquera reports a permanent solution to Medicare’s troublesome physician payment formula advanced July 23 when a House subcommittee approved a bipartisan proposal to repeal and replace it.

Budget Cuts Force Scale Back of Health-Care Fraud Investigations, 7-25-13, Washington Post

Fred Schulte reports federal officials, facing major budget and staff cuts, are scaling back several high-profile health-care fraud and abuse investigations, including an audit of the state insurance exchanges that are set to open later this year as a key provision of the Affordable Care Act.

Physicians Placing Patients over Price, 7-25-13, PhysBizTech

Madelyn Kearns reports physicians have a price priority, but it never trumps patients’ best interests, a Mayo Clinic-led survey of 25,000 U.S.-based physicians has found.

Rule Links MU with Medical Licensure, 7-25-13, PhysBizTech

Anthony Brino reports starting in 2015, doctors in Massachusetts will have to show health IT meaningful use proficiency as a condition for medical licensing. The Massachusetts Medical Society is encouraging the state’s Board of Registration in Medicine to broadly interpret the rule with a variety of options for compliance, such as continuing education or certifications.

Still Seeking Best Practices, 7-27-13, Modern HealthCare

Melanie Evans reports an annual ACO survey shows care coordination remains a work in progress for many providers. Doctors and hospital officials routinely cite care coordination as key to the potential success of accountable care.

‘Concierge Care’ Offers Medicine with Personal Touch, 7-29-13, WRAL

Dr. Allen Mask reports while many doctors are choosing partnerships with hospitals some, including one North Carolina doctor, have chosen to keep their private status by changing to a “membership care” model, also known as concierge care.

When Clean Was a New Concept in the Operating Room, 7-29-13, New York Times

Katie Hiler reports on the changes hospitals have made keeping things clean as a way to ward off germs and infections and how surprisingly it was only during the 20th century that sterilization evolved from a simple and very new concept into one of the most important life-saving practices in medicine.

The Other Washington Could Hold the Key to Medicare’s Cost Crisis, 7-29-13, Center for Public Integrity

Joe Eaton reports a recent federal assessment of Medicare’s fiscal health contained a shred of good news — the public health insurance program for the elderly is burning through cash at a slightly slower rate than expected. Yet declining health care costs haven’t bought much time.

Obamacare Mandate Delay Costs $12 billion, Cuts Insurance Coverage, 7-30-13, Washington Post

Sarah Kliff reports Obamacare’s price tag has just gone up by $12 billion, due to the White House’s decision to delay the employer mandate until 2015.


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