In The News

NC Study Cut Hospital Readmissions among State’s Sickest, Poorest Patients , 8-7-13, News & Observer

John Murawski reports on a North Carolina study on reducing costly hospital visits cut readmissions by 20 percent among the sickest and poorest patients who are most prone to relying on hospitals for their medical care.

Competition Push Drugstores to stretch Well beyond Filling Prescriptions, 8-7-13, Washington Post

Associated Press reports the nation’s major drugstore chains are moving beyond simply doling out drugs and Kleenex. They’re opening more in-store clinics and offering more health care products in part to serve an aging population that will need more care.

Experts Debate Coverage of Scans for Alzheimer’s, 8-8-13, USA Today  

Karen Weintraub reports the federal government will decide in early fall whether to pay for brain scans in people with suspected Alzheimer’s disease.

Following Hospital Data, Medicare Payments to Physicians may go Public Next, 8-9-13, Business Journal  

Owen Covington reports following what seems to be numerous waves of data releases, the payments that Medicare makes to individual physicians could be the next pool of information to fall into the public’s hands.

When a Co-Pay Gets in the Way of Health, 8-10-13, New York Times

Sendhil Mullainathan reports economists specialize in pointing out unpleasant trade-offs — a skill that is on full display in the health care debate of wanting patients to receive the best care available, consumers to paying less, and not bankrupting the government or private insurers.

OxyContin Maker Closely Guards Its List of Suspect Doctors, 8-11-13, LA Times

Scott Glover and Lisa Girion report the maker of the potent painkiller OxyContin has compiled a database of hundreds of doctors suspected of recklessly prescribing its pills to addicts and drug dealers, but has done little to alert law enforcement or medical authorities.

Patients Can Pay a High Price for ER Convenience, 8-13-13, NPR

Carrie Feibel reports medical entrepreneurs are remaking the emergency room experience. They’re pulling the emergency room out of the hospital and planting it in the strip mall and making them more convenient, but it is coming at a high price.

Medicaid Providers, Governor at Odds on How to Fix Program, 8-13-13, Star News  

Molly Parker reports some Medicaid providers and the governor are at odds over just how to fix the unpredictability of North Carolina’s Medicaid costs even though it is agreed that something’s got to give.

A Nevada Health Plan — Without the Insurance, 8-14-13, Kaiser Health News

Pauline Bartolone tells us about an unusual Nevada nonprofit that helps connect 12,000 uninsured residents to doctors and hospitals who are willing to accept a lower-cost, negotiated fee for their services.

Is NC Medicaid Broken or Award-Winning?, 8-15-13, WFAE

Michael Tomsic reports Governor Pat McCrory’s administration is still working on an overhaul of one of North Carolina’s most important – and expensive – health programs. So many may be surprised to hear that a big part of the state’s current program is saving money and recently won a national award.

Breaking the Chain, 8-17-13, Modern HealthCare  

Jaimy Lee reports that hospital administrators are starting to have to make many supply-chain decisions where they must weigh the benefits of a new technology against its higher costs.


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