In The News

More Than Half of U.S. Hospitals Aim for ACOs by 2015, Execs Say, 12/17/13, Modern Healthcare

Beth Kutscher relates that less than a quarter of providers are expected to have formed or joined an ACO by the end of 2013…according to data from Premier’s 2013 Economic Outlook. However, more than three-quarters of respondents said they have plans to eventually join the estimated 500 existing ACOs.

NIH and NFL Tackle Concussion Research, 12/16/13, National Institutes of Health

With funding provided by the Sports and Health Research Program, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has chosen 8 projects to receive support in answering fundamental problems associated with traumatic brain injury suffered by football players.

Could Americans Ever Give Up Their Pills?, 12/13/13, CNN

Aaron Carroll reports on how research published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) examines whether exercise or drugs reduced the chance of death from coronary heart disease, stroke, heart failure and diabetes.

Quality And Costs Won’t Improve Until We Measure And Report, 12/10/13, HealthAffairs Blog

Francois de Brantes explains how, in regards to health care in America, quality and costs will not improve until faster, more accurate, feedback is implemented. At stake is the quality of care delivered by clinicians. With improved systematic measurement and feedback, quality of care can progress.

Efforts Made To Open Door To More Ambulatory Surgery Centers, 12/14/13, Star News Online

Molly Parker says some lawmakers and organizations are calling for North Carolina to loosen its health care certification laws to allow for more same-day surgery centers, though hospital organizations say doing so would put them at a competitive disadvantage.

Solving the Shortage in Primary Care Doctors, 12/14/13, The New York Times

Catherine Rampell examines why hospitals, doctors, and medical students blame Congress for little growth residency slots, thus resulting in reports that there are too few doctors in the United States, and especially in primary care, and how the health system could alleviate the primary care doctor shortage.

Eye Lifts More Than Cosmetic Procedure For Some Men, 12/12/13, WRAL

Although many men never consider visiting plastic surgeons for cosmetic reasons, more are turning to eye lifts to help alleviate vision problems caused by sagging skin that worsens with age.

Merry Christmas from BMJ: James Bond’s Alcohol Problem, a Creepy Hospital Clock, and Bradys’ Bradycardia, 12/13/13, NEJM Journal Watch

Kelly Young reports on how many drinks James Bond consumed in an average week, a hospital clock with a morbid message, and how a family’s last name could predict its future health.

Physician Assistant Numbers Grow, 12/16/13, The Dispatch

Donnie Roberts reports on the rise in the state’s physician assistants, better known as PAs, who work under the supervision of licensed physicians, as they are North Carolina’s fastest growing clinical licensee group, according to a recent report by the North Carolina Medical Board.

Is It Better to Be Right or Happy?, 12/18/13, NEJM Journal Watch

Kelly Young reports on a small study that investigates whether a relationship is harmed if one partner always agrees with what the other says or believes and whether it is men or women who are right more often.

Glaxo To Stop Paying Doctors to Promote Its Drugs, 12/17/13, Modern Healthcare

Drug maker GlaxoSmithKline said it will end payments to doctors who promote its products in speaking engagements and for attendance at medical conferences and will stop paying its sales force based on sales targets. It will evaluate whether its business practices “are responding to the needs of patients and meeting the wider expectations of society.”

FDA Issues Proposed Rule to Determine Safety and Effectiveness of Antibacterial Soaps, 12/16/13, US Food and Drug Administration

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a proposed rule to require manufacturers of antibacterial hand soaps and body washes to demonstrate that their products are safe for long-term daily use and more effective than plain soap and water in preventing illness and the spread of certain infections

For State-Funded Technology, Failure A Likely Option, 12/18/13, WRAL

Tyler Dukes and Mark Binker discuss how Since July 1, providers and lawmakers have demanded answers from the state Department of Health and Human Services about the rocky roll-out of NCTracks, a massive technology revamp meant to streamline reimbursement and make it easier for policy-makers to track often erratic Medicaid costs.

Judge’s Medicare Advantage Order Could Have National Impact, 12/6/13, Kaiser Health News

Susan Jaffe reports that in a decision that could have national implications, a federal judge in Connecticut temporarily blocked UnitedHealthcare late in the day on December 5 from dropping an estimated 2,200 physicians from its Medicare Advantage plan in that state. While the judge’s decision affects only the physicians in Fairfield and Hartford Counties who brought suit, several other medical groups are considering filing similar actions.

Year In Review: N.C. Rejects Medicaid Expansion, 12/18/13, Triangle Business Journal

Jason deBruyn examines how the lack of Medicaid expansion will adversely affect North Carolina residents, focusing on depressed employment, decreased charity care given by hospitals, and increased premiums for those with private health insurance.


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