In The News

 CMS Provides Guidance on Certified EHRs, 3-13-13, PhysBizTech

Frank Irving reports the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced on March 12 that its FAQ System contains three new and three updated entries pertaining to the agency’s EHR Incentive Programs. The three new FAQs give specific information on certified EHR technology.

Parents Wary of Vaccinating Girls for HPV, 3-18-13, PhysBizTech

Madelyn Kearns reports animosity and distrust are ballooning among parents of teenage girls with respect to human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccines despite mounting support for the preventative measure from physicians and providers.

ICD-10 Timeline for Medical Practices, 3-18-13, PhysBizTech

Carl Natale reports March marks a shift for small and medium medical practices that are working on their ICD-10 transitions. According to timelines provided by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), small and medium-sized practices should have completed a significant amount of planning by now.

Cash Back on Broccoli: Health Insurers Nudge Shoppers to be Well, 3-19-13, NPR

Allison Aubrey reports a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine concludes that rebates on healthy food purchases lead to significant changes in what people put in their grocery carts. In the U.S., Wal-Mart and a company called Humana Vitality are now testing a healthful food incentives pilot program.

Neurosurgeon’s Speeches have Conservatives Dreaming of 2016, 3-20-13, New York Times

Trip Gabriel reports Dr. Benjamin Carson was a political unknown just weeks ago. Then with a single speech delivered as President Obama looked on, he was lofted into the conservative firmament as its newest star.

Under New Health Law, Battles Over who’ll do what, 3-20-13, Politico

Kathryn Smith and Kyle Cheney report doctors and nurses, who have argued for years about their respective roles and degrees of autonomy, are battling over how they will partner to provide primary care for the millions of people getting covered under the health law.

Poll: Three Years Later, Americans Still Don’t Understand Health Law, 3-20-13, Kaiser Health News

Jenny Gold reports It’s been three years since President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, yet two-thirds of uninsured adults — the very people the law sets out to help — say they still don’t know what it means for them.

The Face of Future Health Care, 3-20-13, New York Times

Reed Abelson reports when people talk about the future of health care, Kaiser Permanente is often the model they have in mind. The organization, which combines a nonprofit insurance plan with its own hospitals and clinics, is the kind of holistic health system that President Obama’s health care law encourages.

Pediatrics Group Backs Gay Marriage, Saying it Helps Children, 3-21-13, New York Times 

Catherine Saint Louis reports the American Academy of Pediatrics declared its support for same-sex marriage for the first time on Thursday, saying that allowing gay and lesbian parents to marry if they so choose is in the best interests of their children.

At Health Law Anniversary, Even Bigger Changes Loom, 3-21-13, Kaiser Health News 

A roundtable of reporters weighs in on what’s changed since the ACA became law three years ago for consumers, businesses, state governments, and what’s next for expanding Medicaid and launching exchanges.

President Obama May Enroll Under Health Law, 3-21-13, Politico

Kyle Cheney reports in the days following the passage of the health law in March 2010, the White House confirmed that Obama planned to walk the walk by enrolling in one of the health insurance exchanges his law created, assuming his reelection.

States Urged to Expand Medicaid with Private Insurance, 3-21-13, New York Times

Robert Pear reports the White House is encouraging skeptical state officials to expand Medicaid by subsidizing the purchase of private insurance for low-income people, even though that approach might be somewhat more expensive, federal and state officials say.

Georgia Compounding Pharmacy Widens Recall, 3-22-13, Modern HealthCare

Gregg Blesch reports a Georgia compounding pharmacy recalled all lots of its sterile products distributed since Oct. 19 based on concerns federal regulators raised about the company’s practices. The Food and Drug Administration is alerting healthcare providers and patients of the voluntary recall by Clinical Specialties Compounding Pharmacy.

Healthcare Called Key Driver of Federal Deficit, 3-22-13, Modern HealthCare

Andis Robeznieks reports the discussion on trimming $4 trillion from the national debt got off to an unusual start. Erskine Bowles, who was co-chairman of a commission on fiscal responsibility convened by President Barack Obama, began with a shoutout to his personal orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Walter Beaver, who Bowles said had reconstructed both his knees and both his shoulders.

Wash., an Abortion Rights Trailblazer, Weighs Passing Nation’s 1st Abortion Insurance Mandate, 3-23-13, Washington Post

The Associated Press reports with 21 states having adopted bans or severe restrictions on insurance companies from paying for abortions, Washington is alone in seriously considering legislation mandating the opposite.

The Next Level, 3-23-13, Modern HealthCare

Ashok Selvam reports as healthcare reform unfolds, midlevel health professionals such as nurses and physician assistants are advocating for more autonomy so they can play a bigger role in the delivery of primary care. Nurse practitioners, specifically, are pushing hard for more latitude in how they are allowed to provide care.

Republicans’ Firm ‘No’ on Medicaid Expansion is Shifting towards “Let’s Make a Deal”, 3-24-13, Washington Post

The Associated Press reports given the choice of whether to expand Medicaid under President Barack Obama’s health care law, many Republican governors and lawmakers initially responded with an emphatic “no.” Now they are increasingly hedging their objections.

Value-Based Insurance Plans Gain Momentum, 3-26-13, Modern HealthCare 

Jonathan Block reports the movement among employers to push insurers to adopt health plan benefit designs that improve medical outcomes without raising costs is slowly gathering steam, according to an employer coalition pushing payment reform.

The Role of Nurse Practitioners, 3-26-13, The Diane Rehm Show 

Diane Rehm talks about in 18 states nurse practitioners are allowed to treat patients and prescribe medications without a doctor’s involvement. Lawmakers in a number of other states are pushing for similar changes to so-called “scope of practice” laws that determine what nurse practitioners can do for patients. Proponents argue expanding the roles of nurse practitioners can address what has become a major problem: a shortage of primary care doctors. But many physicians say a team-based approach that includes at least one medical doctor is better for patients. 

Study: Claims Costs in Individual Insurance Market to Rise, 3-27-13, Modern HealthCare

The Associated Press reports a new study finds that insurance companies will have to pay out an average of 32% more for medical claims under President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul, and how it could increase premiums for at least some Americans.

Job Prospects Are Dimming for Radiology Trainees, 3-27-13, New York Times

Nina Bernstein reports for years, medical students who chose a residency in radiology were said to be on the ROAD to happiness. The acronym highlighted the specialties — radiology, ophthalmology, anesthesiology and dermatology — said to promise the best lifestyle for doctors, including the most money for the least grueling work. Not anymore.

Push in the Right Direction, 3-30-13, Modern HealthCare

Melanie Evans reports more hospitals and doctors are signing accountable care contracts that tie payouts and sometimes penalties to delivering better results at lower costs. Some in the vanguard of that approach want to tweak insurance benefits to nudge patients toward choices that help them do it.

As Stroke Risk Rises Among Younger Adults, So Does Early Death, 4-1-13, NPR

Richard Knox reports most people (including a lot of doctors) think of a stroke as something that happens to old people. But the rate is increasing among those in their 50s, 40s and even younger.

Can Mass Marketing Heal the Splits on ‘Obamacare’?, 4-1-13, Modern HealthCare

The Associated Press reports with the nation still split over President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, the administration has turned to the science of mass marketing for help in understanding the lives of uninsured people, hoping to craft winning pitches for a surprisingly varied group in society.


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