In the News This Week…

High court to determine states’ take of medical liability awards, 10-8-12, AMNews
Writer Alicia Gallegos reports that the United States Supreme Court in its current term will weigh how much state Mediciad programs are entitled to recoup from beneficiaries who win medical liability awards.

This Election, a Stark Choice in Health Care, 10-10-12, New York Times
Reporters Abby Goodnough and Robert Pear write that many in the healthcare industry are reluctant to plan for the future until voters decide between presidential candidates President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney. The candidates’ sharply divergent proposals for Medicare, Medicaid, and coverage of the uninsured have created too much uncertainty. When Americans go to the polls next month, they will cast a vote not just for president but for one of two profoundly different visions for the future of the country’s health care system.

Let geographic doc-pay cuts proceed, says MedPAC staffers, 10-7-12, Modern Healthcare
Writer Rich Daly reports that Congress’ primary Medicare advisory body recommended allowing long-frozen geographically based payment cuts for physician to go into effect. The freeze was established by the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003.

Are you mentally ready to retire?, 10-8-12, AMNews
AMNews correspondent Sheryl Cash reports that many physicians do not plan for the psychological transition to retirement. NCMS member Elizabeth Kanof, MD, gives her experiences as a retired physician.

NC Hospital Association Comments on Health Care Reform, 10-6-12, Charlotte Observer
The North Carolina Hospital Association releases a statement about consolidation in healthcare and how it is being driven by an evolving regulatory and market environment, one that demands higher quality and lower costs.

Medicare Bills Rise as Records Turn Electronic, 9-21-12, New York Times
Reporters Reed Abelson, Julie Creswell, and Griff Palmer report that hospitals that receive government incentives to adopt electronic records showed a 47 percent rise in Medicare payments at higher levels from 2006 to 2010, compared with a 32 percent rise in hospitals that have not received any government incentives, according to the analysis by The Times.

NC wins $15.8 million from Abbott Labs for fraud, 10-8-12, WSOCTV
WSOCTV reports that Attorney General Roy Cooper announced Monday that North Carolina has recovered $15.8 million from Abbott Laboratories as part of a national health care fraud settlement involving the drug Depakote.

The doctor (in the next cubicle) will see you now, 10-9-12, Reuters
Writer Chelsea Emery reports that American companies are now opening in-house health clinics with doctors, nurses, and even dentists to diagnose suspicious symptoms, write prescriptions, and manage chronic conditions such as diabetes.

How to Stop Hospitals From Killing Us, 9-22-12, Wall Street Journal
Marty Makary, MD, a surgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital, writes that roughly a quarter of all hospitalized patients will be harmed by a medical error of some kind. He provides examples of how the medical profession can become more accountable and transparent when providing care.

Obama signs bill amending FDA user-fee law, 10-6-12, Modern Healthcare
Writer Jamie Lee reports that lawmakers have reauthorized the pharmaceutical and device FDA user-fee agreements and authorized new user-fee programs for the generic-drug and biosimilars sectors under the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act.

Doctor and patient reunite 24 years after miracle eye, 10-7-12, New York Post
Reporter Melissa Klein writes that a New York doctor, Eric Mandel, MD, reunited with his patient, Elvi Amodio, two decades after saving the young girl’s sight.

Reversing the spread of childhood obesity, 10-8-12, News and Observer
Writer Pam Silberman reports that according to the Trust for America’s Health, North Carolina ranked 11th in the nation for childhood obesity in 2011.


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