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Updated: 1 hour 53 min ago

Doctors Feel Pressure to Accept Risk-based Reimbursement

5 hours 9 min ago

As insurers step up efforts to cover more lives with value- and performance-based contracts, physicians are under the gun to adapt to an altered reimbursement reality.

Categories: Healthcare News

U of Virginia doctors developing medical internet

11 hours 12 min ago

Doctors at The University of Virginia Medical Center are looking at a new way to treat patients using technology they already have at their fingertips. Dr. David Stone with the university's Center for Wireless Health, describes the "medical internet" as Google for caregivers; a cyberspace destination where they can look up conditions or aliments and see how doctors, around the nation, or even world have treated them. The database of de-identified patient care information could help doctors diagnose patients in real time.

Categories: Healthcare News

Why do other rich nations spend so much less on healthcare?

11 hours 20 min ago

Why does the United States spend so much more than other wealthy nations? The biggest reason is that U.S. healthcare delivers a more expensive mix of services. For example, a much larger proportion of physician visits in the U.S. are to specialists who get higher fees and usually order more high-tech diagnostic and therapeutic procedures than primary care physicians. Compared with the average OECD country, the U.S. delivers (population adjusted) almost three times as many mammograms, two-and-a-half times the number of MRI scans, and 31 percent more C-sections.

Categories: Healthcare News

Cardiologists sever ties with Mercy, head back to private practice

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 05:23

Cardiologist Dr. Patricia Cole and her seven partners are leaving Mercy Clinic to set up a private practice once again. Cole was one of eight cardiologists, and more than 50 staff members, who joined Mercy in 2010 when the medical center acquired their private practice group Heart Health Center, which previously was part of Missouri Baptist Medical Center's Heart Center. Cole said Mercy is in the process of developing a new nationwide contract for physicians in its cardiology group, and wanted Cole and her partners to break their existing contract a year and a half early to sign the new contract, which the doctors declined to do.

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Contradictory Obamacare Rulings Issued by Appellate Courts

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 14:17

The DC Circuit Court of Appeals rules that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act does not authorize the IRS to extend tax credits to those who bought health insurance on the federal marketplace. An hour later, the Fourth Circuit Court upholds the statute.

Categories: Healthcare News

Hopkins agrees to pay $190 million to settle pelvic exam claims

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 05:56

Johns Hopkins Hospital has agreed to pay $190 million to settle claims from thousands of women who may have been surreptitiously recorded during pelvic exams by gynecologist Dr. Nikita A. Levy. The amount of the settlement is one of the largest on record involving sexual misconduct by a physician. Levy, a doctor in the Johns Hopkins Community Medicine system for 25 years, took his life in February 2013 during an investigation that revealed he was using tiny cameras concealed in pens and key fobs to record patients. Investigators found more than 1,300 videos and images during searches of Levy's home and office. Plaintiffs' attorneys estimate more than 8,000 patients could have a claim.

Categories: Healthcare News

Burnout in the hospital: Why doctors are set up for stress

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 05:05

In the premiere issue of the journal Burnout Research, which is dedicated to research on the topic, Anthony Montgomery, an associate professor in the Psychology of Work and Organizations in the University of Macedonia in Greece, focused on physician burnout, and argues that the way doctors are trained may set them up for a career of frustrations and high-stress situations. And the consequences may be hurting the care they provide patients. He says that while doctors interact with people on a daily basis, their training and their worth as physicians are focused almost entirely on their technical capabilities, leaving them with few tools for understanding and navigating social interactions and for collaborating as part of a larger team or organization.

Categories: Healthcare News

How a team of hospital doctors boosted hand washing, cut infections and created a culture of safety

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 06:48

Dr. Gerald Hickson had two primary concerns after his wife’s double-knee replacement operation at Vanderbilt University Hospital in July 2008: making sure she received appropriate pain control and getting her moving as quickly as possible to avoid blood clots. But as he sat with her during her recovery, Hickson made a disturbing discovery. Most of the nurses, doctors and other hospital workers filing in and out of the room to care for his wife, who was at risk of contracting an infection after surgery, were not washing their hands. A compulsive person by nature, Hickson started counting.

Categories: Healthcare News

Doctors, nurses relying more on tablets in hospitals

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 06:40

At the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, doctors are just as likely to store iPads in their white coat pockets as stethoscopies. The center's clinicians use mobile devices -- tablets, smartphones, and occasionally wearable computers such as Google Glass -- to access electronic medical records, both at the patient's bedside or in the operating room. Sometimes they use the devices to show patients their X-rays or other images. Though it is among the first to bring Google Glass into the operating room, Beth Israel isn't alone in its pro-technology approach. A growing group of health centers are incorporating mobile devices into medicine, allowing providers to immediately access patient information from the Internet cloud, often during examination or treatment.

Categories: Healthcare News

Opinion: Busy doctors, wasteful spending

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 06:11

Of all the ways to limit health care costs, perhaps none is as popular as cutting payments to doctors. In recent years payment cuts have resulted in a sharp downturn in revenue for many hospitals and private practices. What this has meant for most physicians is that in order to maintain their income, they've had to see more patients. When you reduce the volume of air per breath, the only way to maintain ventilation is to breathe faster. As our workdays have gotten busier, we doctors have had less time to devote to individual patients. An internist I know in private practice used to see 15 patients a day.

Categories: Healthcare News

Medical Errors Third Leading Cause of Death, Senators Told

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 06:09

At a Senate subcommittee hearing, hospital quality experts urge lawmakers to establish measures to halt preventable medical errors in hospitals, which kill as many as 400,000 people each year.

Categories: Healthcare News

Independent ID doctors defy hospital trend

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 05:28

As many doctors decide to ditch their own shingle and go to big hospitals, a group of nearly 200 Idaho doctors is banding together to promote independent physicians. "Independent Doctors of Idaho" (IDID) started as a response to what the organization calls an "unprecedented number of physicians in the Treasure Valley and throughout Idaho becoming employees of large hospital systems", like Saint Alphonsus or St. Luke's. Some of the independent doctors say they're at a disadvantage from a marketing standpoint because they don't have hospital billboards, big ads, or automatic networking within a system. The organization's goal is to let patients know about alternatives in health care providers through independents.

Categories: Healthcare News