Tag: "health care quality"

Headlines I Wish I Hadn’t Seen

air-pollutionEliminating all greenhouse gas emissions from the U.S. forever would impact warming by less than one fifth of one degree by 2100.

Federal health care lobbying has declined to “only” $130 million.

Septic (blood) infections involved in up to half U.S. hospital deaths.

Secret wait list cover-up spreads to more VA hospitals; records destroyed.

Big Brother? U.S. gave Medicare patients’ private medical information to local officials during New Orleans public-health scare.

Unnecessary Care

As many as 42% of Medicare beneficiaries in 2009 underwent unnecessary medical treatments, costing the federal government as much as $8.5 billion, according to a study published yesterday in JAMA Internal Medicine. The analysis is the first large-scale examination into what Medicare spends on procedures that are widely considered to be unnecessary, such as advanced imaging for lower back pain and placing stents in patients with controlled heart disease. (KHN)

Are Doctors Really Better Than Nurses?

Confident DoctorsSimply put: the preponderance of empirical evidence indicates that, compared to physicians, NPs provide as good — if not better — quality of care. As I’ve written previously, patients are often more satisfied with NP care — and sometimes even prefer it.

The Institute of Medicine is unambiguously clear about this:

No studies suggest that APRNs [Advanced Practice Registered Nurse] are less able than physicians to deliver care that is safe, effective, and efficient or that care is better in states with more restrictive scope of practice regulations for APRNs.

More.

Headlines I Wish I Hadn’t Seen

iStock_000008945197XSmallSome hospices decline to treat the dying.

Paper: 90,000 Nevada residents could lose health insurance due to ObamaCare

Polio is spreading again.

72 percent of physicians say their peers order at least one unnecessary test per week.

U.S. is one of only eight countries where maternal deaths in childbirth rose, 2003-2013.

Massachusetts is ditching its ObamaCare exchange, replacement to cost $100 million.

Headlines I Wish I Hadn’t Seen

Stethoscope9 out of 10 doctors are unwilling to recommend health care as a profession.

Drug cost-sharing in the ObamaCare exchanges is 34 percent higher than in policies prior to the law.

One physical therapist billed Medicare $12 million in 2012: He treated 21 patients per hour, every working hour.

Pension and health care costs at DOD: “If we allow the current trend to continue, we’re going to turn the Department of Defense into a benefits company that occasionally kills a terrorist.”

Headlines I Wish I Hadn’t Seen

doctor-technologyHealthCare.gov is still missing massive, critical pieces…the system’s “back end” is a tangle of technical workarounds moving billions of taxpayer dollars and consumer-paid premiums between the government and insurers.

Measles making a comeback: Anti-vaccine activism to blame.

Panel: Federal policies to reward high-quality health care are unfairly penalizing doctors and hospitals that treat large numbers of poor people.

Only 77,000 families and individuals have requested exemptions from the ObamaCare individual mandate. That means millions will owe a fine next year.

We’re Looking More and More like Canada

doctor-mom-and-sonPatients — and physicians — say they feel the time crunch as never before as doctors rush through appointments as if on roller skates to see more patients and perform more procedures to make up for flat or declining reimbursements. It’s not unusual for primary care doctors’ appointments to be scheduled at 15-minute intervals. Some physicians who work for hospitals say they’ve been asked to see patients every 11 minutes. And the problem may worsen as millions of consumers who gained health coverage through the Affordable Care Act begin to seek care — some of whom may have seen doctors rarely, if at all, and have a slew of untreated problems.  (KHN)

What Are the Mortality Risks of Being Uninsured?

This is from Chris Conover:

Since the evidence is equivocal at best, let us — for purposes of discussion — average the point estimates from 4 studies…and compare this relative mortality risk (1.22) to other factors that elevate the annual probability of death.

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Headlines I Wish I Hadn’t Seen

Blue Cross: 15% to 20% of enrollees aren’t paying premiums.

EPA tested deadly pollutants on humans.

Long-term antibiotics apparently work for lyme disease patients; but many doctors are afraid to prescribe them.

Hits and Misses

Laptop and StethoscopeFederal government has seven different definitions of “health information technology“.

More evidence that medical homes don’t work.

A $295 spoon can detect and counter tremors in patients with Parkinson’s disease.

$175 million worth of worker output lost during first two days of college hoops’ “March Madness“.