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Week in Review

by Kroger Burrus on June 3rd, 2014

Kroger | Burrus Week in Review


Report: Medicare Frequently Overpays
Medicare paid $6.7 billion more than it should have for office visits and patient evaluations in 2010, according to a report from the Department of Health and Human Services. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has stated in its reply to the report that it does not intend to change its review of physician’s billings, because it would not be cost-effective to do so.

Cancer Physicians Encouraged to Consider Financial and Medical Impact of Treatments
Physicians should consider the financial impact along with the medical impact of cancer treatments, taking into account both the volume and price of treatments, experts at the world’s largest annual meeting of oncologists have urged. Healthcare costs continue to grow faster than the economy, and in response the American Society of Clinical Oncology is developing a system to rate drugs based on the benefit, side effects, and price.

‘Meaningful Use’ Could Change Order of EHR Adoption
The ‘meaningful use’ guidelines intended to encourage the transition to electronic health records may be impacting the order in which hospitals adopt health record functions, according to a study published by the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. The study, which analyzed the order in which hospitals adopted various EHR functions, found that hospitals tended to adopt patient demographics and ancillary results components of EHR systems first, and physician notes, clinical reminders, and guidelines last.

Ultraviolet Cleaning Helps Combat Superbugs
Ultraviolet cleaning can reduce the prevalence of ‘superbugs’ such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus by as much as 20%, according to a recent study. Hospitals that used ultraviolet environmental disinfection over the course of the 30 months study experienced some of the lowest incidence of infection in a decade.

Study Links Steroids to Delirium Among ICU Patients
Hospital ICU patients receiving steroids are significantly more likely to develop delirium, according to new Johns Hopkins research. Although the delirium episodes observed tended to subside within a few days, studies have shown that the onset of delirium in the ICU is associated with worse functional recovery and cognitive impairments similar to those caused by moderate traumatic brain injury or mild Alzheimer’s disease.

Health Law Inspiring Hospital Charity Cutbacks
Implementation of the Affordable Care Act is encouraging hospital systems throughout the country to cut back on charitable caregiving in favor of efforts to encourage low-income patients to enroll in online marketplaces. Hospital executives hope that they can encourage individuals to obtain low-cost insurance through the subsidized private plans that are now available.

Women with Diabetes Face Greater Heart Risk than Diabetic Men
Women with diabetes are at a significantly higher risk for developing cardiac problems than diabetic men. A meta-analysis of 64 studies found that diabetic women were at a 44% higher risk for cardiovascular events than diabetic men. Although the reasons for the discrepancy are unclear, some speculate that the reason for the differences may be because women tend to have to gain much more weight than men before developing diabetes, placing diabetic women at a higher risk for coronary heart disease at the time their diabetes is diagnosed.

Prescription Delay Following Stent Placement Common and Deadly
Patients frequently delay filling prescriptions for the blood thinner clopidogrel after receiving heart stents and many who do so face an increased risk for myocardial infarction and death, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association. Researchers found a third of patients did not fill their prescriptions within three days of stent placement, placing them at a twofold increase in the risk for death or readmission within two years.

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