News Headlines

News Headlines
Health care news from around the state and nation

News Headlines Article

Not-for-profits face more government audits than for-profits, survey finds
Modern Healthcare

Not-for-profit healthcare organizations face greater scrutiny from government audits than their for-profit counterparts, according to a Health Care Compliance Association survey. Not-for-profits reported undergoing an average of six audits compared with four by for-profit healthcare providers in a 12-month period. Larger companies underwent more audits, as 76% of organizations with 5,000 or more employees reported at least one Medicare recovery audit-contractor review versus 30% of organizations with 250 employees or fewer.

News Headlines Article

Survey: Healthcare Workers’ Confidence Drops
Workforce Management

Healthcare workers’ confidence dropped in the second quarter, according to the Randstad Healthcare employee confidence index released today. The survey found that 43 percent believe the economy is weakening, up from 27 percent who said the same in the first-quarter survey. Despite growing concern about the economy, healthcare workers remained confident in their personal situations, according to the survey.

News Headlines Article

Report: Healthcare needs to embrace digital technology, be reinvented
Modern Healthcare

Digital-age innovations need to be brought to bear on the healthcare industry and government has a role in effecting that change, according to a report on healthcare and information technology. “The Digital Dimension of Healthcare,” a report by the Digital Innovation in Healthcare Working Group, was delivered during the Global Health Policy Summit, sponsored by the Qatar Foundation and the Imperial College of London.

News Headlines Article

ACOs can find savings if patients adhere to medication, report says
Modern Healthcare

Hospitals and doctors seeking to curb health spending through accountable care organizations could reap savings if patients do a better job of following their prescriptions, according to a report. By getting more diabetes patients to take their medication as directed, a Medicare ACO with 10,000 seniors could save $1.1 million on emergency room and hospital visits each year, according to the report.

News Headlines Article

Debate joined on Medicare; Romney, Obama go at it
The Mercury News

Mitt Romney accused President Barack Obama in person and in TV advertising Tuesday of cutting Medicare “to pay for Obamacare,” launching a strong counterattack to Democratic charges that he and running mate Paul Ryan would radically remake the popular health care program that serves tens of millions of seniors. The charge drew a blistering response from Obama’s campaign, which labeled the ad dishonest and hypocritical.

News Headlines Article

Romney Defends Medicare Plan as Anxious Ohio Seniors Listen
San Francisco Chronicle

As Mitt Romney campaigns in Ohio today, he’s facing undecided voters like Doug Phelps who worry the Republican presidential candidate and his newly chosen running mate will make big changes to a program they cherish. Without Medicare, Phelps, a 69-year-old barber from suburban Columbus, could never have afforded the $171,000 heart surgery he had last year — his coverage combined with his wife’s health insurance allowed them to pay less than $50 for the procedure.

News Headlines Article

Rep. Paul Ryan discusses need for ‘market-based’ health reform
Modern Healthcare

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan’s selection as the Republican vice presidential nominee has put Medicare reform back in the national spotlight, as Ryan’s plans for transforming Medicare into a “premium support” system gain renewed attention.

News Headlines Article

The other Paul Ryan plan: $800B in Medicaid cuts
KTVU.com

Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan for health care coverage for the elderly gets all the attention, but the Republican vice presidential candidate has proposed more fundamental changes to medical care for the poor and disabled. Under the Wisconsin congressman’s Medicaid plan, states would take over the government program that provides health care coverage to the poor.

News Headlines Article

Ryan Renounces Medicare Cuts That Were Part of His Budget
National Journal Magazine

Rep. Paul Ryan, in a Fox News interview that aired on Tuesday evening, renounced $716 billion in cuts to Medicare that were part of his fiscal 2013 budget. That assertion helps strengthen an attack line on President Obama’s health reform law that had been partially undermined by the details of Ryan’s controversial budget proposal. In the interview, the House member from Wisconsin said he now favors overturning the health reform law in its entirety, including its budget-saving measures.

News Headlines Article

Paul Ryan’s budget keeps Obama’s Medicare cuts. Full stop.
Washington Post

Since the Romney campaign wants to run against President Obama’s cuts to Medicare, it’s something of a problem for them that Paul Ryan’s budget includes those very same cuts to Medicare. And so they’ve come up with a somewhat confused and confusing argument to distinguish the two plans. Obama’s cuts to Medicare are different because Ryan “keeps that money for Medicare to extend its solvency” while Obama uses it “to pay for a new risky program of his own that we call Obamacare.”

News Headlines Article

Nonprofit hospitals’ charity care faces legislative scrutiny
California Watch

Nonprofit hospitals in California are facing new scrutiny over whether they are doing enough for the public to justify their tax-exempt status.

The Legislature expects these hospitals to provide community benefits such as free or reduced-priced health care for the poor, known as charity care. The hospitals are required by law to report to the state annually on their community benefit plans.

News Headlines Article

Study: Proximity to IT companies affects EMR costs
Modern Healthcare

The adoption of electronic medical records was likely to provide savings for urban hospitals after three years of their use, while rural hospitals faced increased costs for at least six years, a study found. Hospitals’ proximity to information technology companies and their experience with health IT upgrades were among the biggest determinants of whether the addition of EMRs would lower or increase costs, according to an analysis for the National Bureau of Economic Research.

News Headlines Article

Contra Costa’s $45 million computer health care system endangering lives, nurses say
The Mercury News

A new medical computer system used at Contra Costa correctional facilities recommended what could have been a fatal dose of a West County Jail inmate’s heart medication last week, an incident that a detention nurse characterized Tuesday as one of many recent close calls with the month-old program. However, the inmate’s nurse was familiar with his medical history, recognized the discrepancy and administered the correct amount of Digoxin.

News Headlines Article

HHS announces $68.3 million in grants for HIV/AIDS care
Modern Healthcare

HHS announced $68.3 million in grants for comprehensive primary HIV medical care and support services for children, infants, women and youth without sufficient insurance coverage or money for HIV and AIDS treatments. The grants, funded by the Health Resources and Service Administration’s Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, will go to 114 community-based organizations, university hospitals and health departments across the country.

News Headlines Article

Santa Cruz County hospitals targeted for Medicare cuts
The Mercury News

Hospitals in Santa Cruz County would lose a whopping 17 percent of their federal Medicare reimbursement under a new analysis ordered by Congress. If Congress followed the recommendation of the Institute of Medicine, the local cutback would be the largest in California, but Dr. Larry deGhetaldi, a local activist for Medicare payment accuracy, questions whether that would happen any time soon.

News Headlines Article

These doctors only see you at hospitals
Merced Sun-Star

Linda Calleros felt more comfortable leaving her 93-year-old mother alone at night during her stay at Memorial Hospital Los Banos than she had on previous occasions. Her mother, Felicitas Simmons, was admitted to the hospital last week with congestive heart failure. Although it wasn’t Simmons’ first stay at Memorial, Calleros noticed something this time that put her at ease about leaving her mother — there was always a doctor to talk to about her care.

News Headlines Article

Active-surveillance protocol for tumors
San Francisco Chronicle

When given a potentially life-threatening diagnosis like cancer or a brain tumor, most people immediately want to cut it out, radiate it or otherwise eradicate the invading force from their body. But for a growing number of patients and conditions, the best course of action may be doing none of that. It’s called “active surveillance” and it does involve doing something – just not the aggressive surgical or other treatment options that may be available.

News Headlines Article

Blood Transfusion Refusal Poses No Risk in Cardiac Patients
Health Leaders Media

Patients who profess the faith of Jehovah’s Witness have always presented a vexing problem for hospitals when they’ve required surgery. Because their religion prohibits them from taking blood, they believe they must always decline transfusions, even if their refusal results in their death. But a report on Jehovah’s Witness members who underwent seven types of cardiac surgery at the Cleveland Clinic indicates that with pre-operative blood conservation strategies, the patients did not have more complications than patients who were not Jehovah’s Witnesses and did receive transfusions.

News Headlines Article

Hospitals behind on earthquake safety deadline
ABC News

It’s just a matter of time before the next big earthquake hits and when it does, we hope local hospitals will withstand the jolt. The ABC7 News I-Team has been checking out hospitals that are not on track to make important seismic upgrades and talked to one expert who claims even if they make an upcoming deadline, it might not be enough. We all know the Bay Area is riddled with fault lines. Very close to those fault lines are some the area’s busiest hospitals.

News Headlines Article

A Giant Hospital Chain Is Blazing a Profit Trail
New York Times

During the Great Recession, when many hospitals across the country were nearly brought to their knees by growing numbers of uninsured patients, one hospital system not only survived — it thrived. In fact, profits at the health care industry giant HCA, which controls 163 hospitals from New Hampshire to California, have soared, far outpacing those of most of its competitors.

News Headlines Article

NPs on the frontlines
HealthyCal.org

Glide, situated in the heart of San Francisco’s gritty Tenderloin neighborhood, is a haven for the homeless. Outside the shelter’s door, though it is just before noon, a group of men and women line up to wait for a bed for the night or a hot meal. Some push shopping carts packed with their belongings and hold tattered blankets, neatly rolled up. They press their backs against the wall as they try to shield themselves from the gushing rain shower soaking the street.

News Headlines Article

Obama vs. Romney on Medicare
Los Angeles Times

Until this week, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney had sought to make the election a referendum on just one thing: President Obama’s handling of the economy. But by teaming up with Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), the architect of the House GOP’s plan for cutting spending, Romney made a campaign issue out of one of the government’s biggest programs, Medicare. Sure enough, the attacks on Ryan’s proposal to transform Medicare from insurance into premium subsidies began within minutes after Romney announced Ryan as his running mate.

Commands