It seems fitting that President Trump — who describes himself as a master negotiator — wants a big, bold move to lower prescription drug prices by allowing the government to directly negotiate with pharmaceutical companies.
If a deal emerged between the White House and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on allowing such negotiations by Medicare — long anathema to Republicans, who view such a move as price fixing — it would be because the president wasn’t satisfied with a set of smaller-bore ideas being pursued on Capitol Hill and by his Department of Health and Human Services.
The CMS will only use mandatory payment models when the agency feels it can’t get enough participation or have adverse selection for voluntary models, a Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation official said on Friday.
The remarks from deputy director Amy Bossano during the National Association of ACOs spring conference in Baltimore comes a day after CMS Administrator Seema Verma hinted that some upcoming models will be mandatory.
A group of patients waiting for liver transplants and hospitals have filed suit to block new rules they contend will reduce their access to the life-sustaining organs by transferring hundreds to medical centers in large cities, where the demand is higher.
The plaintiffs — which include transplant centers in Georgia, Michigan, Kansas, Missouri and elsewhere, as well as people on the waiting list for livers — say the rules will leave patients in those places with about 20 percent fewer organs than the current policy, resulting in an increase in deaths.
Not-for-profit and public hospitals’ revenue growth has edged ahead of expense inflation for the first time since 2015, according to a new report.
Median annual revenue growth rose to 5.1% while expense growth dropped to 5% in 2018, new preliminary data on 150 hospitals from Moody’s Investors Service show. Although hospitals were able to meaningfully reduce their expense growth rate from 7.1% in 2016 to 5.7% in 2017, that didn’t keep up with revenue growth’s decline from 6.1% to 4.6%.
HHS updated the maximum it will penalize providers, health plans and their business associates in the wake of HIPAA violations, in some cases dropping the upper limit by more than $1 million.
The new system sets annual limits for these fines based on the organization’s “level of culpability” associated with the HIPAA violation, according to the department’s notice of enforcement discretion released late Friday. That means organizations that have taken measures to meet HIPAA’s requirements will face a much smaller maximum penalty than those who are found neglectful.
There’s an old saying in politics: “You campaign in poetry. You govern in prose.”
Gavin Newsom’s approach to health care policy reflects this thinking. Newsom’s most ambitious campaign promise last year was to provide health care to all Californians through a government-run, single-payer system. But as the election drew closer, qualifiers like “inevitably” and “ultimately” began to creep into his conversation, suggesting a longer-term effort would be necessary.
When the Food and Drug Administration approved in late 2017 a schizophrenia pill that sends a signal to a patient’s doctor when ingested, it was seen not only as a major step forward for the disease but as a new frontier of Internet-connected medicine.
Patients who have schizophrenia often stop taking their medicine, triggering psychotic episodes that can have severe consequences. So the pill, a 16-year-old medication combined with a tiny microchip, would help doctors intervene before a patient went dangerously off course.
For most of his career, Dr. Stephen Trzeciak was not a big believer in the “touchy-feely” side of medicine. As a specialist in intensive care and chief of medicine at Cooper University Health Care in Camden, N.J., Trzeciak felt most at home in the hard sciences.
Then his new boss, Dr. Anthony Mazzarelli, came to him with a problem: Recent studies had shown an epidemic of burnout among health care providers. As co-president of Cooper, Mazzarelli was in charge of a major medical system and needed to find ways to improve patient care.
More than 140,000 Americans die from stroke every year. But getting to the best hospital as quickly as possible after a stroke improves your chances of survival. And where an ambulance takes you could depend on state law.
Unlike state rules for accident victims, which uniformly require first responders to take severely injured patients to the most advanced trauma unit available, state policies for stroke patients vary widely.
Most state rules direct paramedics to the closest hospital with a stroke unit, regardless of the attack’s severity. And some states limit paramedics to taking stroke patients to hospitals within state borders.
Fifteen years ago, as a medical student, I learned a terrifying lesson about blindly using race-based medicine. I was taking care of Mr. Smith, a thin man in his late 60s, who entered the hospital with severe back pain and a fever. As the student on the hospital team, I spent over an hour interviewing him, asking relevant questions about his medical and social history, the medications he took, and the details of his symptoms. I learned Mr. Smith was a veteran who ran into tough times that left him chronically homeless, uninsured, and suffering from hypertension and diabetes. I performed a complete physical exam, paying particularly close attention to his back. Upon reviewing his blood tests and kidney function, I read the computer’s report: “normal.”
As Catholic health care systems across the country expand, the University of California’s flagship San Francisco hospital has become the latest arena for an emotional debate: Should the famously progressive medical center increase its treatment space by joining forces with a Catholic-run system that restricts care according to religious doctrine?
At issue is a proposal that UCSF Medical Center affiliate with Dignity Health, a massive Catholic health care system that, like other Catholic chains, is bound by ethical and religious directives from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Among other prohibitions on services, Dignity hospitals ban abortions unless the mother’s life is at risk, in vitro fertilization and physician-assisted death. Twenty-four of Dignity’s 39 hospitals prohibit contraception services and gender-confirming care for transgender people, such as hormone therapy and surgical procedures.
When women get a mammogram they may be offered one of two types. The older type of mammogram takes a single straightforward X-ray image of the breast. The newer 3D takes pictures from many angles. Now, more evidence shows that 3D mammography offers a more thorough picture of breast tissue and is more accurate.
When Mary Hu, an administrator in communications with Yale School of Medicine, went to get a mammogram two years ago, she didn’t even know she was getting 3D mammography, also called digital breast tomosynthesis. But she’s glad that’s what she got.
When Beto O’Rourke arrived on a small square stage raised in the middle of San Francisco’s Irish Cultural Center on Sunday, he apologized for being a bit late.
“Our plane out on the tarmac for 30 or 40 minutes — all I could think of,” O’Rourke said, “was high-speed rail.”
Halfway through his four-day tour of the Golden State, Texas presidential hopeful O’Rourke stopped in San Francisco to make his 2020 pitch: He will be the candidate who makes the United States great, for everybody.
As UCSF seeks to expand its partnership with a Catholic hospital chain, a national civil rights group says the affiliation violates the First Amendment’s prohibition against government endorsement of religion.