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Policy & Law

How do we achieve coordinated health care?

February 12, 2016 by Robert Rowley

Given this change in direction in how we pay for healthcare, it is important for institutions and individual clinical practitioners to have a way to share care plans with each other, and coordinate care much more seamlessly than has occurred historically. Yet, as the recent study shows, we are several years away from being able to do that. Why is this?[read more]

Should Medicare negotiate drug prices? Probably not

February 11, 2016 by David E Williams

It’s nice that the vast majority of Democrats (93%) and Republicans (74%) have found something to agree upon. Too bad it’s the overrated idea of having Medicare negotiate drug prices.[read more]

Laying the foundation for Artificial Intelligence in health care

February 10, 2016 by Robert Rowley

Machine learning and pattern recognition are an emerging science. But with sufficient data and sufficient clinical knowledge, machine-learned pattern recognition can provide recommendations that are ultimately more reliable than – thought built on the same premises as – the “gut hunch” of the experienced clinician.[read more]

TBI: Some Surprising Statistics

February 9, 2016 by Bernadette Coleman

A traumatic brain injury(TBI) is a blow to the head that disrupts the function of the brain. Not all hits to the head result in a TBI. Injuries can be mild to fatal, it just depends on how hard the head was hit and the speed of the treatment that was given after the injury. Here are some surprising statistics regarding TBI.[read more]

Time for a patient-driven health information economy? – A response

February 9, 2016 by Robert Rowley

The recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine, “Time for a Patient-Driven Health Information Economy?” presents a good overview of the need for, and hurdles in achieving, a unified patient-centered data platform that can be accessed from everyone taking care of the patient. But here's my response.[read more]

Kindred Healthcare Inc. To Pay $125 Million to Settle Allegations of False Claims

February 9, 2016 by Katie Brant

Kindred Healthcare Inc. (Kindred), the largest skilled therapy provider in the nation, has agreed to pay $125 million to settle allegations that it violated the False Claims Act (FCA). Kindred is accused of billing Medicare for therapy services that were unnecessary or never occurred, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced January 12, 2016.[read more]

Making the Cancer “Moonshot” a Reality

February 9, 2016 by Robert Rowley

Cancer treatment, like all of American healthcare, is at a crossroads. America spends more per person on healthcare than any other country in the world, and cancer care costs have been rising faster than other medical costs. Despite incurring the highest costs, we are not getting our money’s worth. America does not have the lowest cancer death rates.[read more]

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What Can We Learn From European Hospice Care and Life Insurance Policies?

February 8, 2016 by Charlie Kimball
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Worldwide, health care continues to be a hot topic for debate. No one can seem to agree on what system is best. In the United States, healthcare is different compared to other countries and many people long for a universal health care system like the types found in Europe and elsewhere around the globe. When it comes to hospice care and life insurance, there may be several things the United States can learn from Europe.[read more]

Are High-deductible Health Plans Working?

February 8, 2016 by Michael Kirsch

High-deductibles health plans are painful for consumers. The first several thousand dollars are borne by the individual. While we have an HSA (Health Savings Account), which confers a tax advantage, it is still painful to fork over wads of one's wages to cover medical expenses. Isn’t that what medical insurance is supposed to do?[read more]

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How the Healthcare Industry Has Reduced Aggravation For Patients

February 8, 2016 by Ryan Kh

The delivery of health care has changed significantly in recent years. Technological advances have made better treatment possible, while changes on the regulatory landscape and in the best practices for providing service have also had a significant impact. As a result, patients' lives are improving dramatically.[read more]

Future Outlook: Medicare Advantage Plans & Risk Adjustment

February 5, 2016 by David Harlow

Over the past couple of decades, the federal government has come to recognize that not every Medicare beneficiary’s health care services in a given year cost the same as every other beneficiary’s. For beneficiaries enrolled in traditional Medicare, the government pays most of the cost of that care — whether it’s a lot or a little, whether the beneficiary in question is relatively healthy or living with multiple chronic conditions.[read more]

In Medicare Advantage, providers are becoming payers

February 5, 2016 by David E Williams

Accountable Care Organizations enable providers of care to take on some of the functions of health plans and to receive some of the financial rewards as well as the risk. But at least on the Medicare side it can be fairly indirect, with patients “attributed” to providers rather than assigned and little formal ability to keep a patient within a single provider system.[read more]