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Public Health

Head of the DOJ's Antitrust Division Raises Concerns About Two Proposed Mega-Mergers Between Leading Health Insurers

November 20, 2015 by Katie Brant

The anticipated mergers between four leading health insurers, namely, Aetna Inc. and Humana Inc., and Anthem Inc. and Cigna Corp., are causing quite a stir among the American Medical Association (AMA) and antitrust enforcers. They view these mergers as being detrimental to competition and a possible violation of antitrust laws and principles.[read more]


Theranos for President?

November 17, 2015 by Edgar Wilson

In an election year, it is normal for hype to overwhelm scrutiny--but not when the subject is health technology. Theranos has risen high on a good story, but we need more than a narrative from the disruptive forces in American medicine.[read more]

Gadzooks! There's Gluten in my Cheerios!

November 17, 2015 by Michael Kirsch

Recently, General Mills recalled nearly 2 million boxes of gluten-free Cheerios because the boxes were contaminated with wheat. But the FDA's response was a little over the top.[read more]

HIPAA Basics For Licensed Health Care Professionals: Privacy, Security, and Breach Notification Rules

November 16, 2015 by Katie Brant

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently issued a HIPAA fact sheet for health care professionals and organizations. We could all use a little refresher from time-to-time.[read more]

Florida Board of Medicine Declares Arizona Homeopathic Doctor "Very, Very Dangerous"

October 26, 2015 by Katie Brant

A doctor practicing homeopathic medicine was accused of administering a lethal dose of an unapproved drug to a toddler in Arizona.[read more]

CMS Announces Meaningful Use Final Rules & Stage 3 Implementation

October 22, 2015 by Moira O'Connell

Now that the ICD-10 panic has subsided the healthcare world is focusing on something new: Meaningful Use. Despite mixed reactions from the public and congress, many of whom expressed concern about the proposed changes and rules,[read more]

When Is External Peer Review The Right Choice For Hospitals?

October 20, 2015 by Josh Nelson

The term "peer review" makes people think about picking up a chart, opening it, looking at the documentation, asking questions, and assessing it. However, peer review is much more. It is a truly professional review by a peer or body of peers that monitors both physician competence and professional conduct in order to promote the highest...[read more]

From Lake Placid: Doc Generously Donates Surgeries, Resources

October 20, 2015 by Annette Hogan

While on a boat tour of Lake Placid over Labor Day weekend, I listened as the tour guide talked about Camp Carolina, the historic lakeside home of one long-time resident, Dr. Howard Smith. The guide went on to describe Dr. Smith’s many trips around the world organizing and donating surgeries for people born with cleft lips and palates....[read more]

Making The Decision To Outsource And Choosing The Right IRO Partner

October 19, 2015 by Josh Nelson

Outsourcing first-level physician review has become essential as health plans continue to face increased pressure to handle larger volumes while controlling cost. When making the decision to outsource, health plan executives must weigh both the advantages and disadvantages of moving their medical reviews to an external partner. Let’s...[read more]

Why Medical Device Regulatory Compliance is a Business Decision

October 19, 2015 by Nealda Yusof

The US Food and Drug Administration recently looked into complaints about a permanent birth control device called Essure. A medical team from Weill Cornell Medicine in New York reported a 10-fold higher occurrence of repeat operation during the first year of implantation. In Europe, the PIP breast implant remains an indelible scandal....[read more]

Why do sick people quit their Medicare Advantage plans?

October 12, 2015 by David E Williams

Heading back to Mama FedHealth plans don’t like sick people. They rack up big medical expenses, drive up health plan administrative expenses, and generally knock down profitability. In the bad old days of Medicare managed care, some plans went out of their way to make sure their membership rolls were filled with healthy people. My...[read more]

Why drug price regulation should not be ruled out

October 1, 2015 by David E Williams

I’m a proponent of free markets and in general defend drug companies in their price setting, especially when they’re introducing new, innovative products with real clinical and financial benefits. See, for example, Hooray for high-priced hepatitis treatment Sovaldi.But we have to remember that the reason high prices can...[read more]