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April 2011 - Posts

The Politics of Health Care

Cost of Care for Youth with Diabetes is Six Times Higher than for Youth Without the Disease
April 29, 2011 10:38 AM by Frank Irving
Much of the extra medical costs come from prescription drugs and outpatient care, according to CDC study. Young people with diabetes face substantially higher medical costs than children and teens without the disease, according to a Centers for Disease Read More...
Study Shows 22 Percent Increase in Consumer-Directed Health Plans in 2010
April 28, 2011 4:06 PM by Frank Irving
Fifty-one percent of the nation's largest companies offered workers a CDHP model last year. Enrollment in consumer-directed health plans (CDHPs) grew by 22 percent in 2010, up from 23 million in 2009 to 28 million last year, according to an analysis of Read More...
NIH Provides $30 Million for Medical Rehabilitation Research
April 27, 2011 9:48 AM by Frank Irving
Network of centers will give researchers access to new technologies and resources. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced on April 26 that it has provided approximately $30 million over a five-year period to fund a network of centers to advance Read More...
Would You Exhaust Your Personal Finances for More Cancer Care?
April 26, 2011 11:59 AM by Frank Irving
Published study finds that people in minority groups prefer to extend life as much as possible, even if it means using all financial resources. People in minority groups, especially black Americans, are more willing than their white counterparts to exhaust Read More...
CMS Proposes 1.5 Percent Payment Rate Increase for IRFs in Fiscal 2012
April 25, 2011 9:06 AM by Frank Irving
Rule would apply to more than 1,200 Medicare participating facilities. On April 22, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule that would update Medicare payment policies and rates for inpatient rehabilitation facilities Read More...
Aetna Foundation Funds Efforts to Measure Effectiveness of Integrated Health Care Models
April 22, 2011 4:14 PM by Frank Irving
Grants totaling $1 million go to research studies at Baylor College of Medicine; Massachusetts General Hospital; the University of California, San Francisco; and the University of Florida. The Aetna Foundation announced on April 20 that it will fund four Read More...
Most Employers Assessing Retiree Benefits, According to HR Consulting Firm Survey
April 21, 2011 7:07 AM by Frank Irving
Aon Hewitt report says 61 percent of surveyed companies to evaluate long-term retiree medical programs by end of 2011. Most large employers are beginning to rethink their retiree health care strategy as a result of federal health care reform, according Read More...
CMS Proposed Rule Updates Medicare Payment Policies and Rates for Hospitals in Fiscal 2012
April 20, 2011 12:58 PM by Frank Irving
Ties annual update amount to participation in Inpatient Quality Reporting Program, and supports efforts to lower costs. On April 19, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule that would update Medicare payment policies Read More...
Alzheimer’s Diagnostic Guidelines Updated for First Time Since 1984
April 19, 2011 12:44 PM by Frank Irving
NIH-supported revision also proposes staging of disease, potential use of biomarkers. On April 19, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced the release of revised clinical diagnostic criteria for Alzheimer's disease dementia. NIH also reported Read More...
Agency Offers Grants for Programs to Help Chronically Homeless Persons
April 18, 2011 11:53 AM by Frank Irving
Funding for as much as $500,000 per grant will be available for up to three years. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced on April 14 that it is accepting grants for programs that help persons who experience chronic Read More...
Federal Funding to Help Coordinate Care for Dual-Eligibles
April 15, 2011 10:19 AM by Frank Irving
15 states will receive up to $1 million each to simplify care for beneficiaries covered by Medicare and Medicaid. On April 14, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) announced that 15 states will receive federal funding to develop better Read More...
Research Points to Lack of Patient-Provider Communication on Alternative Medicines
April 14, 2011 9:40 AM by Frank Irving
New survey from AARP and NCCAM finds that although many people 50+ use CAM, they often do not inform their provider. Despite their high use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), Americans over the age of 50 often do not discuss CAM use with Read More...
HHS to Invest $1 Billion in Partnership for Patients Initiative
April 13, 2011 10:52 AM by Frank Irving
Program aimed at stopping preventable injuries and complications during hospital stays and transitions of care. On April 12, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) announced the Partnership for Patients, a new initiative aimed at stopping Read More...
Surgeon General Announces Chair Appointment to Public Health Advisory Group
April 12, 2011 11:40 AM by Frank Irving
Jeffrey Levi, PhD, will lead group in providing policy and program recommendations. Jeffrey Levi, PhD, has been appointed chair of the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health. U.S. President Barack Obama established Read More...
Fundraising Outlook Improves for Hospitals
April 11, 2011 12:02 PM by Frank Irving
Vast majority of AHP survey respondents reported negative effects on their programs in 2010, but fewer fundraisers had to trim their budgets. Following two years of recessionary losses and cutbacks, health care fundraising bounced back in relative terms Read More...
HHS Plans Address Health Disparities
April 8, 2011 4:33 PM by Frank Irving
National Partnership for Action launches strategy to strengthen and expand community-led efforts to achieve health equity. On April 8, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) launched two strategic plans aimed at reducing health disparities. Read More...
National Study Finds Potential for Abuse in Opioid Prescribing Practices
April 7, 2011 1:25 PM by Frank Irving
More than half of patients with painkiller prescriptions had filled another prescription for pain from the same or different providers within the past month. An analysis of national prescribing patterns shows that more than half of patients who received Read More...
HAC Data Added to CMS Web Site
April 6, 2011 5:12 PM by Frank Irving
Downloadable file shows number of times a HAC occurred for Medicare fee-for-service patients between October 2008 and June 2010. New data about hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) have been added to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) Read More...
Charity Offers Financial-Assistance Grants for Children’s Medical Services and Equipment
April 5, 2011 1:21 PM by Frank Irving
Qualifying families can receive up to $5,000 from UnitedHealthcare Children's Foundation. The UnitedHealthcare Children's Foundation (UHCCF) announced on April 5 it is seeking grant applications from families in need of financial assistance to help pay Read More...
CMS Grants $46.5 Million to SHIPs for Health Counseling of Medicare Beneficiaries
April 4, 2011 10:21 AM by Frank Irving
Emphasis on annual wellness visits and preventive services. On April 1, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the distribution of nearly $46.5 million for basic grant funding to State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs). Read More...
Proposed Rules Give Guidance on ACOs
April 1, 2011 11:05 AM by Frank Irving
Medicare Shared Savings Program will reward organizations that meet quality standards in five areas. On March 31, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) released proposed new rules for formation of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). Read More...


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