News & Information
Income Tax Fraud Scheme Targets Doctors
Written by Editor   
Thursday, April 24, 2014 07:00 AM

An income tax fraud scheme, has been perpetrated against hundreds of doctors, but government investigators and medical societies are unsure why or how this rash of fraud has occurred.  Scam artists are using the identities of healthcare providers to e-file taxes and collect returns for themselves.

AMA Claims Medics Add $1.6 Trillion to Economy, but...
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 06:00 AM

U.S. physicians produced $1.6 trillion in direct and indirect economic activity in 2012 and supported an average of more than 13 jobs apiece, according to an economic impact analysis released Wednesday by the American Medical Association.

But some outside observers say the AMA's analysis -- meant to put a dollar figure on doctors' real-world impact -- may be making unrealistic assumptions and be based on unreliable information.

"The authors do not address this at all in the paper, and I wonder whether they have considered it at all," said Gaetano Forte, director of information management at the Center for Health Workforce Studies at the State University of New York at Albany.  "I worry that with all of the attempts to correct or adjust for the limitations of the data, the data are no longer robust.  Each manipulation of the data creates measurement error and eventually, after enough adjustment, the error will be so large that statistically meaningful differences cannot be observed."

Sebelius's Replacement
Written by Editor   
Friday, April 11, 2014 04:50 PM

 President Obama has chosen Sylvia Mathews Burwell, his budget director, to replace U.S. Health and Human  Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the White House said.    (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)Meet the nominee to be the new Health and Human Services secretary -- Sylvia Matthews Burwell. 

Sylvia Mathews Burwell is about to become the biggest name in health care. If confirmed, Burwell, who is the current director of the Office and Management and Budget, will become the key figure leading implementation of the Affordable Care Act at a crucial time for the health-care law during a hotly contested election year.

Burwell has extensive administration experience that includes budget oversight for major entitlement programs, like Medicare and Medicaid. Republicans gave Burwell high marks last summer for a bedside manner that was seen as less prickly and much less political than her predecessor.  The Senate unanimously confirmed Burwell to lead OMB in April 2013, less than two months after her nomination to lead the agency.  Her OMB tenure has been free of controversy.

PhRMA: Sunshine Not Driving Docs Indoors
Written by Editor   
Friday, April 11, 2014 11:00 AM

Doctors haven't disengaged from drug companies in the months since the tracking of financial relationships between them started, several pharmaceutical executives said.  The Physician Payments Sunshine Act required drug companies to track gifts and other payments to physicians starting August 1, making them public later this year, but those ties have pretty much stayed put.  Different leaders of the drug industry said at the annual meeting of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).  "We've seen virtually no change in the way we interact with physicians," Pfizer CEO Ian Read said at a press conference.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Resigns
Written by Editor   
Thursday, April 10, 2014 10:30 PM

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is resigning, ending her 5-year term that was marred by the problem-plagued rollout of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), President Obama's key domestic policy achievement, a White House official said Thursday.

Sebelius quit her cabinet post just 1 week after the end of the first enrollment period for the ACA. She announced today that 7.5 million people had enrolled for health coverage under the new law.

Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, will be nominated to replace Sebelius, officials said.

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