News & Information
Steroid Use in RA More Common than 20 Years Ago
Written by Editor   
Monday, May 19, 2014 08:07 AM

More patients with rheumatoid arthritis today are initiating treatment with glucocorticoids (GCs) early in the course of disease than was the case 20 years ago, a retrospective study found.

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Medicare Pays Billions for 'Low-Value Care'
Written by Editor   
Tuesday, May 13, 2014 12:39 PM

The Medicare system spent at least $1.9 billion in 2009 and probably much more on "low-value" procedures and tests, such as cancer screening in patients with end-stage renal disease in patients 75 and older, researchers said.  Depending on whether relatively sensitive versus specific measures of low-value care were used, the percentage of overall Medicare Parts A and B spending that went to such services ranged from 0.6% to 2.7%.

Although these figures represented "modest proportions" of the total Medicare budget, the researchers wrote; from one-quarter to more than 40% of all beneficiaries received at least one of the 26 types of low-value service during the 1-year study period.

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First Woman President of National Board of Chiropractic Examiners
Written by Editor   
Tuesday, May 13, 2014 12:36 PM

Donna L. Craft, DC, of Brooklyn, Mich., was elected president of the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) at the NBCE annual meeting on May 2, 2014.

Dr. Craft becomes the first woman elected president in the organization's 51-year history. She previously served as NBCE vice president in 2012-2013, treasurer in 2010 and secretary in 2005-2006.

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Senate Considers HHS Nominee
Written by Editor   
Tuesday, May 13, 2014 12:31 PM

A Senate committee considered Sylvia Mathews Burwell, President Obama's nominee for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary.  

Republican senators on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee  offered their opinions.  "Ms. Burwell has proven herself as an effective and dynamic manager, with experience and skill in leading a wide range of organizations," committee chair Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) said in his opening remarks. "She is an impressive nominee and eminently qualified to serve as the next secretary of Health and Human Services."

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When Hospitals Buy Practices, Insurers, Patients Pay the Piper
Written by Editor   
Tuesday, May 13, 2014 11:01 AM

A new study gives ammunition to what health economists and health insurers have argued for years: When hospitals buy physician practices, the result is usually higher hospital prices and increased spending by privately insured patients.  The study was based on an analysis of 2.1 million hospital claims from workers of self-insured employers between 2001 and 2007. The analysis by Stanford University researchers found prices were most likely to increase when hospitals bought physician practices, as opposed to hospitals forming looser contractual relationships with physicians.

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