News & Information
California Medical Doctors Used Fake Hardware in Spine Surgeries Lawsuits Say
Written by Editor   
Monday, July 07, 2014 05:33 PM

Medical Doctors in Southern California have implanted counterfeit screws and rods, ginned up in a small machine shop, into the backs of thousands of injured workers, according to lawsuits filed throughout the state.  Some doctors who used the bogus hardware took kickbacks including cash and private plane rides, while middlemen and hospitals profited by wildly inflating the cost of the screws, according to one suit filed in Sacramento.

The allegations deepen the scandal surrounding a Corona del Mar hospital executive who pleaded guilty in April to paying doctors to bring in patients as part of a $500 million insurance scam.  The executive, Michael Drobot, also admitted to bribing former state Sen. Ronald Calderon to keep huge insurance payments flowing.

A Broken Market in Antibiotics
Written by Editor   
Monday, July 07, 2014 04:53 PM

The drugs don't work - and neither does the market, when it comes to antibiotics.

When sophisticated bugs that medicines used to kill within days start to fight back and win, all of healthcare, and the people it keeps alive, is in trouble.

It's a glimpse of what Britain's chief medical officer Sally Davies calls the "apocalyptic scenario" of a post-antibiotic era, which the World Health Organisation says will be upon us this century unless something drastic is done.

Waking up to the threat, governments and health officials are getting serious about trying to neutralize it. It may seem like a question of science, microbes and drugs - but in truth it is a global issue of economics and national security.

Novitas Reports New Medicare Reimbursement Fee Schedule
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, July 02, 2014 11:42 AM

Novitas Solutions reports its new fee schedule for 98940, 98941, and 98942.  The Excel spreadsheet file may be downloaded here:  New Reimbursement for 98940, 98941, and 98942 Effective 7/1/14

Click on the image below to see the image.  Click again to zoom in.

Opioid, Heroin Deaths Continue to Climb
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, July 02, 2014 09:52 AM

Overdose deaths from both prescription opioids and heroin continued to rise in 2011, the most recent year for which data were available, according to the CDC.

While prescription opioid deaths followed a more than decade-long trend and increased about 2% to 16,917, heroin deaths jumped by 44% -- from 3,036 in 2010 to 4,397.

Federal Telemedicine License?
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, July 02, 2014 09:41 AM

Traditional medical licenses limit physicians to providing care only in states in which they are licensed -- a physical convention that is a particular hindrance in the virtual world of telemedicine, which is why Congress is now mulling a new license structure for physicians.

But a Federal solution to what has been a closely-held states' right -- the licensing of healthcare professionals -- may open a Pandora's box of complications, even though the congressional fix has the backing of the Federation of State Medical Boards which turned to Washington for help because a federal law would make it easier for physicians using telemedicine to treat patients regardless of their state of residence.

Through the interstate compact, physicians would no longer have to apply for license privileges in each state in which they plan to treat patients, but would seek this new interstate license. It would also essentially put physicians choosing to participate in this licensure under the purview of congressional oversight.  And an important difference would be a requirement that physicians seeking such licenses would need to be board-certified.

"As it is drafted presently, a physician would need to be board-certified to apply to participate in the compact. As part of the compact application process, which would be separate from applying for a regular credential, an applicant would have to demonstrate board certification to be eligible."

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