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Billions for Health Care Ideas
Written by Editor   
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 04:35 PM

The Affordable Care Act was supposed to mend what President Barack Obama called a broken healthcare system, but its best-known programs -- online insurance and expanded Medicaid for the poor -- affect a relatively small portion of Americans.

A federal office you've probably never heard of is supposed to fix healthcare for everybody else.  The law created the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation to launch experiments in every state, changing the way doctors and hospitals are paid, building networks between caregivers and training them to intervene before chronic illness gets worse.   Its programs touch millions of patients. Hundreds of organizations have gotten money. More than $2 billion has been doled out or committed since 2011.

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Joint Commission Favors Non-Physician
Written by Editor   
Thursday, August 07, 2014 03:19 PM

Just recently, the Joint Commission issued a restatement in favor of “non-physician” led patient-centered medical home (PCMH) healthcare teams.  Doctors of chiropractic (D.C.) fall into the category of non-physician, but have been documented as qualified professionals able to assume various roles within a PCMH to advance patient care: 

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Surgeons Offer Services on Internet Auction Sites
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, August 06, 2014 06:35 PM

An unconventional and controversial option, an online medical auction site called Medibid largely operates outside the confines of traditional health insurance. The 4-year-old online service links patients seeking nonemergency care with doctors and facilities that offer it, much the way Priceline unites travelers and hotels. Vetting doctors is left to prospective patients: Medibid does not verify credentials but requires doctors to submit their medical license number for patients to check.

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Results of Medical Management of Lumbar Spine
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, August 06, 2014 06:24 PM

An article recently published in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine examines the medical management of lumbar spine disease to find cost and quality value two years after surgery.

The researchers examined 50 patients with lumbar spondylolisthesis, 50 patients with stenosis and 50 patients with disc herniation. All patients had persisting systems after six weeks of medical management and were eligible for surgical treatment.

The researchers found:

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IOM Wants Big Change in Doc Training
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, August 06, 2014 08:10 AM

An expert panel recommended Tuesday completely overhauling the way government pays for the training of doctors, saying the current $15 billion system is failing to produce the medical workforce the nation needs.  

The federal government, mostly via the Medicare program, currently provides more than $11 billion per year in payments to support the training of doctors who have graduated medical school. Most of that goes to the hospitals that sponsor interns and residents. States, through the Medicaid program, contribute nearly another $4 billion annually.  "The scale of government support for this phase of physician education is unlike that given to any other profession in the nation," said the report.

But there is little data on how those funds are spent and how well they contribute to the preparation of a medical workforce needed.  Not only that, the authors note, "a variety of surveys indicate that recently trained physicians in some specialties cannot perform simple procedures often required in office-based practice and lack sufficient training and experience in care coordination, team-based care, and quality improvement."

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