February 10, 2012
Most important thing about Iran A military attack on Iran's nuclear program is fraught with hazards, as Trudy Rubin correctly notes ("Israeli strike on Iran: Why we should worry," Sunday). But assertions by American officials that "the most important thing is to keep the international community unified" are mistaken. The "most important thing" is keeping nuclear weapons out of the hands of Iran before nuclear devices explode in American cities, or a high-altitude nuclear explosion severely damages our electronic infrastructure.
October 21, 2011 |
The federal government laid out final rules Thursday for a new program that aims to improve patient care by getting doctors, hospitals, and other care providers to work together more. Health-care providers will be able to start forming accountable care organizations in 2012 to coordinate care, share records, and cut down on duplicative tests and medical errors. Providers will have to make a three-year commitment to care for a group of at least 5,000 Medicare patients if they form these organizations known as ACOs.
September 20, 2011 |
WASHINGTON - The doctor doesn't think your sore throat is bad enough yet to order a strep test - unaware that a dozen people across town were diagnosed with strep throat just last week. Doctors rarely know what bugs are brewing in the neighborhood until their own waiting rooms start to fill. Harvard University researchers reported Monday that getting them real-time information on nearby infections could improve patient care - for strep throat alone, potentially helping tens of thousands avoid a delayed diagnosis or getting unneeded antibiotics.
May 1, 2011 |
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration finalized plans Friday to reward hospitals that provide high-quality care, the first in a series of steps designed to fundamentally transform the way the federal government pays for health care. Under the initiative - one of several authorized in the new health-care law the president signed last year - Medicare will pay more to institutions scoring well on a series of measures that gauge patient care and less to those that don't hit the quality benchmarks.
April 12, 2010 |
Do Strikes Kill? That is the provocative title of a study released last month that examined the quality of care in New York hospitals during 50 nursing strikes over two decades. The answer appeared to be yes. The authors, an MIT professor working with a Carnegie Mellon University student, found that in-hospital deaths rose by 19.4 percent and readmissions by 6.5 percent for patients treated during strikes. "This study provides some of the first analytical evidence on the effects of health-care strikes on patients, and suggests that hospitals functioning during nurses' strikes are doing so at a lower quality of patient care," the authors wrote in a working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.
December 14, 2009 |
States have begun restricting the perks that drug and medical-device manufacturers can give doctors, aiming to keep the companies from influencing prescription habits and treatment plans. New Jersey could become the first to make doctors accountable. State Attorney General Anne Milgram has recommended banning doctors licensed in the state from accepting gifts that don't directly benefit their patients, and requiring them to report consulting fees greater than $200. The choice to put the responsibility on doctors, met with scorn from the Medical Society of New Jersey, was deliberate.
November 19, 2009 |
Arthur Chernoff has a dream, one that he feels will ease a lot of angst for diabetics and other chronically ill patients, and when he talks about it, he sounds almost as animated as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. did describing his own dream. "Doctors and insurers should be doing more to lower the barriers to effective health care, instead of raising the barriers," said Chernoff, chairman of the Division of Endocrinology at Albert Einstein Medical Center. What Chernoff proposes is a sort of "diabetes passport," a way for patients to reach more easily the many doctors they need to see. Because the disease ravages so many body systems, diabetics may need, besides primary-care doctors, a phalanx of specialists such as endocrinologists, cardiologists, podiatrists, ophthalmologists or nephrologists, not to mention dietitians or other health professionals.
September 22, 2009 |
In a model that could be copied by other cities, the three major health systems serving Camden are joining with local doctors to share health records of patients who give their permission, enabling doctors to give more timely and informed care. Cooper University Hospital, Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center, and Virtua Health - normally fierce competitors - plan to join with most primary-care providers in the city of 70,000 to create an exchange giving doctors access to such records as hospital discharge summaries, lab results, medications, and X-rays.
August 25, 2009 |
Compared with the swath of health-care businesses spread out on either side of Interstate 95 from New York to Washington, tiny Danville and Riverside, Pa., at first glance don't seem to have much to offer that industry. But the two hamlets, across the Susquehanna River from each other about 150 miles northwest of Philadelphia, are homes to organizations trying to spark a boom in health-care innovation in rural Pennsylvania. One is Danville's Geisinger Health System, which has attracted national attention for providing quality patient care at relatively low costs.