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.
June 25, 2009 |
With markets still down and government funding heading in the same direction, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia set out in October to trim $60 million from its $1.6 billion budget. With that target met, Children's will open its fiscal 2010 next week with a balanced budget - a product of extensive staff input and a badge of fiscal discipline that could help the children's health heavyweight attract top medical recruits. Madeline Bell, a mother of seven who started her career as a nurse on the hospital's night shift, is chief operating officer for Children's health system, which has 9,572 employees at its University City campus and affiliates across the region.
February 6, 2009 |
Surgeon Beth DuPree's bricks-and-mortar dream - a specialized hospital for breast-cancer patients - closed Wednesday, a victim, she says, of the economy and naive business planning. But her hope remains intact. For her, the closing of the Comprehensive Breast Care Institute at DSI of Bucks County, a freestanding, for-profit hospital in Bensalem, is both cautionary tale and learning experience. "Although the business model failed, the patient-care model succeeded," she said this week from her home, where she is recovering from surgery to correct a painful colon problem.
September 7, 2008 |
Rita A. Mariotti, whose dream of becoming a wealthy South Philadelphia doctor changed after she cared for poor coal miners in eastern Kentucky early in her career, died of lymphoma Aug. 26. Dr. Mariotti, 78, of Glendora, who eventually practiced family medicine for more than 35 years in the small town of Woodbury Heights, died at a friend's home in Sewell. The bright South Philadelphia High School for Girls student (Class of 1948) fantasized about being rich when she saw physicians' grand homes on South Broad Street.