Top Stories

    Will A Missouri Family Win Millions in Malpractice Suit… Or Much Less?

    The Missouri Supreme Court has been asked to weigh in on whether millions of dollars awarded in a medical malpractice case are or are not subject to the state's $350,000 cap on noneconomic damages, according to an October 21 story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
    Will A Missouri Family Win Millions in Malpractice Suit… Or Much Less?

    Playing a Doctor on TV: Dr. Oz Works the Camera for Millions

    Once you’re on Oprah’s team of TV doctors, you don’t actually need to chase shady online endorsements to make more money in four years than an elite cardiologist brings down in a working lifetime.
    Playing a Doctor on TV: Dr. Oz Works the Camera for Millions

    Why Can’t Hospitals and Primary Care Get Along?

    The state of the relationship between hospitalists and primary care physicians has hit a nerve. Dr Pegus, director of the Division of General Internal Medicine and Clinical Innovation at New York University Langone Medical Center, underscores how two forces reshaping the face of medicine—the rise of hospitalists and the consolidation of outpatient practices into larger heath systems—present an opportunity to enhance care by improving physician communication.
    Why Can’t Hospitals and Primary Care Get Along?

    Tele-medicine Can Help Reduce Malpractice Claims

    Researchers set out to answer the question of whether increased spending for potentially unnecessary exams, labs, etc., reduces a physician's odds of being sued for malpractice. The study's findings, published in The BMJ,[1] suggest that increased use of these resources is, in fact, associated with fewer claims.
    Tele-medicine Can Help Reduce Malpractice Claims

    8 Ways To Make Extra Cash As A Doctor

    Whether you're on salary or own your practice, you may have times when it feels like you can't get ahead. Your list of monthly bills probably includes a mortgage and car loans, education debt, money to set aside for retirement, and perhaps kids' tuitions. None of these costs are likely to go away soon. That leaves only one option: You will need to earn more.
    8 Ways To Make Extra Cash As A Doctor

    CDC Issues New Pain Management Prescription Guidelines

    The nation's top federal health agency is urging physicians to avoid prescribing opiates to patients with chronic pain, saying the risks of overdose and addiction far outweigh the benefits for most people. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced 12 guidelines for primary care providers regarding prescriptions of opioids, like OxyCotin, Hydrocodone and Vicodin. Doctors are not legally required to follow the guidelines, but such directives often have influence.
    CDC Issues New Pain Management Prescription Guidelines

    Features

    Patients Skipping Meds Cost $290 Billion Per Year—Can ‘Smart’ Pills Help? (0)

    Patients Skipping Meds Cost $290 Billion Per Year—Can ‘Smart’ Pills Help?

    Patients missing out on their medication or taking the wrong dose costs the U.S. health care system $290 billion and kills nearly 125,000 people each year, according to a new report. Nearly three out of four Americans report they do not take their medications as prescribed, according to a report published Tuesday by Lux Research, which provides research on emerging technologies. The report said 'smart' packaging, mobile apps, tele-medicine and new drug-delivery technologies offered the best ways to coax patients to take the right amount of medicine at the right time and for the right duration. If these technologies were introduced, public health systems and industries around the world could make savings as fewer people fell sick.

    Donald Trump To Hillary Clinton: Both Of Us Should Release Detailed Medical Records (0)

    Donald Trump To Hillary Clinton: Both Of Us Should Release Detailed Medical Records

    Both candidates released letters from their doctors last year, but Trump has recently questioned Clinton’s “stamina” as some of his supporters, including Rudy Giuliani, promote conspiracy theories about her health. Clinton’s doctor, Dr. Lisa Bardack of Mount Kisco, New York, said in a letter last summer that she is in “excellent physical condition and fit to serve as president of the United States.” The letter said that she had a full cardiac evaluation last year, and the result was negative. It also mentioned the concussion she suffered from in 2012, an elbow fracture in 2009 and said she has also suffered from deep vein thrombosis. Trump released a letter from his doctor, Dr. Harold N. Bornstein of Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, in December in which the physician wrote, “If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.”

    Investment and Tax

    AstraZeneca Is Selling Its Antibiotics Business to Pfizer (0)

    AstraZeneca Is Selling Its Antibiotics Business to Pfizer

    The deal could fetch more than $1.5 billion. Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca AZNCF -1.41% said it had agreed to sell its small molecule antibiotics business to Pfizer PFE -0.23% in a deal that could reach more than $1.5 billion. The portfolio includes approved antibiotics Merrem, Zinforo and Zavicefta, and ATM-AVI and CXL, which are in clinical development, it said. Pfizer will pay $550 million upon completion and a further unconditional $175 million in January 2019, AstraZeneca said, plus up to $250 million in milestones, up to $600 million in sales-related payments and recurring, double-digit royalties on future sales of Zavicefta and ATM-AVI in certain markets.

    Texas Owes The Medicaid Program $57.8 Million (0)

    Texas Owes The Medicaid Program $57.8 Million

    The state of Texas received nearly $58 million from the federal Medicaid program for health services that did not qualify for reimbursement — and it may be asked to return part of the money. Payments made to six facilities within the University of Texas academic health system were calculated in a way that did not meet federal and state requirements, according to an audit released this month by the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Inspector General. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said it will be reviewing the report and working with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to come up with a solution. The supplemental physician payment program in question started in October 2006 and ran about five years. The goal was to encourage group practices owned or operated by the state to take on more low-income patients.

    Job Market

    On-Site Pharmacies Could Make A Big Difference (0)

    On-Site Pharmacies Could Make A Big Difference

    People don’t fill their prescriptions for a number of reasons. Some have hang-ups about going to the pharmacy. Some forget. Some convince themselves that they don’t need the medication their doctor prescribed. Of course, the poor face far more obstacles in filling prescriptions. They often lack access to reliable transportation and their work schedules are often less flexible.

    1 In 4 Doctors Would Change Careers If They Could Start Over (0)

    1 In 4 Doctors Would Change Careers If They Could Start Over

    Even as doctors enter a medical field with more paying patients under the Affordable Care Act and unprecedented numbers of job opportunities, 25 percent of “newly trained physicians” would still choose another field if they could, according to a new analysis.

    Marketing

    State-Run Retirement Plans Made Easier Under New Obama Rules (0)

    State-Run Retirement Plans Made Easier Under New Obama Rules

    States and large cities can more easily establish their own retirement programs for private-sector workers under new rules the Obama administration announced Thursday, which are aimed at expanding the number of Americans with access to tax-advantaged savings accounts. The rules may also apply new pressure on financial advisers to lower their fees. “All Americans deserve a secure retirement after a lifetime of hard work,” Jeff Zients, director of the White House National Economic Council, said on a conference call. “Too many Americans reach retirement age without enough savings to supplement their Social Security checks.” One-third of U.S. workers currently have no access to an employer-run retirement savings plan, including half of those at firms with fewer than 50 employees and more than 60 percent of part-time workers as of March 2016, according to Labor Departmentdata. Some state governments have suggested creating savings programs that combine the best features of 401(k)s and pensions to lower costs, provide retirees steadier income and reach workers whose employers don’t offer benefits.

    Many Hospitals Transmit Your Health Records Unencrypted (0)

    Many Hospitals Transmit Your Health Records Unencrypted

    Healthcare IT organizations often lack budget and personnel to address security needs About 32% of hospitals and 52% of non-acute providers -- such as outpatient clinics, rehabilitation facilities and physicians' offices -- are not encrypting data in transit, according to a new survey. Additionally, only 61% of acute providers and 48% of non-acute providers are encrypting data at rest. This "leaves the door wide open to potential tampering and corruption of the data, in addition to a large potential for a breach," the report stated. "If a computer, laptop, thumb drive, or backup were to be stolen, any person would be able to access such information." Healthcare security

    Succession Planning

    State-Run Retirement Plans Made Easier Under New Obama Rules (0)

    State-Run Retirement Plans Made Easier Under New Obama Rules

    States and large cities can more easily establish their own retirement programs for private-sector workers under new rules the Obama administration announced Thursday, which are aimed at expanding the number of Americans with access to tax-advantaged savings accounts. The rules may also apply new pressure on financial advisers to lower their fees. “All Americans deserve a secure retirement after a lifetime of hard work,” Jeff Zients, director of the White House National Economic Council, said on a conference call. “Too many Americans reach retirement age without enough savings to supplement their Social Security checks.” One-third of U.S. workers currently have no access to an employer-run retirement savings plan, including half of those at firms with fewer than 50 employees and more than 60 percent of part-time workers as of March 2016, according to Labor Departmentdata. Some state governments have suggested creating savings programs that combine the best features of 401(k)s and pensions to lower costs, provide retirees steadier income and reach workers whose employers don’t offer benefits.

    Medicaid Expansion Under Obamacare Has Improved Financial Health Of Low-Income Americans (0)

    Medicaid Expansion Under Obamacare Has Improved Financial Health Of Low-Income Americans

    Each month, the NBER Digest summarizes several recent NBER working papers. These papers have not been peer-reviewed, but are circulated by their authors for comment and discussion. With the NBER’s blessing, Making Sen$e is pleased to feature these summaries regularly on our page. The following summary was written by the NBER and doesn’t necessarily reflect the views of Making Sen$e. Extension of Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act has not only shielded low-income Americans from out-of-pocket medical costs, but has also improved their overall financial health. That’s what researchers Luojia Hu, Robert Kaestner, Bhashkar Mazumder, Sarah Miller and Ashley Wong found in “The Effect of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Medicaid Expansions on Financial Well-Being.”

    Wealth Management

    The Price Of Patented Medicines Is Costing Some Patients Their Lives (0)

    The Price Of Patented Medicines Is Costing Some Patients Their Lives

    It is certainly true that people are dying because of the prices of patented medicines. I don’t have the statistics, but if patients do not have Medicare part D coverage and secondary insurance, they could be paying thousands of dollars per month for medicine if they have to take branded drugs. Most of these drugs are for chronic ailments like high blood pressure and cholesterol, and they do have generic alternatives, but sometimes these generics do not work for people. There are a few drugs that I use as a second line for the treatment of Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Diabetic Macular Edema (DME), that cost nearly $2,000 per treatment (which is often monthly). That’s just the cost of the drug. The cheaper drug is still a brand name but because it is not FDA approved for use in the eye (and was not designed for that purpose), it comes in a bigger vial that a compounding pharmacy can divide into multiple doses. This drug costs $40–50 per dose. We are talking about a 50 times price difference! The problem is that it does not work as well for some people and because it is compounded, and it has a much much higher risk of catastrophic infection (that can cause blindness) and possibly heart attacks (debatable).

    Follow These Tips Now To Save On Medicare (0)

    Follow These Tips Now To Save On Medicare

    If you want to save a bundle on Medicare next year, take some time this summer to prepare. Open enrollment for Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug coverage runs each year from Oct. 15 to Dec.7. It's a critical period for retirees because this is generally the one time when they may make changes to their coverage. The options include switching from original Medicare, which is known as Part A hospital insurance and Part B medical coverage, to a private Medicare Advantage plan, which provides additional services.