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CDC: Overdoses kill more Americans than car wrecks
HealthDay News via U.S. News & World Report    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
More Americans now die from drug overdoses than in car accidents, according to a new government report. In 2008, poisoning deaths became the number one cause of accidental deaths in the United States and the leading cause of injury death in 30 states, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ninety percent of these poisonings were linked to drugs, with a surge in deaths from prescription painkiller overdoses reported. More

US designates first health alliances to cut costs
The News Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A Michigan university health system and a center affiliated with Harvard Medical School are among the first hospitals to join the healthcare law's most ambitious attempt at reducing medical spending. The Department of Health and Human Services designated 32 health systems part of a Medicare partnership to encourage the formation of accountable care organizations. Participating hospitals earn bonus payments if they save Medicare as much as $1.1 billion over five years by streamlining care without reducing quality. More

Common drugs most frequent culprits in emergency hospitalizations
American Academy of Family Physicians    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Adverse drug events that lead to emergency hospitalization of older adults represent a direct consequence of clinical care and can be attributed to a few run-of-the-mill prescription drugs, according to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study authors estimate that nearly 100,000 cases of emergency department visits and subsequent emergency hospitalizations due to adverse drug events occur each year in the United States. More

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First statewide emergency care study finds care isn't always local
Medical Xpress    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The first study to examine patterns of emergency care for an entire state has found that 40 percent of emergency department visits in Indiana over a three-year period were by patients who visited more than one emergency department. The finding challenges conventional wisdom that patients are tightly bound to healthcare systems and tend to repeatedly visit local facilities. More

Hospitals that serve the poor struggle with readmissions
Kaiser Health News via NPR    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Hospitals across the country are trying to clamp down on frequent readmissions in anticipation of new penalties Medicare is readying. But it's a bigger problem at hospitals that treat lots of low-income patients. Poorer folks are more likely to be readmitted, so hospitals that treat a lot of them face special challenges at the same time those hospitals often have fewer resources, researchers have found. More

Return emergency department visits by sickle cell patients common
Internal Medicine News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
More than 40 percent of patients with sickle cell disease return for acute care within 14 days following an emergency department treat-and-release visit, with young adults and those with public insurance having the highest rates of return. Those are key findings from a large analysis of 2005 and 2006 data from the State Emergency Department Databases and State Inpatient Databases. More

Retail health clinics see rise in popularity
East Valley Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Use of retail health clinics increased 10-fold from 2007 to 2009, according to a study published in the American Journal of Medical Care. Many patients who visit retail clinics, according to the study, were able to reduce their medical bills. The study found that service at the clinics was 30 percent to 40 percent less expensive than a physician's visit and 80 percent less expensive than visiting an emergency room. More

Medical reform's daunting task: Hospital billing
Politico    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
After Connecticut resident Barbara Beatty fell in Florida in 2008, a brain tumor was discovered and she began immediate treatment. Her Medicare plan wouldn't pay because the Florida hospital was out of her network, according to the Center for Medicare Advocacy, which sued the plan on Beatty's behalf. Even insured patients end up in out-of-network hospitals or at in-network hospitals being treated by out-of-network doctors — an emergency physician, an anesthesiologist, a radiologist. They neither choose to go out of network, nor did they choose to run up the large tab. More

App gives doctors diagnostic advice
The West Australian    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Radiology registrar Fan Zhang is one of a small group of doctors using iPads to help order diagnostic tests for patients at Australia's Royal Perth Hospital. Clinical iPad applications are being used in the emergency department, speech pathology and medical imaging. He uses an app called Diagnostic Imaging Pathways, with the help of software experts from the University of Western Australia. More

Doctor shortage raises fears
Democrat and Chronicle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Shortages of adult primary care physicians recently have been a concern. While the recession kept more general internists and family medicine doctors on the job longer, the workforce is getting older. Primary care isn't seen as glamorous or lucrative as specialties, and demand is expected to increase as health reform legislation seeks to have more people covered by insurance. Meanwhile, initiatives such as medical home models — a team approach coordinated by a primary care doctor — and strategies to reduce avoidable emergency room visits will put more emphasis on primary care. More

ACOEP NewsBrief
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Christine Kraly, Content Editor, 469.420.2685   
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