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Why physician compensation is flat for some doctors
Healthcare Dive
The demand for docs, especially in primary care and internal medicine, is at an all-time high, in part thanks to the Affordable Care Act's push to get people out of the ER and into medical practice waiting rooms. Yet as the industry shifts toward value-based care models, physician compensation for primary care isn't budging much. And what’s more, it won't be budging anytime soon.
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Report: Hospital errors drop, saving 50,000 lives
NBC
Hospitals are making fewer mistakes, from giving patients the wrong medications to giving them infections, according to a government report. As a result, 50,000 people are alive today who otherwise would have died, the Health and Human Services Department says in its report. It's not clear why rates are down, but hospitals and HHS have made a concerted effort to try to stop the enormous rate of mistakes, which kill as many as 180,000 people a year, according to government estimates.
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1 million apply on HealthCare.gov in first week
USA Today
About 1 million out of the more than 3.7 million people who logged into HealthCare.gov during the first week of open enrollment submitted applications, the Department of Health and Human Services said. Nearly a half-million of those selected plans.
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Study: Behavioral health is major issue in NJ's low-income communities
NJBIZ
More than a third of hospitalization costs in 13 low-income New Jersey communities are associated with behavioral health conditions, including mental health disorders and substance use, accounting for $880 million in annual inpatient costs, according to a new Rutgers study.
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Physician Fee schedule winners and losers
Health Leaders Media
To pay code wonks who track provider pay by specialty group, "Table 93" is the first place they look every November when Medicare releases its Physician Fee schedule code changes that will take effect Jan. 1. Practically speaking, Table 93 is a list of winners and losers in the annual tug and pull for a fixed pot of federal money. It shows, in a hypothetical sense, how various changes for codes designating thousands of healthcare services will affect reimbursement for each of 57 healthcare providers, from the allergist/immunologist to the nurse practitioner, to the vascular surgeon.
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Survey: Cost trumps health for many Americans
By Scott E. Rupp
As "Obamacare" is entering its second year of implementation, a new survey showcases consumer's thoughts about the Affordable Care Act and health insurance. Conducted ahead of the 2015 open enrollment, the survey shows health insurance issues, including factors impacting health plan selection, satisfaction with current plan options, consumer understanding of the ACA, perceived impact of the ACA and overall thoughts about the U.S. health insurance system.
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Medicare tightens non-emergency ambulance use
Kaiser Health News via MedPage Today
Seniors living in three states will need prior approval from Medicare before they can get an ambulance to take them to cancer or dialysis treatments. The change is part of a 3-year pilot to combat extraordinarily high rates of fraudulent billing by ambulance companies in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and South Carolina.
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EHR data integrity a top health IT hazard in 2015
EHR Intelligence
A lack of EHR data integrity as a result of incorrect or missing data trails only alarm hazards on the ECRI Institute's Top 10 Health Technology Hazards for 2015. For the second-straight year, alarm hazards lead the list of top health IT hazards. Data integrity, however, is new to the list but comes in very high.
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CMS extension could spell trouble for meaningful use program
By Scott E. Rupp
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has extended the meaningful use attestation period by another month to Dec. 31 of this year. The deadline had been Nov. 30. The extension is for eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals to attest to meaningful use for the 2014 Medicare EHR program reporting period. No reason for the extension was given, though many in the industry believe it's a sign of possible trouble for the program, and a way for the federal organization to mitigate trouble brewing for health systems.
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