KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Medical Advances, Teaching Hospital Procedures Inflate Health Care Costs

Hospitals are examining "post-intensive-care syndrome" and other elements of their procedures to measure the impact on their bottom lines.

The Wall Street Journal: Hospitals Take On Post-ICU Syndrome, Helping Patients Recover
Hospitals are doing more to help the growing number of patients who receive treatment for serious illness in the intensive-care unit -- only to find their release is the start of a whole new set of problems. With medical advances, even the sickest patients now often survive potentially life-threatening conditions after a stay in intensive care. Many experience aftereffects, not only of the illness but also of the very medical care that may have saved their lives (Landro, 11/25).

California Healthline: California Hospital Officials Not Impressed By Research On 'Out-Of-Control Costs'
According to research published in the Nov. 13 Harvard Business Review, a few hospitals nationwide are responsible for the bulk of about $5.3 billion in above-average costs to CMS and patients. The authors, using CMS Medicare data, showed that 32 hospitals -- less than 1 percent of the hospitals studied -- accounted for about 25 percent of the country's above-average charges. ... CMS routinely pays teaching hospitals a higher rate for many procedures (Lauer, 11/25).

Kaiser Health News: In Wonky Version Of American Idol, Georgetown Researchers Vie For Grants Before Local Donors
Four Georgetown University Medical Center scientists recently delivered 15-minute sales pitches about their work, hoping to win money from an unusual panel of judges: local residents who are not experts on science. ... To become a judge, each individual agreed to donate at least $1,000 to the medical center. In return, the donor received a chance to review a handful of proposals by Georgetown researchers and vote for a top choice. ... The program, called Partners in Research, was launched by Georgetown in 2011 as part of an effort to develop new ways to finance biomedical research (Mayer, 11/26).

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