Health Care Questions: Do Medical Homes Improve Outcomes? Is High Tech Worth The Cost?
MedPage Today: Evidence For Medical Homes Still Evolving
Joseph Ashwal, MD, knew a good deal when he saw one. … The program -- the Total Care and Cost Improvement Program -- has been a game-changer for Ashwal and his practice, Frederick Primary Care Associates, yielding more than a 20 percent increase in payments from CareFirst last summer for the group's success during 2011 in lowering spending by keeping patients out of the hospital and emergency departments. In spite of Ashwal's success, long-term success of patient-centered medical homes in lowering cost and improving patient outcomes has yet to be proven, health reform experts said (Pittman, 5/30).
Kaiser Health News: Proton Beam Therapy Heats Up Hospital Arms Race
Despite efforts to get health care spending under control, hospitals are still racing to build expensive new technology -- even when the devices don’t necessarily work better than the cheaper kind. Case in point: proton beam therapy, a high-tech radiation treatment for cancer. Washington, D.C., is on the verge of approving two proton treatment facilities at a total cost of $153 million. They would be built and owned by the two dominant hospital systems in the region: Johns Hopkins Medicine and MedStar Health. At the same time, the Maryland Proton Treatment Center is already under construction in Baltimore, 40 miles away (Gold, 5/31).
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