Alvin Tran

Study: Doctors Look To Others To Play Biggest Role In Curbing Health Costs

KHN Original

When it comes to controlling the country’s health care costs, doctors point their fingers at lawyers, insurance companies, drug makers and hospitals. But well over half acknowledge they have at least some responsibility as stewards of health care resources. In a study, published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Mayo Clinic researchers […]

Electronic Health Records Help Cut Costs For Mass. Community Docs: Study

KHN Original

The adoption of electronic health records by community doctors helped drive down health costs, a study published Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine reported. Previous studies, many dealing with academic teaching hospitals, have yielded mixed results about the effects electronic health records (EHRs) have had and have drawn concerns over the adoption of health […]

Those Left Out Of Medicaid Expansion Won’t Have To Buy Insurance

KHN Original

Low-income Americans who live in states that have decided not to expand Medicaid eligibility will not face penalties if they fail to buy insurance next year. That’s according to a final rule on exemptions to the health law’s individual mandate – the law’s controversial requirement  that most Americans have health coverage or pay a penalty […]

Brill: Health Law Won’t Bring Prices Down For Patients

KHN Original

At a Capitol Hill hearing Tuesday, journalist Steven Brill, who examined the issue of the high cost of health care in a much quoted March 2013 Time magazine article, told Senate Finance Committee members that President Barack Obama’s health care law will do very little to lower prices for consumers. Joined by a panel of […]

Docs, Nurses Disagree Over Expanded Nurse Roles

KHN Original

As nurse practitioners lobby to expand their authority and scope of practice in many states, a New England Journal of Medicine study released Wednesday documents a deep chasm between how doctors and nurses regard the issue. The study found the two groups overwhelmingly agreed that nurse practitioners should be able to practice to the full extent of […]

Study: Per Capita Rx Spending Fell For First Time In 2012

KHN Original

Americans’ per capita spending on prescription drugs fell last year for the first time on record, according to a report released Thursday by the IMS Institute For Healthcare Informatics firm headquartered in Danbury, Conn., which tracks pharmaceutical sales and other health care data. The report titled, “Declining Medicine Use and Costs: For Better or Worse?” found […]

Expanding Medicaid Didn’t Lead To Big Health Gains In Oregon, Study Finds

KHN Original

Although expanding Medicaid coverage to some low-income Oregon residents substantially improved their mental health and reduced financial strains on them, it didn’t significantly boost their physical health, according to a study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. The findings are less upbeat than a preliminary report by the same group, which had found that Medicaid made […]

Survey Finds Rate For Young Adult Coverage Improves While Others Decline

KHN Original

While the number of medically uninsured young adults dropped over the past two years, coverage of the overall working age population failed to improve, according to the findings of the Commonwealth Fund’s 2012 biennial health insurance survey released Friday. The survey shows that 11.7 million young adults – ages 19 to 25 – were uninsured […]

Sounding An Alarm On Alarms

KHN Original

Got alarm fatigue? Some doctors and nurses do, according to The Joint Commission, a nonprofit hospital accrediting organization. In their latest Sentinel Event Alert, issued April 8, the commission highlighted the dangers that result when doctors and other health professionals develop “alarm fatigue” or become desensitized and immune to alarm sounds set off by medical […]

Some Medical Students Seek A Match For Two

KHN Original

More than 17,000 fourth-year medical students found out where they’ll be completing the final years of their medical education on “Match Day” last Friday. But unlike most of their peers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, John Zampella and Matthew Huddle weren’t focused on where they’ll be doing their medical residency training. Instead, […]

Difference In What Medicare Spends On Cancer Care May Not Affect Survival Rates

KHN Original

Although Medicare spending for patients with advance cancers varies regionally, a new study suggests that those differences are not related to survival rates. The study, published Tuesday in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, examined Medicare spending on patients with advanced lung, colorectal, pancreatic, breast, and prostate cancers.  Cancer care costs account for approximately 10 […]

C-Section Delivery Rates Vary Widely Across Nation

KHN Original

Rates of C-section deliveries vary widely across the nation, according to the findings of a new study. The study, published Monday in the journal Health Affairs, found that the overall rates of C-sections — the most common type of surgery in the U.S. — varied from about 7 to 70 percent  across the nation’s hospitals. […]

Nurse Practitioners Say How They’re Paid Affects Care They Can Provide

KHN Original

Many nurse practitioners say restrictive payment policies impact how they care for patients more than state laws governing what care they can give, according to a new study. In the study, published Thursday by the National Institute for Health Care Reform, researchers found that while so-called “scope of practice” laws did not appear to restrict […]

Aggressive Care Still The Norm For Dying Seniors

KHN Original

Although federal data show that fewer Medicare beneficiaries are dying in hospitals, new research suggests that doesn’t mean they’re getting less aggressive care in their final days. Researchers at the Warren Alpert School of Medicine at Brown University and others reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association Tuesday that even as deaths in […]

Patient Loads Often At Unsafe Levels, Hospitalist Survey Finds

KHN Original

Nearly forty percent of hospital-based general practitioners who are responsible for overseeing patients’ care say they juggle unsafe patient workloads at least once a week, according to a study published Monday as a research letter in JAMA Internal Medicine. In the study, researchers at Johns Hopkins University invited nearly 900 attending physicians, known as hospitalists, to […]

Commonwealth Fund Panel Proposes Options To Slow Health Care Spending

KHN Original

A group of health policy professionals Thursday called on federal, state and local governments to help slow the relentless growth of health care spending by setting firm limits on those expenditures. The group, assembled by the Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit research group, urged each level of government to agree to hold the increases in health […]