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Modern Healthcare reports on a new analysis that finds the highest-performing hospitals focus on ways to standardize the use of “physician-preference” items and medications that produce clinically equivalent outcomes at a lower cost.
In other news on innovations, the MAVEN Project helps underserved communities around the country by connecting retiring, volunteer doctors with patients via telehealth, videoconferencing and phone calls.
The Harvard University study challenges the assertion that patients benefit when a hospital is accredited. “The wealthy, big hospitals that generally have more resources are more likely to be Joint Commission-accredited, and the thinking is that they have better outcomes,” said Ashish Jha, the author of the study. “What you find is that it doesn’t have a big effect, and it really makes you worry. We’ve put a lot of faith and resources into accreditation.”
The company, Devoted Health, was founded last year by Todd Park, a former chief technology officer for the Obama administration, and Ed Park, a former Athenahealth executive. In other health industry news: the ripple effects of Anthem’s privacy breach settlement; UnitedHealth earnings projections; and Catholic Health Initiatives’ merger with Dignity Health
No matter the outcome, the massive $69 billion deal between the pharmacy chain and the health insurer will likely transform the health care landscape if it gets final approval from state regulators.
The Anthem settlement is nearly three times larger than the previous highest amount paid to the government in a privacy case. In other health industry news: telemedicine fraud, tariffs and health care construction, and electronic health records.
In the wake of a KHN/USA Today Network investigation, Leapfrog will check the safety and quality of outpatient centers.
The private health plans that are an alternative to government-run Medicare continue to grow despite the Affordable Care Act’s cuts of billions of dollars in funding.
The request from Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) comes in response to a Wall Street Journal article that detailed hidden financial arrangements between hospital systems and insurers that included limitations on coverage offered by the plans to their enrollees, which in turn would save the hospitals money.
The deal is one of several in recent years that has consolidated power among health care companies. Critics worry that the mergers will mean fewer choices and higher health care costs for consumers. “The combination of CVS and Aetna creates an enormous market force that we haven’t seen before,” said George Slover, a senior policy counsel for Consumers Union. CVS still needs to get approvals from several states.
Last week, Juul brought in Josh Raffel, a former senior communications aide and crisis communications expert who has worked closely with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has taken steps in recent weeks to crack down on the e-cigarette company.
The first three-quarters of this year have seen the rise of so-called unicorns, or health care startups valued at more than $1 billion.
Stat announces its list of “Wunderkinds,” a collection of postdocs, fellows, and biopharma employees working with more senior scientists, who are “are blazing new trails as they attempt to answer some of the biggest questions in science and medicine.”
These young adults are looking for medical care that is convenient, fast and offers cost transparency. They frequently seek treatment at retail clinics, urgent care centers or other options.
Columnists offer takes about the upcoming election and other health care issues.
Just because health systems are not direct competitors doesn’t meant they won’t create a power shift in the market that should be regulated, experts say.
Just weeks before midterm elections, a move by federal health officials spotlights a contentious issue: the use of human fetal tissue in research. Here’s what you need to know to understand the debate.
The move comes on the heels of the FDA’s surprise raid of the Juul headquarters in an investigation seeking information on the company’s marketing practices.
The move comes following a Wall Street Journal investigation that found that the commission that inspects hospitals typically took no action to revoke or modify its accreditation when state inspectors find serious safety violations. Other hospital news comes out of Massachusetts and Virginia, as well.
At Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense hospitals, The MiMedx Group — which manufactures skin grafts and injectable products from donated placental tissues — didn’t offer the small sizes of two popular products it offered elsewhere. As a result, the government agencies had to buy bigger, more expensive offerings for smaller treatments, former employees said.