Friday, January 27, 2012

Finally Friday Edition

No matter how fast I work, there's always too much to be done. But first, the news:

Getting caught in the broken health care system, finding care to be elusive. This woman is scheduled for cataract surgery, but her insurance company and the hospital haven't reached a contract, so the insurance company won't pay for the surgery. This story is mild. I've been working with a man who's scheduled for a liver transplant and, for awhile, the insurer was saying he couldn't have it where all of his doctors are because they hadn't reached a deal on reimbursement rates. We finally got it resolved, but these are the kinds of pot-holes that mar the health care system in America.

Wellpoint (Anthem Blue Cross) is trying a new system of paying doctors that will increase reimbursement rates to primary care providers dramatically in the hope that this will improve patients' overall health. We need to watch this innovation and see if it helps to curb costs.

The House GOP is waiting to see what the Supreme Court does before making any more efforts to repeal health reform. We're all waiting for this. Meanwhile, a majority of Americans expect the Justices to vote based on ideology rather than law. Very sad.

Providers are supposed to switch to ICD-10 codes this year, but doctors are lobbying Congress to put it off. The change would be very expensive, as they go from 13,000 codes to 68,000 codes.

The General Accountability Office says Medicare Advantage Plans are still raking it in. More cuts?

An investigation in California found that nursing homes were making serious errors in dispensing prescription drugs. This is really scary.

About 7% of Americans have the human papilloma virus in their mouths, indicating it is spread by oral sex.

Bill Gates donated $750 million to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Here's how pharmaceutical companies use symptom checklists to get you to try their drugs.

Do you think it's legit for NY City to use this doctored photo in an anti-diabetes ad?

Remember Erin Brokovich? She's now investigating a mystery ailment affecting teens near a possible contamination site. Great!

And interesting study shows that a virus that affects e coli bacteria found a new way into thriving after its usual pathway was closed off. The point is that it was resilient and wouldn't stay dead.

And that's today's news. Have a great day. Jennifer

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