Friday
May112018

Friday Five: Top 5 healthcare business news items from the MCOL Weekend edition

Friday Five: Top 5 healthcare business news items from the MCOL Weekend edition
 

Every business day, MCOL posts feature stories making news on the business of health care. Here are five we think are particularly important for this week:

 

Trump touts plan to lower drug costs but rejects Medicare negotiations

President Donald Trump on Friday will unveil a sweeping strategy for lowering drug prices that aims to reshape Medicare, boost competition and pressure foreign governments that the White House believes are “freeloading” off of the U.S. pharmaceutical industry, two senior administration officials said Thursday night.

Politico

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Medical device recalls reach historic levels in 2018 with software as leading cause

Medical device recalls reached record highs in the first three months of 2018 thanks to software complications that are likely to continue with the proliferation of high-tech devices.

Fierce Healthcare

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

How Mayo Clinic's prescribing guidelines are cutting opioid prescriptions by half

After analyzing opioid prescribing practices following surgery and improving prescribing guidelines, researchers at the Mayo Clinic Department of Orthopedic Surgery in Rochester, Minn., saw a 48 percent decrease in opioids prescribed for hip and knee replacement surgery, according to a study published in Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research.

Becker's Hospital Review

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Trump proposes $15 billion spending cuts, targets children's health program

U.S. President Donald Trump will request a package of $15 billion in spending cuts from Congress on Tuesday, including some $7 billion from the Children’s Health Insurance Program championed by Democrats, senior administration officials said on Monday.

Reuters

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Health insurance CEOs earned $342.6M in 2017

Nearly every health insurance CEO got a pay raise in 2017—in most cases, bringing home more than 300 times the amount their average employee earned.

Fierce Healthcare

Monday, May 7, 2018

These and more weekly news items on the business of healthcare are featured in the MCOL Weekend edition, along with the MCOL Tidbits, and more, for MCOL Premium level members.

 
Friday
May042018

Welcome to Lifestyle Medicine

By Clive Riddle, May 4, 2018 

The May issue of Circulation includes the research article: Impact of Healthy Lifestyle Factors on Life Expectancies in the US Population, which presented findings from a study that aimed “to estimate the impact of lifestyle factors on premature mortality and life expectancy in the US population.” 

Using data from previous studies they defined five low-risk lifestyle factors

  1. never smoking
  2. ≥30 min/d of moderate to vigorous physical activity
  3. moderate alcohol intake
  4. a high diet quality score (upper 40%)

The study “estimated hazard ratios for the association of total lifestyle score (0-5 scale) with mortality,” and used available national public databases to estimate life expectancy by levels of the lifestyle score, examining mortality of 42,167 adults. 

They found the females who adopted all five of these low risk factors would at age 50 live 14.0 more years that those who adopted zero of the five; and that men at age 50 who adopted all five would live 12.2 years longer than those who adopted zero. They “estimated that the life expectancy at age 50 years was 29.0 years for women and 25.5 years for men who adopted zero low-risk lifestyle factors. In contrast, for those who adopted all 5 low-risk factors, we projected a life expectancy at age 50 years of 43.1 years for women and 37.6 years for men.” 

With these findings in mind, let’s stop by the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM), established several years ago as “the professional medical association for those dedicated to the advancement and clinical practice of Lifestyle Medicine as the foundation of a transformed and sustainable healthcare system.” They tell us that “Lifestyle Medicine involves the use of evidence-based lifestyle therapeutic approaches.” 

ACLM and Blue Shield of California have just announced a collaboration “to provide Lifestyle Medicine continuing medical education and other training tools to the nonprofit health plan’s in-network healthcare providers.” They tell us that “with this new collaboration, Blue Shield becomes the first health plan to offer its in-network healthcare professionals access to discounted ACLM courses, membership, conference registration, board certification review coursework and registration for the American Board of Lifestyle Medicine exam.” 

In November last year, ACLM announced the first physicians and health professionals to be board-certified in the field. They also have developed True Health Initiative (THI), “a coalition of world-renowned health experts committed to cutting through the noise and educating on only the evidence-based, time-honored, proven principles about lifestyle as medicine. The ultimate mission of the THI is to eliminate as much as 80% of all lifestyle-related chronic disease through lifestyle as medicine.”

 

Friday
May042018

Friday Five: Top 5 healthcare business news items from the MCOL Weekend edition

Every business day, MCOL posts feature stories making news on the business of health care. Here are five we think are particularly important for this week:

 

‘Pharma Bro’ Shkreli Is In Prison, But Daraprim’s Price Is Still High 

It was 2015 when Martin Shkreli, then CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals and the notorious “pharma bro,” jacked up the cost of the lifesaving drug Daraprim by 5,000 percent. Overnight, its price tag skyrocketed from $13.50 a pill to $750.

Kaiser Health News

Friday, May 4, 2018

Health Insurers Had Their Best Quarter in Years, Despite the Flu

U.S. health insurers just posted their best financial results in years, shrugging off worries that the worst flu season in recent history would hurt profits.

Bloomberg

Thursday, May 3, 2018

CVS ‘Moving Forward’ With Aetna Deal, Profit Tops Estimates

CVS ‘Moving Forward’ With Aetna Deal, Profit Tops Estimates CVS Health Corp. said it’s making “good progress” on getting regulatory approval for its $68 billion deal to buy health insurer Aetna Inc. -- one of two megamergers in the health-care industry that are under antitrust scrutiny.

Bloomberg

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

HHS Secretary Alex Azar to Supreme Court: Time to rule on Medicare case that affects $4 billion

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review an appeals court case won by numerous hospitals over disproportionate share hospital payments.

Healthcare Finance News

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Bill Gates got President Trump fired up about a universal flu vaccine

Bill Gates was talking to President Trump in the Oval Office last month when the conversation turned to the notion of a universal flu vaccine — probably, as Gates recalled in an interview, “the longest conversation about universal flu vaccine that the president’s ever had.”

Stat News

Monday, April 30, 2018


These and more weekly news items on the business of healthcare are featured in the MCOL Weekend edition, along with the MCOL Tidbits, and more, for MCOL Premium level members.

 

Friday
Apr272018

Friday Five: Top 5 healthcare business news items from the MCOL Weekend edition

Friday Five: Top 5 healthcare business news items from the MCOL Weekend edition
 

Every business day, MCOL posts feature stories making news on the business of health care. Here are five we think are particularly important for this week:

 

CMS extension of transitional health plans could ding ACA market

The CMS has once again allowed insurers and states to renew so-called transitional health plans that pre-dated Affordable Care Act coverage requirements and that don't have to comply with those rules.

Modern Healthcare

Thursday, April 26, 2018

 

Anthem sees profits rise after scaling back participation in ObamaCare

Anthem experienced a profit boost in the first quarter of 2018 after scaling back its participation in the ObamaCare markets, the health insurer announced Wednesday.

The Hill

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

HHS proposes Medicare payment rules to encourage hospitals to be clearer about prices

The Trump administration is proposing to rewrite rules on federal payments to hospitals treating older Americans on Medicare, making it easier for patients to see the prices of procedures and care.

The Washington Post

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Senate Health panel approves opioid bill

The Senate Health Committee unanimously voted Tuesday to send the panel’s bipartisan opioid bill to the chamber’s floor.

The Hill

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Insurer group issues warning on Trump administration's short-term health plan proposal

The nation's largest trade group for health insurance companies is sounding the alarm on a proposal from the Trump administration that would expand the sale of plans that cover fewer services.

The Hill

Monday, April 23, 2018

 

These and more weekly news items on the business of healthcare are featured in the MCOL Weekend edition, along with the MCOL Tidbits, and more, for MCOL Premium level members.

 

 
Friday
Apr272018

Nine Things to Know Jump Out of Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade Report

Nine Things to Know Jump Out of Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade Report
 

By Clive Riddle, April 27, 2018

 

In May talk of frogs would lead one to the annual Calaveras Jumping Frog Jubilee (check out www.frogtown.com). But in April, talk of frogs leads one to The Leapfrog Group, who just released the spring 2018 edition of the Leapfrog biannual  Hospital Safety Grades. Leapfrog tells us their “grading assigns “A,” “B,” “C,” “D” and “F” letter grades to general acute-care hospitals in the U.S., and is the nation’s only rating focused entirely on errors, accidents, injuries and infections that collectively are the third leading cause of death in the United States.”

 

Here’s nine things to know from the Leapfrog report card results they have shared:

1.     Five “A” hospitals receiving this grade for the very first time this spring had an “F” grade in the past

2.     46 hospitals have achieved an “A” for the first time since the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade began six years ago

3.     89 hospitals receiving an “A” at one point had received a “D” or “F”

4.     Of the approximately 2,500 hospitals graded, 30 percent earned an “A,” 28 percent earned a “B,” 35 percent a “C,” six percent a “D” and one percent an “F”

5.     The five states with the highest percentage of “A” hospitals this spring are Hawaii, Idaho, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Virginia

6.     Rhode Island, Hawaii, Wisconsin, and Idaho once ranked near the bottom of the state rankings of percentage of “A” hospitals but now rank in the top ten

7.     Hospitals with “F” grades are located in California, Washington, D.C., Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey and New York

8.     There are no “A” hospitals in Alaska, Delaware or North Dakota

9.     Impressively, 49 hospitals nationwide have achieved an “A” in every grading update since the launch of the Safety Grade in spring 2012

 

In addition to staterankings, you can search for specific hospital safety results at their webaite: http://www.hospitalsafetygrade.org