New rating looks at hospital performance on high-volume procedures

New rating looks at hospital performance on high-volume procedures

By Sabriya Rice  |  May 20, 2015

Data on how well 4,600 U.S. hospitals perform on three common elective surgeries and two chronic health conditions were made available Wednesday through a new consumer tool from U.S. News and World Report. Thirty-four hospitals earned high performing ratings in all five procedures and conditions.

Illinois prison contractor paid $3.1 million to resolve complaints over five years

By Michael Sandler  |  May 20, 2015

Wexford Health Sources, one of the named defendants in a lawsuit accusing the state of Illinois of shoddy medical care at its prisons, has previously settled 38 out of 463 complaints for a grand total of $3.1 million over five years. A new lawsuit claims "deliberate indifference" about medical care...

Virginia Mason joins widow in suing devicemaker over contaminated scopes

By Lisa Schencker  |  May 18, 2015

Virginia Mason Medical Center has taken the unusual step of teaming up with a patient's widow to sue medical-device manufacturer Olympus over contaminated duodenoscopes, which sickened 32 patients between November 2012 and January 2014. Eleven patients died.

Stem cell 'Wild West' takes root amid lack of regulation

By Associated Press  |  May 18, 2015

The number of stem-cell clinics across the U.S. has surged from a handful in 2010 to more than 170 today. Many of the clinics are linked in large, for-profit chains. It's quackery, critics say. But it's also a mushrooming business—and almost wholly unregulated.

FDA panel highlights problems with medical scopes

By Associated Press  |  May 15, 2015

Federal health experts say there are a host of problems with the design and cleaning instructions for specialized medical scopes recently linked to a series of bacterial outbreaks in hospitals nationwide.

FDA issues safety alert on new class of Type 2 diabetes drug

By Sabriya Rice  |  May 15, 2015

The FDA is warning that a new class of Type 2 diabetes medications called sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors may lead to a serious, potentially fatal condition in which the body overproduces a chemical called ketone and results in too much acid in the blood.

Overuse of psych meds hotly debated in BMJ exchange

By Sabriya Rice  |  May 13, 2015

Psychiatric medications are commonly prescribed to treat serious issues like attention disorders, major depression and schizophrenia. But the benefits of long-term use are "exaggerated" and would need “to be colossal” to counter the known harms associated with their use, suggests a...

 Interest groups seek to add goodies to fast-moving FDA overhaul bill

Interest groups seek to add goodies to fast-moving FDA overhaul bill

By Darius Tahir  |  May 12, 2015

The House Energy & Commerce Committee is scheduled to hold a legislative markup session Thursday on the 21st Century Cures Act, which would overhaul federal regulation of prescription drugs and devices. Nearly every sector of the healthcare industry has gotten involved in lobbying the bill.

HHS lifts HIV organ-donor ban

By Sabriya Rice  |  May 12, 2015

Individuals with HIV will no longer be prohibited from donating organs in the U.S. HHS lifted a regulatory hurdle that has prevented use of organs from infected patients in research since 1988, the height of the HIV epidemic.

FDA panel recommends approving new cystic fibrosis treatment

By Steven Ross Johnson  |  May 12, 2015

A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel Tuesday recommended approving a new treatment for cystic fibrosis. Experts say the drug will reap billions for its manufacturer. The price of the medication will easily eclipse that of Gilead's $80,000 hepatitis C breakthrough drug, Sovaldi.

FDA advisory panel to investigate duodenoscope safety

FDA advisory panel to investigate duodenoscope safety

By Steven Ross Johnson  |  May 08, 2015

The Food and Drug Administration received 142 reports of possible infections of patients undergoing procedures with the type medical scope responsible for outbreaks at two medical centers over the past six months.

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