Vital Signs Blog

Blog: Halloween comes early for some dealing with ICD-10

Smaller physician practices had trouble during an otherwise smooth launch of the ICD-10 diagnosis and procedural codes conversion.

Blog: Ho Chi Minh, Mao Zedong and the full story on this year's Nobel Prize development

On Monday, Tu Youyou won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for her work in synthesizing artemisinin. The drug is a product of the Vietnam War, during which malaria was disabling more of Vietnamese troops than American bombs.

Blog: Family physicians reject stronger stance on climate change

An effort by a regional chapter to get the American Academy of Family Physicians to take a stronger stance on climate change fell short at a recent meeting.


Blog: Think a $500K salary for Planned Parenthood's CEO is a ton of dough? Think again

When she testified before Congress on Tuesday, Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards took heat for her six-figure salary. But a look at the money earned by CEOs of other not-for-profit healthcare organizations in 2013 shows that Richards is in the middle of the pack.

Blog: Reviewer slams FDA's priority review voucher program

The Food and Drug Administration's priority review voucher program, intended to motivate drugmakers to develop treatments for neglected tropical diseases and rare pediatric disorders, isn't having its intended impact. Time for a do over, one reviewer says.

Blog: Hillary sees political sweet spot in targeting out-of-pocket medical costs

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton may have hit political pay dirt with her proposal Wednesday to limit consumers' out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs. And she certainly changed the conversation away from her e-mail practices as secretary of state.


Blog: Boehner's sudden exit bodes ill for targeted ACA fixes

Republican House Speaker John Boehner's surprise resignation announcement reduces the likelihood of a government shutdown next week over the issue of defunding Planned Parenthood. But it increases the odds of intractable partisan battles over healthcare policy leading up to the 2016 elections.

Blog: Is 'value-based care' more than a marketing slogan?

The U.S. healthcare system is investing a lot of time, energy and money into the concept of value-based care, and a fascinating commentary in the New England Journal of Medicine hits that idea squarely in the gut.


Blog: Jodi Daniel lists her 'greatest hits' at ONC

Among them are e-prescribing and navigating various Stark and anti-kickback exemptions for hospitals and health systems that subsidize the cost of extending their EHR systems to office-based physicians, Daniel said.


Blog: Will incentives for less medical care make us healthier?

Spending less for healthcare means less healthcare happens. Hospitals and doctors perform fewer tests and procedures. Hospital operating budgets shrink. Patients leave the hospital more quickly. But what, then, happens to our health?


Blog: Billboard campaign counters VA claims of improved access

Veterans Affairs Department leaders have been telling Congress that wait times have decreased and access has increased at VA healthcare facilities. But not everyone is buying it and some critics are spreading their message.


Blog: Pope Francis will challenge those on the Hill but not take sides, says Sister Carol Keehan

Pope Francis arrives in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday afternoon. During his visit he will stop at the White House and address Congress.

Blog: 'Unproven' is not 'failed'; Did the judge misread the FDA?

With drug costs already busting healthcare budgets, a former FDA official and a legal scholar are warning that recent court decisions giving pharmaceutical companies greater leeway to market the off-label use of drugs could make things worse—a lot worse.

Blog: New Census data to highlight declining uninsured

The U.S. Census Bureau will release its annual health insurance report next week, and it likely will mirror other studies and surveys that show the ranks of the uninsured continue to drop. The report will include the first full year of data from the ACA's exchanges.

Blog: All-star judging panel to award $100,000 population health prize

A new $100,000 prize offered by Hearst Health and the Thomas Jefferson School of Medicine will reward innovative programs that boost population health.


Blog: Tenet CEO donates big to Jeb Bush super PAC

Tenet Healthcare Corp. CEO Trevor Fetter said in January that former Tenet board member Jeb Bush would be an “outstanding president.” And he's putting his money behind a political group to make that happen.

Blog: Increased Rx adherence could reduce overall Medicaid costs

Researchers found that if Medicaid patients followed prescription drug orders, total nondrug Medicaid costs dropped. They say policymakers should use that information to consider the way legislation regarding prescription-drug use among Medicaid recipients affects the way federal and state dollars...


Blog: Chicago hospital patients promised Snoop Dogg noise reprieve

Chicago's St. Anthony Hospital has settled its legal dispute with a major music festival that's scheduled to take place just outside its front doors.

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