Vital Signs Blog

Blog: A good year for healthcare stocks all around

Some hospital system executives are citing booming insurer stock prices as a clear market signal that consolidation will give payers the upper hand in future price negotiations with hospitals and other providers. But insurers are not the only ones seeing strong results.

Blog: GAO to CMS: 'I told you so' on Medicaid advice

To celebrate Medicaid's 50th birthday, the Government Accountability Office is taking a look at all the ways it has told the CMS to improve the program, but the agency has yet to act on.


Blog: Medicare's role in desegregating hospitals draws notice on its 50th anniversary

Americans well remember how black people had to ride in the back of the bus and drink from separate water fountains before civil rights laws were passed. But most don't know that African Americans often could not receive treatment in the same hospitals and physicians' offices as white people.


Blog: Jeb Bush's Medicare comments revive debate over vouchers

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush called last week for a “phase out” of Medicare, which he said is not fiscally sustainable. But his statement contradicted a recent report showing that the fiscal future of Medicare's hospital trust has improved.

Blog: Can medical devices be hacked like remote-controlled cars?

Two hackers proved they could wirelessly hack into vehicles and remotely take control of them. Scarier still? Hackers have demonstrated that they can tamper with medical devices the same way.

Blog: Experts discuss role of data in future of genomics

Experts gathered at a three-day conference in Washington, D.C., on Monday are tackling how data interoperability issues could affect innovations in genomics.


Blog: Virginia Mason crosses the pond to teach Lean cost and quality methods

The Virginia Mason Institute in Seattle announced Thursday that it has won a five-year, $13 million contract to improve patient safety and control costs at five acute-care hospital trusts that are part of England's National Health Service Trust Development Authority.


Blog: Standardized mortality ratios may be a bad measure of hospital quality

Standardized mortality—the ratio of the observed number of deaths to the expected number in a given population—is one of a dizzying array of metrics used to evaluate hospital quality. A new study questions whether it should be.


Blog: Surgeons' performance under scrutiny

Last month, the CMS released data on how Medicare and drug companies paid physicians. This time, a consumer advocacy group and ProPublica have released ratings on surgeons' performance.


Blog: New exchange enrollment surged most in South and Midwest

In Colquitt County in rural southwest Georgia, nearly 80% of the people who signed up for healthcare coverage through a federal marketplace in 2015 were new to the program, according to county-level enrollment data for the federal marketplace recently released by the CMS.

Blog: Hospitals struggle to provide consistent care

Hospitals are increasingly adopting technologies aimed at reducing medication and other errors, but they continue to struggle with variation in the quality of care provided to patients and in adoption of safe practices.


Blog: Decision looms on mother lode of IT contracts

Does the $16.2 million contract for lab software awarded to Cerner Corp. by the U.S. Army mean Cerner has a leg up on the multibillion-dollar Defense Department's electronic health record contract, or does it mean the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing?

Blog: Cerner lands guppy, but big Defense IT fish is still out there

Cerner Corp. announced Wednesday that the U.S. Army awarded it a $16.3 million contract for pathology department laboratory software. But Cerner and three others are vying for a much larger contract for an electronic health-record system across the Military Health System.

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