Vital Signs Blog

Blog: Lack of trust may prompt patients to sue after a medical mistake

A nationwide survey of nearly 700 patients who either experienced harm themselves or whose relatives were harmed by medical errors reveals that trust makes a difference in whether those patients and families take legal action.


Blog: What drug and device companies paid teaching hospitals in 2014

According to the data posted to the CMS' Open Payments website, drug and medical-device companies paid teaching hospitals $543 million in general payments, which include speaking and consulting fees, gifts, travel and royalties for drugs based on research conducted by the providers. See which...


Blog: High-deductible plans, less chronic disease care

High deductibles have already been linked to an increase in bad debt at some health systems, but now they may be responsible for holding down volume as well.


Blog: Too much reporting = less patient care

Too much data documentation may distract hospital infection preventionists from their main job—reducing the prevalence of hospital-acquired conditions, a new case report suggests.

Blog: The 10 costliest catastrophic claims for self-insured employers

What medical conditions are most likely to bankrupt a self-funded employer? Not surprisingly, cancer and several other costly, complicated diseases.

Blog: When it comes to narrow networks, one size may not fit all

A study released Wednesday examines the use of narrow physician networks by insurers to lower premiums. Researchers, who tout this study as the first to look at individual doctors, presented the results in the same way consumers would sort through the T-shirt rack at a department store: by size.


Blog: Docs accused of fraud get more Medicare bucks (a lot more)

Of the 18 physicians identified so far in last week's national Medicare fraud takedown, more than half collected at least three times as much from Medicare as the average doctor in their specialty, according to Medicare physician payment data for 2013.


Blog: CBO report on ACA repeal pits economic growth against personal freedom

It's important to keep aspiring entrepreneurs mind when considering the Congressional Budget Office's projection that repealing the ACA would boost economic output—mainly by forcing more Americans to work to get health insurance.


Blog: UnitedHealth dumps AHIP

America's Health Insurance Plans lost its star leader a few weeks ago, and now a heavyweight member is heading out, too.


Blog: No King v. Burwell opinion today. So when?!

Everyone in healthcare has at least one big, potentially life-altering question on their minds this week.

Blog: Tufts Health Plan lifts wage floor to $15 an hour

Another healthcare company has bent to the economic weight of the tightening labor market and raised the minimum wage for employees.


Blog: AMA, state medical societies call on CMS to mitigate ICD-10 'disaster'

Texas, California, Florida and New York joined the AMA in blasting the federally mandated conversion to the ICD-10 codes set for Oct. 1, 2015. And they've got a strategy to mitigate the damage.

Blog: As congressional action looms, eminent informaticists define EHR interoperability

A pair of noted medical informatics researchers have come up with a five-point definition of what an open, interoperable EHR system must do.

Blog: The devil is in the details of mental health laws

During shared stories about the devastation of mental illness on families and the strides made in recent years, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) opposed a reference in a proposed law that appears in a different bill she has co-sponsored.

Blog: No King v. Burwell ruling yet, but race for reporters' attention has begun

The U.S. Supreme Court hasn't reached a decision yet in King v. Burwell, but the race has already begun—that is, the race by public relations representatives and attorneys to get reporters' attention.

Blog: CIOs agree that IT optimization is a team sport

CIOs at 13 organizations gathered by the Scottsdale Institute, a not-for-profit organization of healthcare systems, say IT and clinical leaders need to get on the same page on what they want and how to get results that would optimize costly investment in computer systems.

Blog: New AMA leader rejects growing movement to regulate out-of-network doc bills

Insurers, hospitals and physicians likely recognize that out-of-network billing is a looming public relations nightmare, particularly with more Americans in health plans with limited provider networks. But the AMA's new president-elect says that the problem is the fault of insurers.

Blog: Here are the average payments Medicare makes to every medical specialty

Looking at Medicare physician payment data, it would appear that oncologists were among the highest-paid specialists in 2013. But this tool created by Modern Healthcare reveals that a lot of the money going to oncologists covers the cost of administered drugs.

Blog: Don't rush to analyze initial ACA premium rates

Two reports out this week show how difficult it is to draw conclusions about the proposed premium rate increases for next year's individual health plans.

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