Vital Signs Blog

Blog: 'Geek Doc' wins big on 'Jeopardy!'

If a healthcare computer geek could be the world's champion at the quiz show "Jeopardy!", how well will a geek doc do? Friends of physician informaticist Dr. Harris Stutman are finding out.


Blog: House GOP plan to cap Medicaid could stir up stakeholders and voters

State leaders would gain enormous freedom to reshape Medicaid programs under the new House Republican healthcare plan. But that freedom likely would come at the price of a big loss of federal dollars, reduced coverage for their residents and less money to pay providers.


Blog: Prescription for physician-administrator distrust

The relationship between physicians and healthcare administrators “has never been more broken than it is today," CareMore Health System CEO Dr. Sachin Jain told healthcare administrators Tuesday at the Healthcare Financial Management Association's annual conference.

Blog: Less-restrictive hepatitis C policies would reduce long-term Medicaid costs

Medicaid policies that only offer hepatitis C treatment to patients with advanced disease may be more costly and less effective than an unrestricted, full-access approach, according to a recent study.

Blog: GOP ACA replacement plan doesn't protect people with pre-existing conditions

In House Speaker Paul Ryan's plan, the protection against higher premiums because of a health condition would only apply to people who maintain continuous coverage.

Blog: House GOP health plan may face political problems with tax on employer-based coverage

The new House Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare lacks specifics because it would have to broadly tax employer health plans to raise enough money to adequately fund insurance subsidies, a prominent Republican health economist says.

Blog: California greenlights Aetna deal; will Anthem's get nixed?

Aetna just nabbed a new state approval in its quest to acquire Humana. That stands in contrast to Anthem's purchase of Cigna Corp., which has faced publicized battles and could be on its way to the chopping block.

Blog: CMS to launch streamlined HIPAA guidance site

The CMS keeps information about the many federal privacy laws at a website that's as plain and uninviting as the online owner's manual for your lawn mower. But that's about to change.

Blog: AMA passes resolution opposing Part B pilot

The American Medical Association has added itself to a growing list of organizations that are opposed to the CMS' proposal for a new Medicare Part B drug reimbursement program.


Blog: Louisiana Gov. Edwards tells how he won the Medicaid expansion battle

The key was automatically signing up the tens of thousands people already participating in other state health programs for the poor and contacting everyone receiving federal food stamp benefits.

Blog: Louisiana hospitals welcome Medicaid expansion but fret about budget cuts

Louisiana's nine safety net hospitals are bracing for big state funding cuts as the state is racing to enroll low-income adults in its new Medicaid expansion that starts July 1.

Blog: MGMA chief says new Part B program will 'kill smaller practices'

The chief advocate for America's medical group administrators says the Obama administration's plans to overhaul Part B drug payments will devastate smaller specialty practices.

Blog: On coverage expansion, Republicans and Democrats are from different planets

Health policy experts and the media need to make it clear to voters this year that the Affordable Care Act and GOP replacement plans are means to different ends.

Blog: Rural hospitals taken aback by Washington insurer's fingerpointing over rates

Like a number of other health insurers, Premera Blue Cross is cutting back its participation in the Obamacare exchange market. What's notable is that the insurer is partly blaming rural healthcare providers' excessive rates for its pullback. But hospital leaders are pushing back.

Blog: Biden says cancer 'moonshot' needs more teamwork

In an emotional speech, Vice President Joe Biden urged the 30,000 oncologists attending the American Society of Clinical Oncology's annual conference to work together in the search for a cure for cancer.


Blog: Ryan bets on Trump pushing for Medicare and Medicaid cuts

Last month, the question was whether presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump would follow the politically risky healthcare policy path House Speaker Paul Ryan has blazed on Medicare, Medicaid and other big issues. Ryan apparently has concluded that he would.


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