Contact us



Choose your currency

Choose your preferred language

News and Promotions

Pertussis vaccine recommended for pregnant women

In an effort to better protect infants against pertussis, a federal vaccine advisory committee recommends that physicians administer the Tdap immunization to pregnant women after 20 weeks' gestation. Vaccinating during pregnancy will enable pertussis antibodies to pass from the mother to her unborn child, according to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. This transplacental transmission will help protect newborns against the bacterial illness until they can receive the first dose of the diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine at 2 months old, the ACIP said at a June 22 meeting in Atlanta. The 15-member committee advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on vaccine issues. The CDC recommends that the remaining four doses of DTaP be administered between 4 months and 6 years. Data show that pertussis disproportionately affects infants, particularly those who are too young to be vaccinated. Of the 194 pertussis deaths in the U.S. between 2000 and 2009, ...

Grants to bolster local quality improvement efforts

Sixteen communities across the country received a $1.3 million boost to continue testing innovative ways to improve health care quality and efficiency. The grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will help the local health care collaboratives develop and test payment models as part of the foundation's Aligning Forces for Quality initiative. The program, which began in 2006, brings together physicians, hospitals, payers and consumer groups in participating communities to collaborate on improving health care delivery in their area. The communities are comprised of a city, such as Boston and Cleveland; a region, such as western Michigan and Puget Sound, Wash.; or an entire state, such as Minnesota and Oregon. A main goal of the grant money, now totaling $300 million, is to provide examples of quality improvement for communities across the country, particularly as they look to adapt to health system reform, said Robert Graham, MD. He is director of the AF4Q national program ...

GOP bill would create health care tribunals

Washington -- New House legislation aims to curb the overuse of health care by establishing clinical best practices for physicians and creating health care tribunals to hear medical liability cases. "The practice of defensive medicine adds billions of dollars of unnecessary costs to our health care system and diverts doctors' focus away from delivering quality care," Rep. Tom Price, MD, (R, Ga.) said in a statement after introducing the legislation on June 24. The bill would use a three-pronged approach to end overutilization of tests and other unnecessary care while respecting the rights of patients and doctors to determine the best course of treatment, he said. The legislation would: Protect doctors and other health professionals from liability if they practice medicine consistent with best practices developed by physician specialty and quality organizations, and then approved by the Health and Human Services secretary. Provide grants to states to create administrat ...