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Medicaid primary care pay to more than double in 6 states

Primary care doctors who provide services to Medicaid patients may experience significant fee increases starting in January 2013, when an Affordable Care Act provision to boost Medicaid pay rates to Medicare levels goes into effect for the next two years. Rhode Island doctors, for example, will see primary care fees go up by nearly 200% on average. For New York state, the overall increase will amount to 156%, and in California, 136%, according to a 50-state survey conducted by the Urban Institute on behalf of the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. In three other states — Florida, Michigan and New Jersey — fees also are expected to more than double for primary care physicians that qualify for the increase. “The states that are seeing the high percentages are merely the states that have been paying such abysmal rates to start with,” said Jeffrey Cain, MD, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians. Rhode Island, the state with the highest projected ...

FDA gives green light to remote monitoring in clinical trial

The Federal Drug Administration has approved a clinical drug trial that is unique for two reasons. It used crowd-sourcing, including physicians, for the design of the trial. And it’s using tele-monitoring to track patient data. The FDA granted new drug status to a proposal by drug development company Transparency Life Sciences to conduct a phase II study of the effect of a widely used hypertension drug, lisinopril, in patients with multiple sclerosis. The trial was designed using feedback from an online crowd-sourcing system, the first clinical drug trial of its kind to use crowd-sourcing in its design. “What we aim to do is get physicians involved with the design of these trials more systematically,” said Marc Foster, co-founder and chief operating officer of TLS. The company wants a broader set of ideas when it comes to clinical trial design. It is opening up the process through an online system where both physicians and patients can submit ideas. The company will use ...

Stem cell research center needs overhaul, IOM panel says

An Institute of Medicine review of California’s prominent center for stem cell research found organizational flaws and called for sweeping changes to reduce potential conflicts of interest. The report praised the taxpayer-funded California Institute for Regenerative Medicine for its aggressive pace in awarding grants totaling $1.3 billion to 59 institutions, saying, “CIRM and those it has funded have set in motion a significant scientific enterprise.” However, the IOM found the center’s practices generate concerns about transparency and potential bias that could undermine support for the CIRM. Reviewers found “far too many” CIRM board members represent organizations that were awarded grants or benefited from the grants. The majority of board members should be independent with no conflicting personal or professional interests, the committee said. The CIRM definition of conflict of interest should be retooled to “include non-financial interests, such as the potenti ...