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Helpful information on the world of beauty and aesthetics supplies.
Medical oaths less of a moral compass for physicians
Most physicians take part in a medical school oath ceremony, but few believe that the rite of passage has strongly shaped their sense of professionalism, according to an article published March 14 in Archives of Internal Medicine. Nearly 80% of 1,032 practicing physicians surveyed in 2009 said they took part in a medical school oath ceremony using the original or modified version of the Hippocratic Oath, the Osteopathic Oath, the Prayer of Maimonides or the Declaration of Geneva. However, only 26% said the oath they took significantly influenced their practice of medicine or provided moral guidance in their medical careers ( "These data suggest that for most physicians, the taking of the oath is not a pivotal, meaningful, signal event, but just something that happens," said Farr A. Curlin, MD, co-author of the article. "Some people take it really seriously, and are looking to take it seriously. Others just see it as one more ri [Read more]
Growing number of hospitals ban hiring smokers
More hospitals are refusing to hire smokers. Not all states allow this, and some anti-tobacco activists are uncomfortable with this trend. "We hope that people will be encouraged to quit smoking and quit using nicotine products and build a healthy life for themselves," said Julie Uehara, spokeswoman for Summa Health System in Akron, Ohio, which implemented a nicotine-free hiring policy in January. No studies show how many hospitals have banned hiring smokers. However, more hospitals have reported instituting such restrictions. For example: * ProMedica, which owns several hospitals in Michigan and Ohio. * St. Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau, Mo. * Crittenton Hospital Medical Center in Rochester, Mich. These institutions have been smoke-free for years, and the restrictive policies follow the Cleveland Clinic, which in 2007 became one of the first health care institutions to stop hiring smokers. Though some nonhospital employers have reported saving m [Read more]
35% of orthopedic imaging costs stem from defensive medicine
Nearly 20% of imaging tests ordered by Pennsylvania orthopedic surgeons were for defensive purposes, according to a new study examining testing decisions of 72 surgeons. The study, presented Feb. 16 at an American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons conference, found that defensive testing accounted for 35% of all imaging costs for surveyed surgeons. The most common defensive test ordered was an MRI, a more costly test that contributed to higher imaging expenses, the study said. In the survey, members of the Pennsylvania Orthopaedic Society were asked to record a series of imaging decisions and note whether tests were for clinical care or defensive reasons. Test decisions were recorded for 2,068 patients. The many lawsuits that hinge on claims that doctors should have ordered more diagnostic testing are probably the driving force behind the defensive tests, said John Flynn, MD, associate chief of orthopedic surgery at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. The hospital's researchers [Read more]
Health plans face suits challenging collection of
Three class-action lawsuits fighting health plans' efforts to collect so-called overpayments on behalf of self-insured companies are pending in federal court, including one against UnitedHealth Group. The lawsuits could have implications for physicians who are the target of the same kind of collections, even though the plaintiffs are chiropractors. The most recent suit was filed Jan. 24 in U.S. District Court in New Jersey on behalf of two Ohio chiropractic clinics and the Ohio State Chiropractic Assn. The Council of State Chiropractic Assns. joined the lawsuit against UnitedHealth as plaintiffs Feb. 8. The lawsuit against UnitedHealth also names Health Net of the Northeast, which UnitedHealth acquired in December 2009, as a defendant. UnitedHealth has not filed a response to the lawsuit, but company spokeswoman Cheryl Randolph said in a statement, "We believe this claim is without merit and intend to defend ourselves vigorously." The plaintiffs' law firm, New York City- [Read more]
Scrubs vs. white coats: equal opportunity bacteria spreaders
The idea seemed sensible. Clothing, like many other surfaces, can become contaminated by bacteria. So to minimize the risk of infecting hospital patients, British health authorities in 2007 issued guidelines opposing long-sleeved white coats. Scottish authorities adopted similar rules in 2008. But U.S. hospitals have not followed suit, and a new study calls into question the premise behind these rules. Researchers at the Denver Health Medical Center conducted a randomized controlled trial with 100 physicians, asking 50 to wear their usual white coats and the other 50 to wear newly laundered short-sleeved scrubs. After the physicians worked for eight hours, researchers tested the clothing for bacterial contamination, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcal aureus, and found no difference. Researchers were surprised by the results, thinking that perhaps the freshly washed scrubs were not so clean. "We decided to question our laundry facility to find out if we were really [Read more]
Online self-injury videos prompt alarm
Thousands of videos posted online by troubled teens and young adults display images of bodies burned or slashed with razor blades, glass and other objects. Some flash poetic text and photos juxtaposed with images of blood-streaked hands, arms and legs. In one video, a young woman describes how to hide self-injury from loved ones. In another, a woman exposes arms mutilated by years of cutting. Many in the videos seek understanding by trying to explain self-injury and the reasons behind it. A new study in the March issue of Pediatrics explores the accessibility and scope of self-harm videos on the video-sharing website YouTube. Such online communication could reinforce or provoke similar behavior in others, said Stephen P. Lewis, PhD, lead study author and assistant professor of psychology at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. Going online allows self-injurers a forum for anonymous communication about something for which they face much stigma, he said. The 14% to 24 [Read more]
Medicare physician pay set to be cut 29.5% in 2012
Washington -- Physicians who provide care for Medicare patients face a nearly 30% rate cut starting next January unless lawmakers can agree to prevent the reduction. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Deputy Administrator Jonathan Blum, who also directs the agency's Center for Medicare, detailed the latest estimate in a letter to Medicare Payment Advisory Commission Chair Glenn Hackbarth, posted on the agency's website ( Because Congress has not implemented a permanent overhaul of the sustainable growth rate formula that helps determine physician pay, CMS is required to calculate the 2012 rate as if congressional short-term patches dating back to the beginning of 2007 had never occurred. The figure may be revised slightly when more updated physician pay data become available in the fall. If lawmakers do not act again, the 29.5% cut will take effect Jan. 1, 2012, when the latest short-term patch runs out. For [Read more]
500 hospitals to get help fulfilling data reporting requirement
At least 500 hospitals will receive help meeting at least one meaningful use objective thanks to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grant awarded to the American Hospital Assn., the College of American Pathologists and the health information network Surescripts. The two-year, $4.9 million grant, announced Feb. 21, will help the hospitals satisfy electronic public health data reporting requirements under meaningful use by connecting them electronically to a shared network. Criteria to qualify for meaningful use incentives for the implementation of electronic medical records include the ability of hospitals to transmit data electronically on reportable lab tests to public health agencies. Hospitals that meet meaningful use requirements under the Medicare or Medicaid incentive programs could receive at least $2 million in bonuses. Physicians can receive as much as $44,000 over five years in Medicare bonuses or up to $63,750 over six years in Medicaid bonuses by meeting mea [Read more]
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