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Helpful information on the world of beauty and aesthetics supplies.
Litigation stress: Being sued is personal as well as professional
Plaintiffs bringing medical liability cases commonly contend they have experienced pain and suffering. Many physicians could say the same about being dragged into the litigation process. Karen Kohatsu, MD, a San Diego-area obstetrician-gynecologist, was confident she would prevail when she was sued a couple of years ago, but isolation and sleepless nights still reigned throughout the process. The suit was eventually dismissed. "Self-doubting occurs when you read the summons and depositions from the other side," she said. "The other side makes it sound like you are a terrible person for missing a diagnosis. You feel really alone and have to turn everything inward because you don't have anyone to talk to about it." Dr. Kohatsu is not alone. Experts say litigation stress syndrome is a real phenomenon, and one that has a significant impact on physicians. Various emotions, including anger and depression, can strike, along with an inability to concentrate. When physicians are [Read more]
Patient safety after hospital discharge challenging
One in five patients discharged from the hospital experiences an adverse event within three weeks. Two-thirds of those outcomes are drug-related, with many of them potentially avoidable, according to a recent report issued by an expert panel of internists, hospitalists and emergency physicians. The group said that major changes to the health delivery system, such as electronic medical records and payments rewarding the medical home model, could help address the problem. However, the group said physicians and hospitals should not wait before making changes on their own. The Transitions of Care Consensus Policy Statement was issued by the American College of Physicians, the Society of Hospital Medicine, the Society of General Internal Medicine, the American Geriatrics Society, the American College of Emergency Physicians and the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine. The panel said hospitals and outpatient physicians should be held accountable for properly transitioning patien [Read more]
Individual insurance policy rules changing in Wisconsin
Wisconsin insurers will have to change the way they underwrite individual insurance following regulatory changes aimed at protecting people from unfair denials and policy rescissions. According to the most recent data collected by the insurance department, 141,569 people in Wisconsin were enrolled in individual insurance plans in 2007, compared with more than 1.5 million in group plans that year. Though the individual market was small two years ago, compared with the group insurance market, the administration is expecting to see more people driven to individual coverage by the loss of employer-sponsored coverage during the recession, insurance department spokesman Jim Guidry said. Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle inserted the changes to the individual insurance regulations into the state budget enacted June 29 with the support of Insurance Commissioner Sean Dilweg, Guidry said. The new regulations: * Require insurers to report how many individual policies they write and the [Read more]
Kaiser receives $54 million in EMR research grants
Having what it calls the nation's largest civilian health record database has earned Kaiser Permanente $54 million in public grants. The National Institutes of Health has awarded Kaiser Permanente 22 grants worth more than $54 million that will paid out over two years. The money was made available as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The largest grant, worth $25 million, will be used to conduct genotype testing on 100,000 Kaiser members participating in the Research Program on Genes, Environment and Health, which Kaiser says is the largest population-based bio-bank in the United States. The grant will be shared with the University of California, San Francisco's Institute for Human Genetics, which will perform the actual genotyping. Genetic information will be linked to the RPGEH health surveys, disease registries and Kaiser's electronic medical record system, so researchers can look at ways environmental influences, such as air and water quality and access to [Read more]
Social media behavior could threaten your reputation, job prospects
The social networking tools that help keep medical students in touch with friends and family could end up being the reason they someday have a hard time finding the job they want. A study in the Sept. 23/30 Journal of the American Medical Association found that 60% of U.S. medical schools surveyed reported incidents of students posting unprofessional content online. Meanwhile, social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter are becoming the newest tools used by recruiters to identify and screen potential job candidates, including those well out of medical school. Because of the interest in social media, the National Assn. of Physician Recruiters has added a special session on the subject to its annual meeting next April. Susan Masterson, a recruiter with TeamHealth in Knoxville, Tenn., said using social networking sites is a "strategy that anyone in recruiting, whether it be physicians or otherwise, needs to incorporate in their plan. It's here. It's here to stay. "My con [Read more]
Medical supply costs stabilize
The prices of most medical and surgical supplies have not grown a lot over the past year and are not expected to do so over the next. That is according to a report issued Sept. 17 by Premier, a hospital- and health system-owned data research and analysis center, and data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. "There's some inflation, but it is the lowest I have seen in the last five or six years," said Mike Alkire, president of Premier Purchasing Partners, the supply-chain service division of the Charlotte, N.C.-based organization. Premier's health care alliance is a coalition of 2,200 hospitals and 63,000 other health care sites such as physician offices. Premier collects and analyzes numbers supplied by the coalition. Premier's analysis suggests that inflation through 2010 for medical and surgical supplies will average between 1.6% for those used in imaging and as high as 4% for those consumed by laboratories. Supplies used in cardiovascular and surgical services will incre [Read more]
H1N1 virus costing insurers millions
Health plans this summer already were spending tens of millions of dollars on claims they said stemmed from the influenza A(H1N1) virus, and executives at the largest health plans said they expect to spend more this winter for vaccines and treatment -- exactly how much, they aren't sure. Among those planning for a significant bump in spending from H1N1 is WellPoint, the country's largest health insurer by membership, with about 35 million people enrolled in its plans. "It is very difficult to predict whether you will have an above-normal flu season," WellPoint Chief Financial Officer Wayne DeVeydt said at a Morgan Stanley-hosted investor conference Sept. 14. "But we have seen enough this year with H1N1." UnitedHealth Group, which has about 32 million members, spent $50 million on claims related to the virus in the second quarter of this year, mostly from doctors testing patients for the virus, not subsequent hospitalizations that would indicate cases where a member became seri [Read more]
Michigan hospital to cut physician pay
Beaumont Hospitals in suburban Detroit will reduce the salaries of staff physicians as part of a plan to cut costs by $10 million, according to a statement issued Sept. 29. Managers and executives also will see pay cuts. "Through outstanding expense management and better revenue management, we had gone from a $30 million loss last year to a positive $13.8 million net operating income through the end of June this year," said Kenneth J. Matzick, Beaumont president and CEO. "But our progress has been eroded by market conditions, such as continued job and insurance loss, below-budget patient volumes and a continued shift to government insurers that pay us less. We were at risk of losing money for a second year and can't let that happen." Layoffs of clinical staff are still rare, and even rarer are reports of salaries, including those of physicians, either being frozen or reduced across the board. Physician pay cuts "are probably the last thing [hospitals] want to do," said F. Remi [Read more]
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