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Helpful information on the world of beauty and aesthetics supplies.
Mayo Clinic to open branch in Mall of America
Two of the biggest names in Minnesota -- Mayo Clinic and Mall of America -- are joining forces to create a unique partnership that will combine medicine with tourism. Mall of America has started construction on its 42-acre phase II project that will include not only retail shops, hotels, movie theaters and restaurants, but also a branch of the Mayo Clinic. "Partnering these two Minnesota brands will reinforce our state as a destination for visitors from around the world," said Maureen Bausch, executive vice president of business development at the Mall of America, at a June press conference. Bausch said the demographics of patients visiting the Mayo Clinic are almost identical to those of visitors to the Mall of America. The Mayo Clinic hopes a presence at the mall will be an entry point into the Mayo Clinic for visitors to the Minneapolis area, which is about 90 miles from Mayo's headquarters in Rochester, Minn. The mall, located in the suburb of Bloomington, hopes the Mayo b [Read more]
Increasing residency slots could help reduce physician shortages
Congress should ensure that health system reform legislation includes provisions that increase the number of Medicare-supported residency positions to help reduce projected physician shortages, said the Assn. of American Medical Colleges. Such provisions are part of bills introduced in May in the Senate and the House of Representatives, said AAMC Chief Advocacy Officer Atul Grover, MD, PhD, during a June 30 briefing. The meeting was held to emphasize the role that an increase in residency positions would play in alleviating physician shortages, a concern voiced in the health system reform debate. The bills would expand the number of residency positions by 15% -- an increase of about 15,000 residency slots, according to the bills' sponsors. "The bottom line is that the caps on resident training positions funded by Medicare are restricting the ability of medical schools and teaching hospitals to increase the nation's physician work force," Dr. Grover said. The bills call for [Read more]
Patients don't hear of abnormal results 7% of time
Primary care doctors fail to inform patients of about one in 14 abnormal test results, according to a study of 5,434 medical records at 23 physician practices in the Midwest and on the West Coast. Few practices have rules on how to manage test results and often leave the process to individual physicians, according to the study published in the June 22 Archives of Internal Medicine (archinte.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/169/12/1123/). Having electronic medical records was no guarantee of better test-results tracking. Lawrence P. Casalino, MD, PhD, the study's lead author, said physician practices should be able to improve their performance on this basic measure of doctor-patient communication. "For things that are susceptible to being dealt with in an organized systems approach, I think the failure rate can be very low," said Dr. Casalino, chief of the division of outcomes and effectiveness research in the Weill Cornell Medical College Dept. of Public Health in New York. " [Read more]
Mass. bill would offer tax breaks for e-prescribing
A bill pending in Massachusetts has a goal of pushing more electronic prescribing in a state already tops in such activity. The bill, introduced by Rep. Peter J. Koutoujian, would provide tax incentives to any corporation with licensed physicians that invests in e-prescribing technology. That would include physician practices. Under the provisions of the bill, deductions would be allowed for the cost of the technology itself, any needed infrastructure and associated labor costs of installing the systems. The state has been urging physicians to switch to electronic prescribing as a way of curbing rising health care costs associated with paper-based medical systems. Sonya Khan, research analyst for Koutoujian's office, said a hearing on the bill was held on July 8 before the revenue committee, which will send its recommendations back to the house later this year. According to SureScripts, the e-prescribing health information exchange, Massachusetts ranked first for the per [Read more]
Can protecting patients be made recession-proof? (Patient Safety Congress annual meeting)
Protecting patients from harm is medicine's bedrock goal, but the resources required to do so have never come cheaply. With the recession taking its toll on the health sector, doctors and other medical professionals who have tackled problems ranging from hospital-acquired infections to patient falls find their efforts increasingly scrutinized on dollars-and-cents grounds. Ninety percent of hospital CEOs have cut administrative expenses, staff and services amid the recession, according to a survey of more than 1,000 chief executives released in April by the American Hospital Assn. More than three-quarters said they cut capital spending and nearly half scaled back ongoing projects. The moves come at a time when hospitals already are facing a changing payment landscape. For example, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and many private payers have cut or stopped paying for "never events," such as wrong-site surgeries. President Obama has proposed bundling payments for hos [Read more]
Half of parents misinterpret OTC cough and cold medication labels
The Food and Drug Administration in January 2008 advised parents to avoid giving over-the-counter cough and cold medicines to children younger than 2 because potential overdosing risks outweigh the symptom-relieving benefits. But a new study found that many parents are confused by medication labels that say "infant" or display child-friendly graphics such as pictures of teddy bears. Looking at the front of the package, 86% of 182 caregivers surveyed thought the drugs were appropriate for infants, according to the study, published in the June issue of Pediatrics (pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/123/6/1464/). When asked to review the entire package, 51% thought it would be OK to give the medicine to a 13-month-old child with cold symptoms despite a label warning that a doctor should be consulted before using the drug in a child younger than 2. More than 80% of caregivers -- most of whom were mothers -- already were using cough and cold medications for their infa [Read more]
Number of retail clinics shrinking; growth slows as partnerships sought with hospitals
Projections that showed there would be 2,500 retail clinics operating by 2010 are coming up short as the industry has seen more clinic closings than openings in recent months. MinuteClinic, the first and largest retail clinic chain, now owned by CVS, closed 100 of its clinics for the summer, leaving 452. In two years, the number of clinics housed in Wal-Mart dropped from almost 80 to 30. The retail giant recently acknowledged it would not reach the goal it set in 2007: having 400 retail clinics in operation by 2010. Despite high satisfaction among patients who use retail clinics, investors have found the industry is slow to turn a profit. Many clinics were forced to close when they ran out of cash and were unable to shoulder the financial losses. Analysts say the current dip doesn't mean the demise of the industry. But it may indicate it's time to change strategy. Many analysts believe the key to sustainability will be clinics partnering with hospitals that are better prepa [Read more]
Landmark Massachusetts health reforms showing cracks in access, coverage
Health system reform is hitting a few snags in Massachusetts at a time when many policymakers are eyeing the state for clues as to how federal reform efforts could play out. A lawsuit by Boston Medical Center alleges that the state has significantly underfunded the safety net hospital to finance expansions of Massachusetts' 2006 universal coverage initiative. Meanwhile, budget shortfalls threaten coverage for legal immigrants and others insured under the reforms. The BMC lawsuit, filed July 15 in Suffolk Superior Court, accuses the Executive Office of Health and Human Services of illegally cutting the hospital's Medicaid payments and redistributing the money. It also alleges that health officials inappropriately funded new coverage expansions by diverting a portion of money set aside to maintain safety net hospital funding levels during the transition to the universal program. BMC serves the lion's share of the state's Medicaid patients, as well as a significant portion of the [Read more]
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