This Week's Healthcare Online News
Fierce Health Payer
Essential health benefits: Reactions to the final rule
After the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services released its final rule detailing which benefits insurers must provide in 2014, industry stakeholders had varying reactions. America's Health Insurance Plans applauded the agency's flexible approach to the standard benefits design and its decision to defer to states' benchmark plan selections, but called out the rule's potential impact on cost. "As the reform law is fully implemented, it will be important to keep in mind how the EHB requirement interacts with other provisions in the law that will add to the cost of health care coverage, such as the new health insurance tax and restrictions on age rating," AHIP CEO Karen Ignani said in a statement.
Getting in on the action
As more payers appear poised to reimburse providers for the care-coordination services provided under the patient-centered medical home model, other players are stepping up their medical home ancillary business services. The Joint Commission made the loudest recent splash when it announced Feb. 20 that it would begin offering the hospitals it accredits an additional certification as a “primary-care medical home” to institutions providing primary-care services in their outpatient departments. Read more:
'I don't smoke, Doc': Common lies doctors expect to hear from patients
It's a rule many residents learn in training. If a patient says he has four drinks a week, consider it eight. The same for cigarettes and illicit drugs, doctors say. The not-so-subtle message underlying the practice: patients lie. "It's just human nature that patients want to please doctors," says Kevin R. Campbell, a cardiologist in Raleigh, N.C. "I've had patients say they quit smoking and yet they come in smelling like tobacco," he adds. "I can throw pills and drugs at patients all day long but if they're still continuing to smoke and that sort of thing it's just not going to help." Patient lies—from half truths and deceptions to bold, blatant lies—are surprisingly common and can be hard to detect in today's hurried medical practices, doctors say. And as many doctors strive to move away from a stern and lecturing stereotype, confronting patients without alienating them can be especially challenging.
Med City News
Study highlights potential problems for telemedicine expansion
Telemedicine may be seen as a great way to help address the physician shortage and increasing access to care in rural areas, but when it comes to complex problems like patients with implantable devices, not so much. In a study evaluating remote monitoring, more than 50 percent said thy preferred an in-office visit. Technically, the study produced positive results because it showed remote monitoring could catch problems. The three-month study carried out in Portugal focused on 15 people with cardiac implants using Medtronic’s telemedicine system, CareLink, for a follow-on checkup. It showed that remote monitoring picked up nine problems in patients and six were found during in-person visits — two of the patients required admission. None of the problems were described as severe, according to the study published in Telemedicine and eHealth, and referenced by FierceMedicalDevices.
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