Trial against Da Vinci Robot, Medicare Costs and Benefits, Tough Week for Hospitals, HHS Fundraising, But there’s Plenty of Money out There

Health Care Technologies–Cost and safety

In anticipation of the second installment on health care technology, coverage, safety and costs  coming up later this week, here is coverage of one of the first trials re: Da Vinci robotic surgery error. http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2020918732_robottrialxml.html

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 Make Medicare Affordable?  Merge the benefits: http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/medicare/298019-unified-medicare-benefit-would-save-billions-study-says?wp

 And monitor the Part D Benefit for overprescribing: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/dangers-found-in-lack-of-safety-oversight-for-medicare-drug-benefit/2013/05/11/067a10ae-b8ec-11e2-aa9e-a02b765ff0ea_story.html?wpisrc=nl_wonk_b

Despite broad calls to change Fee for Service and Change Medicare SGR payments, Independent Payment Advisory Board is being Boycotted: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/09/us-usa-healthcare-idUSBRE9480S720130509

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Tough Week for Hospitals:  Hospital Charges and payments virtually incomprehensible and nonsensical: 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/08/business/hospital-billing-varies-wildly-us-data-shows.html?hp&_r=3&

     Cost and Charges Here in Washington State:

http://www.king5.com/health/care/hospitals-charge-vastly-more-same-care-206640401.html?ref=next

     Now add the Leapfrog Group Hospital Ratings on Safety. Not a Pretty Picture:

http://www.healthleadersmedia.com/content/QUA-292000/Leapfrog-Hospital-Safety-Scores-Depressing

     Leapfrog Ratings for Washington State Hospitals:

http://www.leapfroggroup.org/cp?find_by=state&city=&state=WA&cols=oa&form=cp_start

And here in the NW controversy over Catholic ownership of hospitals that receive public money: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/13/us/hospital-mergers-in-northwest-raise-issue-of-abortion-barriers.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130513&_r=0

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 Reduced to Hat in Hand to Fund ACA: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/05/10/budget-request-denied-sebelius-turns-to-health-executives-to-finance-obamacare/?wpisrc=nl_wonk_b

But, it is not as if there were not enough money out there. It is just a matter of where it goes.  This $39 million settlement:

http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20130508/NEWS/305089941/jury-rules-tuomey-healthcare-violated-stark-in-claims-worth-39m?AllowView=VW8xUmo5Q21TcWJOb1gzb0tNN3RLZ0h0MWg5SVgra3NZRzROR3l0WWRMWGJVZjBKRWxiNUtpQzMyWmV1NTNRWUpiaWdiUjBxMVZwVThIcWJDZUY4bHo2YnE5U2hIOWV3VnFjT0Fxc0N6cU91YWFqazU5MUdic0xiNmw5c0VLMTVnbXhQdFB3aFZuM29uUmhWOVFLa1VjaW02QT09

Nine Cities, Six Years and $4.8 billion in Fraud:

Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged more than 1,480 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $4.8 billion. In addition, HHS’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers. To learn more about the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), go to: www.stopmedicarefraud.gov.

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Fraud of the Week:  $74 million in Home Care in Miami

Just so you know. I chose one story a week and select one of the many fraud stories reported each week.

http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2013/May/13-crm-526.html

Coming Next:  Review Process for pharmaceutical and medical device products.  No teeth for efficacy, oversight, quality or costs. 

Kathleen O’Connor, (c) May 13, 2013

 

About Kathleen

Kathleen O’Connor: 30+ year health care consumer advocate, non-profit executive and author. For more information about Kathleen, please see "About" on the main content bar above.
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