April 17, 2013
and Hirsch Published in Harvard Health Policy Review
Dr. Laxmaiah Manchikanti and Joshua A. Hirsch were published in a
special issue of Harvard Health Policy Review on Assessing the
Affordable Care Act and signed by Barack Obama
Here is the link
to the Fall Issue of HHPR:
abstract for Dr. Manchikanti and Dr. Hirsch's manuscript titled: Regulatory Burdens of the Affordable Care Act below:
Care Act, or Obamacare, is a historic comprehensive
care reform bill, the first of its nature for the United States. This
has survived a challenge in the Supreme Court and, with
reelection of Barak Obama, is poised to move forward. Obamacare
features that appear attractive, principally the extension of
coverage to previously uninsured individuals. However, the
of certain segments of the health care industry, improper
of regulations, and the ability to provide minimal coverage
accountability in addition to regulatory burden may result in
consequences, both intended and unintended.
CLICK HERE to read the
entire article .
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OxyContin Label, Blocks Generics
The FDA has issued new labeling
information for OxyContin -- on the same day the patent on the original
formulation expired, thus blocking potential generic versions of the original
that do not have abuse-deterrent properties.
The new labeling indicates that
the product "has physical and chemical properties that are expected to make
abuse via injection difficult and to reduce abuse via the intranasal route,"
according to an FDA press release.
When Your M.D. Is
Fla.-Despite all that drug-enforcement agents and regulators are
doing to fight prescription painkiller abuse, the most effective combatant might
turn out to be a computer algorithm.
That became apparent at
last week's National Rx Drug Abuse Summit in Orlando. Joining an audience of
patient advocates, policy makers and law-enforcement officers were members of a
burgeoning cottage industry: a swarm of firms that are taking a data-driven
approach to the drug-abuse epidemic.
Rx Drug Abuse:
Doctors Work To Combat Prescription Misuse, Overmedication
Editor's Note: The Times
Record today continues its series of reports on prescription drug abuse.
Wednesday: Many people do not seek help because of stigma.
Doctors are making an
effort to correct issues sometimes caused by overprescribing
"The doctors are making a
concerted effort to be better educated about how addictive these medications
are," said Paul Smith, a narcotics detective with the Fort Smith Police
Department. "They were prescribing quantities that they didn't realize would
addict the patient."
Physicians who prescribed
excessive amounts of pain medications to patients fall into two categories,
At Spine Hospital
Pacific Hospital of Long
Beach is at the center of a federal probe.
The U.S. attorney for the
Central District of California is investigating allegations that a hospital
executive paid kickbacks to physicians so they would refer their patients for
spine surgery at his facility, according to people familiar with the
Over the past 15 years,
Michael D. Drobot built a Southern California business empire centered on
treating people with back problems, many of them workers' compensation patients.
At the heart of the operation is Pacific Hospital of Long Beach, a 184-bed
facility that Mr. Drobot bought in 1997 and turned into a spine-surgery
Legislature Revives Medical Price Transparency Bill
The Arizona Senate will
once again look at a bill to provide medical pricing transparency after the
original version of the legislation was vetoed last week by Republican Gov. Jan
Brewer, according to an Arizona Republic report.
The bill would require hospitals to list "direct pay" prices for
50 commonly used inpatient and outpatient procedures. The new language added to
the bill, sponsored by Republican Sen. Nancy Barto, includes a measure that
changes state Medicaid reimbursement methods for hospitals, according to the
Hospitals Profit from Complications
Hospitals make more of a
profit when surgical patients develop complications finds a new study published
Wednesday in JAMA.
A team of researchers
analyzed findings from nearly 35,000 surgical discharges from a 12-hospital
system in the southern U.S. They found that the occurrence of postsurgical
complications was associated with a higher per-encounter hospital contribution
margin for patients covered by Medicare and private insurance but a lower margin
for patients covered by Medicaid and those who self-paid.
The study was conducted as
a way to measure the financial implications associated with postsurgical
complications. The goal, said study author Atul A. Gawande, MD, professor at
Harvard Medical School, was to evaluate the fixed and variable hospital costs
and revenues associated with the occurrence of one or more major postsurgical
complications for four primary payer types - private insurance, Medicare,
Medicaid and self-payment. The analysis included administrative data for all
inpatient surgical discharges during 2010 from the nonprofit 12-hospital
Doctors Win First
Safe Harbor Against ACA Use in Liability Suits
Physician leaders hope a
first-of-its-kind bill approved in Georgia protecting doctors from civil
liability for breaching federal health system reform requirements will be
replicated in other states.
Medical associations long
have been concerned that federal quality-of-care and payment reform measures,
such as those authorized by the Affordable Care Act, could be used to fuel
negligence accusations against individual physicians. The Georgia law, drafted
from American Medical Association model legislation, prevents such health reform
metrics from being used as evidence in liability cases. Georgia's law states
that payer guidelines and quality criteria under federal law shall not establish
a legal basis for negligence or a standard of care for the purposes of
determining medical liability.
Grow to $794M
prescribing systems market is estimated to grow to $794 million, at a compound
annual growth rate of 26 percent from 2012 to 2017, according to a new study by MarketsandMarkets, which analyzed
major market drivers, restraints and opportunities around the
In the U.S.,
the HITECH Act designates
e-prescribing as an essential requirement for
meaningful use under the electronic
health record incentive programs, thus driving the adoption of
electronic prescribing systems, the report found. According to findings, costs
can be reduced with the use of eRx systems as these help to improve quality and
efficiency and show promise in reducing costs by actively promoting appropriate
drug usage; providing information to providers and dispensers about
formulary-based drug coverage, including formulary alternatives and co-pay
information; and speeding up the process of renewing
House GOP Floats
New Details of SGR Reform Plan
Signaling that they've heard the concerns of organized medicine, House
Republican leaders provided more details to the physician community on how they
plan to repeal Medicare's sustainable growth rate formula and transition to a
system that would guarantee payment stability while rewarding care quality and
The reforms are a top
priority, wrote Republican leaders of the House Energy and Commerce and Ways and
Means Committees in an April 3 letter to health care professionals, which
included the latest draft of a blueprint to reform the way Medicare physicians
are paid. Taking into account the input from physicians and others on an earlier
draft of the plan, the letter assured doctors that the GOP's approach would give
medicine adequate enough time to prepare for a new payment system that used
evidence-based quality measures.
Don't refer to drug abuse as a victimless crime - it's not
As this column has been
reporting, there is a growing movement in America to "reform" the nation's tough
laws against drug dealing. The pressure is coming primarily from liberal and
libertarian groups who see the use of narcotics as a personal choice, something
that freedom should allow.
That opinion is fallacious
in the extreme because of the public safety issue involved.
In 2010, more than 38,000
people died in the USA from drug overdoses -- far more than have been killed in
the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined. If you combine two years' worth of drug
overdoses, you get more deaths than occurred during the Vietnam War.
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