September 4, 2013
Gains Partly Elude Younger Adults
Fewer people in the U.S.
are succumbing to preventable death from cardiovascular disease, but most of the
improvement in rates is among the elderly, rather than among younger adults who
are also at risk, according to federal data released Tuesday.
The rate of so-called
avoidable deaths from heart disease, stroke and hypertension declined 29%
between 2001 and 2010 in people under age 75, thanks in part to healthier
lifestyles and better cardiac care, according to an analysis of U.S. mortality
data by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the rates of decline
were substantially slower among adults under age 65, the agency said. Rates also
varied widely depending on where people lived and their race or
Access may be limited to
Overhaul Health Benefits
This fall, tens of
thousands of U.S. workers will learn that they're getting their health benefits
next year in a radical new way: Their employers will give them a fixed sum of
money and let them choose their plan from an online marketplace.
The approach, which gained
a high profile last year when it was adopted by Sears
Holdings Corp. SHLD +1.36% and Darden Restaurants Inc., DRI
0.00% has the most momentum among small and midsize employers. But
interest is growing among companies of all sizes, research shows. Accenture ACN +1.15% PLC projects that around a million Americans will get employer health coverage
through such marketplaces next year, and the number will increase to 40 million
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Continue to Fall Behind Practice Expenses
Physicians have escaped
massive cuts in their Medicare reimbursement in recent years, but here is one
thing they have not escaped: the gap between sporadic Medicare pay raises,
called updates, and practice expenses that are climbing even faster.
From 2002 to 2012, Medicare
fee-for-service (FFS) rates increased 9%, while the cost of operating a practice
- as measured by the Medicare Economic Index (MEI) - increased 27%, according to
a recent report by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPac). The MEI
includes everything from physician and staff compensation to rent, exam room
tables, postage, and computers. During that same period, the overall inflation
rate was 33%.
The MedPac findings appear
in its 2013 "data book" on Medicare spending, released in July. The independent
Congressional agency has described the disconnect between practice expenses and
Medicare rates in previous editions of the annual publication, so the 2013
edition merely freshens up the bad news.
42% of Physician
Leaders Think Medicare Should Publish Individual Physician Payment
A poll from the American College of Physician Executives questioned whether
Medicare should release payment data to individual physicians, with the answers
Among ACPE members
responding to the survey, 46 percent said "No" and 42 percent said "Yes." The
remaining 12 percent were unsure. CMS recently made the hospital chargemaster
data public and is currently soliciting feedback on whether physician payment
should remain private.
Those who say it shouldn't
be released feel the data is too easily misinterpreted by the public and could
shed an unfair light on physicians. Reimbursement depends on several factors,
including geographic location, type of procedures performed and cost of
Those who were in favor of
releasing the data said the public has right to know about how taxpayer dollars
are spent, according to an organization news release.
health care costs, penalties
Tenn. -- Employers are just beginning to learn the financial
ironies of the federal health law. Small nonprofits that pay no taxes can get
tax credits. Some businesses that currently provide generous insurance may stop.
And organizations could fork over more money covering part-time workers than
While the Affordable Care
Act will provide access to insurance for millions more Americans, it is not a
law of equality for employers. The impact differs according to how an employer's
workforce is structured and the generosity of its health benefits.
Obamacare, but by
Any Other Name
HEIGHTS, Minn.-At the Minnesota State Fair, state
employees are promoting a health-insurance marketplace called MNsure by handing
out fans imprinted with pictures of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox.
The legendary lumberjack
and his sidekick are just part of a pitch-including a humorous reference to the
state as the "land of 10,000 reasons to get health insurance"-that seeks to
sidestep references to "Obamacare" or the long-raging national debate over the
Affordable Care Act and instead promote the marketplace as a home-grown
Minnesota, along with
thirteen other states and Washington, D.C. that are fully running their own
health-insurance marketplaces, is marketing this way because it believes it will
draw customers, even if it doesn't change popular impressions of Obamacare, the
health overhaul designed to provide coverage to those who don't have it from
their employer or elsewhere.
may be limited to this article.
turns red to tell you it's been used
Of the four to five billion
injections given each year in India, at least 2.5 billion are unsafe, according
to one study. In some cases, that means they are
administered using unsterilized second-hand syringes that could be contaminated
with a blood-borne disease such as hepatitis or HIV.
A simple change to the way
syringes are made could dramatically reduce those figures and save thousand of
lives each year, according to David Swann of Huddersfield University, in
England. His design for a new kind of syringe that changes
color after it has been used was nominated for an INDEX: Award.
"1.3 million people
(globally) a year die from unsafe injection practices," Swann says, quoting WHO
figures. "It accounts for over 30% of hepatitis A and B cases and 5% of HIV
Sign up for ASIPP
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customized information available on ASIPP Dr.Finder,
you have multiple practice locations, each location must be submitted
can find your listing as an ASIPP Physician Member either by searching for a name or a
State Society News
CASIPP Plans Fall
The California Society of Interventional Pain Physicians will hold its 4th
Annual Meeting this September 20-22 at the Terranea Resort
Palos Verdes, CA.
Societies of Interventional Pain Physicians Schedule Symposium
is now open for the Pain Medicine Symposium, 2013, which is set for Thursday,
November 7, 2013-Sunday, November 10, 2013 at the Hyatt Regency, Jersey
the great success of the 2012 program, this program again will be a joint effort
between the New York and New Jersey Societies of Interventional Pain Physicians.
The curriculum is presented by Course Directors: Sudhir Diwan, MD and Peter
Speakers will be Sanjay Bakshi,
MD, Sudhir Diwan, MD, and Peter Staats, MD.
Click here to register for the
NYNJSIPP Pain Symposium.
Click HERE for more
* Please send in your
State Society meeting news to:
Holly Long at email@example.com