In health care news this week


Selected news media reports on MLH physicians and the health care industry, excerpted from MLH’s daily Morning News Report…


Main Line Health News…

Truven Health Analytics Names 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals Achieving Highest Level of Clinical and Operational Performance in the U.S.
Yahoo Finance: Lankenau Medical Center was named among the Top Teaching Hospitals With Cardiovascular Residency Programs.


Seniors shopping for private Medicare have many new choices
Philadelphia Inquirer: Aetna and Main Line Health have a new HMO for residents of Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties. Main Line Health will get bonuses if it meets targets for managing the care of members.


Duke Realty to develop 100,300-square-foot Main Line Health MOB near Philadelphia
PressReleasePoint: Duke Realty, an Indianapolis-based commercial real estate developer, will soon begin developing a 100,300-square-foot, nearly $35 million medical office building (MOB) – the first of several major upgrades that Main Line Health is planning for its Bryn Mawr Hospital campus.


Infections in open-heart patients found at second Pa. hospital
Philadelphia Inquirer: A cluster of unusual infections in patients who underwent open-heart surgery was found at Penn State Hershey Medical Center and WellSpan York Hospital. Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in Camden and Main Line Health, which are among their respective states’ highest-volume health systems for open-heart surgeries, said they had looked back at several years’ worth of patients and found no evidence of a problem.


Pa. hospitals warned to look for rare infection
6ABC: Dr. Leah Lande at Lankenau Medical Center, Main Line Health, says NTM are not usually harmful. However, they can infect people with weakened immune systems, or who have invasive medical procedures.


Early Experience With the WATCHMAN Device
EPLab Digest: Sheetal Chandhok, MD and Jeffrey A. Wuhl, MD, Bryn Mawr Hospital, write, “Bryn Mawr Hospital was the first hospital in the state of Pennsylvania to implant this device and has the highest volume in the state since the device was given FDA approval. In this article, we describe our early experience of LAA closure with the WATCHMAN device.”



Patient Care News…

Donor Kidneys More Likely to Be Discarded on Weekends: Study
HealthDay: A deceased donor kidney procured on Friday or Saturday was 20 percent more likely to be discarded than if it became available on other days.


Inside the OR: Bilateral Total Knee Replacement
Philadelphia Inquirer: Bilateral surgeries are attractive for a number of reasons: a single surgical event with one anesthesia and a cheaper hospital stay.


Video remote interpreting: Bridging the communication barrier
Becker’s Hospital Review: According to 2014 U.S. Census Bureau data, 21.1 percent of people ages 5 and older speak a language other than English at home, and nearly 9 percent of the U.S. population is at risk for an adverse event because of language barriers.


November is Hospice Month – here are some things to keep in mind: Gil Brown
Patriot-News: The earlier an individual begins to receive hospice palliative care, the more likely it is that their care will reflect their wishes and that they will be comfortable in their remaining time.


Virtual doctor visits offer convenience, lower costs
Associated Press: Health care companies are increasingly steering customers toward streaming video apps that connect patients with doctors online.


Penn study: Pay patients to take their pills
Philadelphia Inquirer: In a study of 1,503 patients announced Sunday, the Penn team reported that the most effective approach, at least where statins are concerned, may be to reward both patient and physician.


Bariatric Surgery Found to Reduce Future Health Care Costs
HealthDay News: Investigators found that in each of the four years after surgery, the patients’ health care costs decreased by 12, 28, 37, and 35 percent, respectively.


Kidney Transplant ‘Tourism’ Comes With Risks: Study
HealthDay News: A new study highlights another issue: People who buy a donor kidney simply do not fare as well.


ACP: Consider Low-Income Patients With Direct Pay
MedPage Today: Cash-only practices should consider the impact on their community and low-income patients struggling with access to care.


New Medicare Rules Triple Heart Failure Patients’ Access to Cardiac Rehab
HealthDay News: Under the new CMS guidelines, any person with stable but chronic heart failure that meets certain standards can now participate in cardiac rehabilitation.


Study: More blood pressure medicine can cut heart, stroke risk
Philadelphia Inquirer: Study authors said patients who lowered that number to about 120 by taking additional drugs were better off than those who made it only to the low- to mid-130s..


America’s Pregnancy-Care Paradox: Paying Ever More for the Same Bad Results
Atlantic: “The average cost of a delivery doubled between 1993 and 2009, and yet the mortality rate for mothers actually rose.”


Studies show promise for new generation of wireless pacemakers implanted without surgery
Associated Press: One of these devices, made by Medtronic, was successfully implanted 99 percent of the time, with a low rate of complications compared to traditional pacemakers.


Mobile health: a largely untapped market for healthcare
Healthcare IT News: 57 percent of respondents were interested in apps capable of making an appointment or directly connecting to physicians. More than 60 percent wanted an app to access their medical records.


Doctors Prescribe New Apps to Manage Medical Conditions
Wall Street Journal: “Your doctor may soon prescribe you a smartphone app in addition to drugs and physical therapy.”


Safety News…

Superbugs mean more infections and deaths after surgery, chemotherapy
Reuters: Up to half of pathogens causing surgical site infections and more than a quarter of bugs leading to infections after chemotherapy are already resistant to antibiotics commonly used in the US.


Top 10 Health Technology Hazards in Hospitals
HealthLeaders Media: The annual list of health technology hazards from the ECRI Institute identifies the potential sources of danger that warrant the greatest attention for hospitals in the coming year.



Health Care Business News…

The Battle to Move U.S. Health Care From Paper to Digital Far From Over
U.S. News & World Report: If you have gone online recently to pay a hospital bill, request a prescription refill, or look at lab results, you are among the minority of people across the U.S. using technology to monitor your health.


Population health done three ways
Healthcare IT News: The rise of population health management in recent years has been one of the most significant strategic shifts in the healthcare industry. It not only brings its own benefits to patients and providers; it is also an enabler of other changes – not the least of which is the transition from fee-for-service to value-based billing.


Docs praise Medicare decision to pay for end-of-life planning
LancasterOnline: The program currently reimburses doctors for such talks, but only when they’re part of an initial “Welcome to Medicare” visit.


Chronic care management: CMS built it, did providers come?
Healthcare IT News: Under CPT code 99490, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will pay clinicians an average of $43.12 for spending at least 20 minutes in non-face-to-face consults.


Artificial patients, real learning
New York Times: Technological advances in computing, materials and production, including 3-D printing, are driving so-called trainers to a level of realism previously unimaginable.


Medical exams opens up a new front with question on military conditions
WHYY: The new questions give medical students a chance to demonstrate their knowledge of traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic syndrome and other health concerns that are prevalent among veterans.


The Necessity of Creating a Hospital BYOD Policy: Lessons From Penn Medicine
Healthcare Informatics: Organizations that want to work with mobile application developers on apps that use protected health information have to start thinking about the subset of people who are going to be using their own devices


Doctors group urges DOJ to block insurer mergers
Hill: The American Medical Association (AMA) made the argument in a letter to the DOJ on Wednesday raising objections to Aetna’s acquisition of Humana and Anthem’s acquisition of Cigna.


Strategies for Managing Aging Clinicians
HealthLeaders Media: When healthcare providers face age-related health declines, though, it’s not just their own health and wellness that’s a factor; the health of their patients is at stake, too. Yet the years of experience that older clinicians bring to their institutions is incalculable.


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