Kip Piper's Health Care Blog
Medicare, Medicaid, Health Reform

The basis for medical treatment of heart disease is the belief that interventions like coronary angioplasty and bypass surgery are effective, and that their benefits outweigh the risks. Does this conviction stem from a solid scientific foundation, or might it be an illusion? Is it conceivable that both physicians and...
The nation's largest health care buyers - Medicare, state Medicaid programs, large employers, and health plans - are eager for ways to improve the quality and efficiency of chronic health conditions, which drive the bulk of health spending.  Payment reform and care delivery reforms are critically important.  Providers -...
Patents form the basis of the  pharma and biotech industry, also called the life sciences industry. They give companies an incentive to make large investments in risky drug development and innovations, which have the potential to be ineffective or to fail Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. More than 6,000 U.S. businesses spent...
The 2012 Supreme Court got a lot of attention for its decision to uphold most of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) health reform law in NFIB v. Sebelius. But this year’s court docket will be no dud. There will be a number of interesting and important cases for pharma...
Communication with patients is at the heart of new primary care tools and models that improve outcomes and lower costs, such as patient-centered medical homes (PCMH) and interactive preventive health records (IPHR). Often, communication means electronic communication, and is part of efforts by Medicare, Medicaid, and private health plans to...
One objective of the 2009 Health Information for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act is to encourage more physicians and hospitals to adopt electronic health record (EHR) systems. Physicians and hospitals that effectively use electronic health records will play an important role in preventing medical errors, reducing costs, and...
Care coordination is a process that ensures a patient’s health services and information sharing preferences and needs are met. Care coordination, a critical component during the nation’s current shift from a fragmented system toward one that stresses accountability and continuity, is primarily accomplished by people as opposed to technology....
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reviews the safety and effectiveness of new medical devices sold in the United States, and The Medical Device User Fee and Modernization Act of 2002 (MDUFMA) authorizes FDA to collect user fees to support the device submission review process. MDUFMA also establishes performance...
A study funded by AHRQ and published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, Transmitting and processing electronic prescriptions: Experiences of physician practices and pharmacies, identifies both the benefits and challenges with electronic prescribing (eRx) practices. Authors believe that, as more physicians convert to electronic health record...
The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has made 10 new recommendations to Congress regarding Medicare payment accuracy and financial incentives for medical imaging and other diagnostic testing, and quality improvement, targeting the worse performing Medicare providers for intensive technical assistance. MedPAC – an advisory agency to Congress with a 17-member...

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