Study finds cancer treatment costs often exceed Medicare allowable amount | Public, private payers explore options to advance precision medicine | Patient transfers increase infection risks, study says
February 21, 2018
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Study finds cancer treatment costs often exceed Medicare allowable amount
Study finds cancer treatment costs often exceed Medicare allowable amount
(Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
An analysis of billing records from over 3,000 US hospitals in 2014 revealed outpatient cancer treatment costs vary widely and were often two to six times higher than the Medicare allowable amount, according to a report from the American Journal of Managed Care. Pathology had the highest price markup ratio at 4.1:1, followed by radiology at 3.7:1 and radiation oncology at 3.6:1, and estimated cancer treatment expenses ranged from $50,000 to $500,000.
HealthLeaders Media (2/20) 
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Public, private payers explore options to advance precision medicine
Genetic testing goes together with precision medicine, but genetic test results are often difficult to interpret, and many corresponding treatments are experimental or have not been clinically validated, creating a barrier to coverage. Some payers have set up outcome-based reimbursement contracts for genetic testing and treatments, and a House bill would allow state Medicaid programs to apply for coverage waivers to expand access.
Health IT Analytics (2/21) 
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Insight into Health Care Quality
Patient transfers increase infection risks, study says
Interhospital patient transfers increase the risk of Clostridium difficile infection, according to a Canadian study published in the American Journal of Infection Control. Researchers said antimicrobial stewardship programs can reduce the C. diff risk.
Becker's Hospital Review (2/16) 
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Family care program helps hospital cut readmissions
Intermountain Healthcare's Partners in Healing program, which includes family members in providing patient care, helped reduce 30-day readmissions by 65% at Intermountain Medical Center, according to a study in the journal Chest. A survey found 92% of patients said it enhanced their transition from hospital to home.
Healthcare Finance News (2/13) 
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Hospital huddle reduces catheter use, HAIs and costs
St. Anthony Hospital in Chicago used a "hospitalwide huddle" to reduce the duration of catheter use and hospital-acquired infections. Reductions in device utilization rates were associated with a 90% decrease in HAIs and a savings of almost $500,000.
HealthLeaders Media (2/19) 
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The Technology Component
Collaboration aims to improve disease monitoring via information sharing
A collaboration among public health agencies and organizations, EHR vendors and the health care sector, called Digital Bridge, has developed an approach to electronic case reporting to help improve outbreak response and public health monitoring of infectious diseases. The collaboration aims to reduce costs for information sharing, encourage partnerships for improving data for public health and clinical partnerships, and streamline interoperability between EHR systems and public health agencies' IT systems.
Healthcare IT News (2/20) 
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Population Health and Patients
Cancer patients benefit from physical activity during therapy
Patients with breast or colon cancer who participated in a supervised exercise intervention while undergoing treatment were more likely to be physically active after therapy ended, compared with patients receiving usual care, researchers reported at the Cancer Survivorship Symposium Advancing Care and Research. The study found participating in an exercise program during cancer treatment also may reduce long- and short-term fatigue.
Medscape (free registration) (2/19) 
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Research compares effect of low-fat, low-carb diets on overweight, obesity
Research compares effect of low-fat, low-carb diets on overweight, obesity
(Pixabay)
Adults with overweight or obesity assigned to a healthy low-carbohydrate diet lost an average of 6.0 kg at one year, compared with 5.3 kg lost by those on a healthy low-fat diet, which was not a statistically significant difference, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Researchers evaluated 609 adults with overweight or obesity, ages 18 to 50, and also found no association between genotype pattern or baseline insulin levels and weight loss.
Medscape (free registration) (2/20) 
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Health Insurance and Accountable Care Company News
Solutions Provider News
Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel at Institute & Expo
Learn how we can improve health care in America when he takes the general session stage at Institute & Expo, June 20 through 22 in San Diego. He'll share what his work as a physician has taught him about high-value care. Register today.
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