Drug safety program mines medical records for adverse events
The federal government is spending $116 million on a project called Mini-Sentinel, which mines the medical billing records of some 180 million Americans to find adverse drug events. Some critics say billing data are not specific enough to reveal side effects. Another drug safety program initiated by Congress and funded by drugmakers is studying how to use large databases to study drug safety. National Public Radio/Shots blog
Group creates ACO accreditation program
The Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission has created an accreditation program for accountable care organizations that will evaluate their network infrastructure and exchange connectivity, technical performance, resource management, business processes, and other performance quality standards. A group in New Jersey and one in Washington, D.C., have been selected to undergo the beta accreditation process. Healthcare Informatics online
Study: Lifesaving medtech saves money, too
Medical technology, including imaging tools, offsets the high cost of disease by some $23 billion annually, according to a Milken Institute report. Researchers evaluated medical technology for heart disease, colorectal cancer, diabetes and musculoskeletal disease, and they found that services including echocardiography resulted in cost savings and health benefits. AuntMinnie.com (free registration)
CBO lowers estimate for federal spending on health care by 2039
The Congressional Budget Office slightly lowered its projection for federal spending on health care in 25 years, from 8.1% of the nation's gross domestic product to 8%. The government is expected to spend more on Medicare, Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program and Affordable Care Act insurance subsidies due to an aging population and increases in insurance coverage. Cost control provisions in the Affordable Care Act are expected to hold back spending. The Hill
(7/15), Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model)
Coronary Artery Calcium: Score? or No More?
The cover story in the latest issue of CardioSource WorldNews discusses coronary artery calcium scoring and its role in current practice. The article notes that "in short, no matter which way you slice it, most agree that CAC offers the best discrimination of all the second-tier assessment techniques available -- an opinion that is echoed in the recent guidelines." Other highlights from the issue include a straight talk column by Andrew Freeman, MD, FACC, about being more honest with patients about the true underlying causes of their disease, and encouraging conversations on the importance of eating well, living well, diet and exercise. Check out the full issue at CardioSource.org/CSWN.
NCDR Study Assesses Defibrillation Safety Margin of ICDs
Given that physicians who implant implantable cardioverter-defibrillators have an obligation to determine whether a selected lead configuration can terminate ventricular fibrillation, a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology developed a simple risk score to help predict an inadequate defibrillation safety margin for ICDs, and found an inadequate DSM to be "associated with an increased risk for in-hospital adverse events." The study analyzed implants from the ICD Registry between 2010 and 2012. Read more on CardioSource.org.
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