Pa. TV commentator admits to kickback, prescription fraud | DHA awards contract for clinical workflow services | VA on par with other health care systems, study shows
July 20, 2016
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Pa. TV commentator admits to kickback, prescription fraud
Peter Pappas, a sales manager for Celgene and a television soccer commentator, pleaded guilty to charges that he conspired to commit health care fraud for his role in a kickback scheme that cost federal and private insurers at least $3.69 million, according to federal authorities. Pappas said he was paid by a marketing company to refer Tricare beneficiaries and others whose insurance paid for compounded drugs to compounding pharmacies.
The Philadelphia Inquirer/The Associated Press (7/20),  American City Business Journals/Philadelphia (7/20) 
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Military Health System
DHA awards contract for clinical workflow services
The Defense Health Agency awarded a one-year contract to EHR Total Solutions to provide workflow services at military medical facilities that use tri-service electronic health record systems. The contract could be extended another four years.
GovConWire (7/15) 
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Veterans Health Administration
VA on par with other health care systems, study shows
The US Veterans Affairs health system performs less favorably on quality measures such as surgical complications and access to services, but a new report finds the system is generally otherwise comparable to other health care systems. The RAND Corp. review, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, analyzed 69 studies over a 10-year period ending in 2015, and it found that in terms of safety, the VA has comparable or better performance in 22 of 34 studies despite having a more complex patient population.
United Press International (7/18) 
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National Health Care
CDC distills lessons from Ebola outbreak, response
CDC distills lessons from Ebola outbreak, response.
(John Moore/Getty Images)
In Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the CDC reflects on the recent Ebola outbreak and the agency's response, noting early action was hindered by a weak public health framework in affected countries and wariness among the public, many of whom did not trust the government or rescue workers. The CDC took measures in West Africa such as establishing local offices and response teams, while moving to protect the US with travel screening, hospital readiness measures, distribution of laboratory tests for Ebola and more.
Healio (free registration)/Infectious Disease News (7/19) 
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Health and Medical Research
VA study shows Mediterranean diet may reduce health risks
Data review shows Mediterranean diet may reduce health risks
(David Silverman/Getty Images)
Following a Mediterranean diet, without restricting fats, might reduce the risk of cancer, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular events, according to a meta-analysis published in Annals of Internal Medicine. "It turns out that the obesity epidemic in this country is probably more due to our increased consumption of refined grains and added sugar and not so much from our fat consumption," said researcher Hanna Bloomfield of the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
The San Diego Union-Tribune (tiered subscription model) (7/18),  HealthDay News (7/19),  Medscape (free registration) (7/18) 
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VA MRSA-control protocol also reduced Gram-negative infections
An infection-control program implemented at all 127 Veterans Affairs acute-care hospitals reduced the rate of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections by 75% in intensive care units and by two-thirds systemwide. A new study shows that the program also resulted in a 43% decrease in tough-to-eradicate Gram-negative bacterial infections.
National Geographic News (free registration) (7/13) 
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