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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Member-Get-a-Member program gets members involved in promoting the benefits of AMSUS membership. The annual campaign runs June 1-May 31. To receive your award for recruiting new members, be sure to have them indicate your name in the "Referred by" section of the application. The 2017 campaign already has nine participants who have referred 10 new members. See a list of participants and other member updates.
Want to be seen by senior federal leadership? Secure your booth space now for the 2016 AMSUS Annual Meeting in November. To see the current show floor plan, available space and all else you need to know to reserve your booth, visit the interactive exhibitor portal. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. Find more information on the Meeting website.