Comparative effectiveness research would help find the most effective medical treatments at the lowest prices, but not everyone thinks that’s a good idea. The Value of Comparison. The New York Times.
Significant concerns about the security of electronic patient health information are raised in two reviews from the Health and Human Services Department’s Office of the Inspector General, “Nationwide Rollup Review of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 Oversight” and “Audit of Information Technology Security Included in Health Information Technology Standards.” The reports found risks in unencrypted laptops containing sensitive information, outdated virus protection, insecure networks and the like in the two HHS agencies entrusted with keeping sensitive patient records private and secure. Full reports are here and here.
Insurance companies are opening walk-in health clinics, the A.M.A. reports, profiling such a place in west Phoenix. “What’s in it for the plans? Analysts say insurers believe they can get more direct control of medical costs by actually providing care. Also, they have an opportunity to market their names to the millions who will be shopping for individual insurance.” Full story is here.
“Making physicians aware of the costs of blood tests can lower a hospital’s daily bill for those tests by as much 27%,” The Wall Street Journal reports, citing a new study. “It is common practice at hospitals to test patients’ blood every day and it is wasting money and time, according to the study’s authors’ from the University of Miami and Brown University.” Full story is here.
Vermont approved a health system approaching a single-payer model to be put into effect this decade, and to create a state health insurance exchange within the next several years. Full story is here.
Jeanne Pinder is the founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts. She worked at The New York Times for almost 25 years as a reporter, editor and human resources executive, then volunteered for a buyout and founded ClearHealthCosts.
She was previously a fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at the Columbia University School of Journalism. ClearHealthCosts has won grants from the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York; the International Women’s Media Foundation; the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation with KQED public radio in San Francisco and KPCC in Los Angeles; the Lenfest Foundation in Philadelphia for a partnership with The Philadelphia Inquirer; and the New York State Health Foundation for a partnership with WNYC public radio/Gothamist in New York; and other honors.
Her TED talk about fixing health costs has surpassed 2 million views.