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Hospitals and Surgery Centers Play Tug-of-War Over Knee Replacements Print E-mail
Written by Christina Jewett | KHN   
Thursday, 22 December 2016 00:00

khn logo black Five years ago, Dr. Ira Kirschenbaum, an orthopedic surgeon in the Bronx who replaces more than 200 knees each year, would have considered it crazy to send a patient home the same day as a knee replacement operation.

And yet there he was this year, as the patient, home after a few hours. A physician friend pierced his skin at 8 a.m. at a Seattle-area surgery center. By lunch, Kirschenbaum was resting at his friend's home, with no pain and a new knee.

"I'm amazed at how well I'm doing," Kirschenbaum, 59, said recently in a phone interview, nine weeks after the operation.

What felt to Kirschenbaum like a bold experiment may soon become far more standard. Medicare, which spends several billions of dollars a year on knee replacements for its beneficiaries - generally Americans 65 and over - is contemplating whether it will help pay for knee replacement surgeries outside the hospital, either in free-standing surgery centers or outpatient facilities.

The issue is sowing deep discord in the medical world, and the debate is as much about money as medicine.

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Five Quick Ways A New HHS Secretary Could Change The Course Of Health Policy Print E-mail
Written by FHI's Week in Review   
Monday, 12 December 2016 14:38

Julie Rovner reporting for KHN on December 9, 2016:

Prospective Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, currently the chairman of the House Budget Committee, brings a distinctive to-do list to the agency. And, if confirmed by the Senate, he will have tremendous independent power to get things done.

While he will report to the president, heads of major agencies like HHS - with a budget of more than $1 trillion for the current fiscal year - can interpret laws in different ways than their predecessors, and rewrite regulations and guidance, which is how many important policies are actually carried out.

The author goes on to outline five key areas where Dr. Price, an orthopaedic surgeon critical of the Bundled Payment reimbursement model, could alter the path of health policy.

Read more in the current issue of Week in Review>>

Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 January 2017 20:25
Broward Health CEO Fired After Kickback Allegations Print E-mail
Written by FHI's Week in Review   
Monday, 05 December 2016 12:25

David Fleshler, reporting for Sun Sentinel on 12/1/16:
The Broward Health Board abruptly fired CEO Pauline Grant on Thursday over kickback allegations, creating another leadership crisis at the troubled public hospital system.

Read more in the current issue of Week in Review>>

Last Updated on Friday, 23 December 2016 17:50
Bipartisan Legislation Proposes Telehealth Solutions for Effective Chronic Disease Management Print E-mail
Written by   
Thursday, 01 December 2016 00:00

As a result of the collaborative efforts between congressional offices and various health care stakeholders, and the feedback provided in response to the Bipartisan CHRONIC Care Working Group Policy Options Document released in December of 2015, the Senate Finance Committee recently introduced a draft of bipartisan legislation known as the Creating High-quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to Improve Chronic Care Act of 2016 (the CHRONIC Care Act). The CHRONIC Care Act seeks to modernize Medicare payment policies to improve the management and treatment of chronic diseases using telehealth.

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Republicans reach deal to pass Cures Act by end of year Print E-mail
Written by FHI's Week in Review   
Monday, 28 November 2016 18:44

Sheila Kaplan, reporting for STAT on 11/27/16:
House and Senate leaders announced late Friday <11/25/16> night that they had finally hammered out a deal on landmark legislation designed to speed federal approval of new drugs and devices and boost funding of medical research.

According to the author:

Leaders from both parties have called passage of the Cures Bill the most important thing Congress could do this year. Both Lamar Alexander <Tennessee Republican Senator, chairman of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions> and Fred Upton <Michigan Republican Representative, chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee> consider it their legacies.

Read more in the current issue of Week in Review>>

Last Updated on Monday, 12 December 2016 15:03
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