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6 Tricks Used By Pharma Marketers Print E-mail
Written by Martha Rosenberg | KevinMD   
Monday, 29 May 2017 00:00

Long before the Internet and direct-to-consumer advertising, the medical profession tried to reassure people about their health concerns. Remember "take two aspirins and call me in the morning?"

Flash forward to today's online "symptom checkers." They are quizzes to see if someone has a certain disease and exhortations to see their doctor even if they feel fine. Once drug makers discovered that health fears and even hypochondria sell drugs, there seems to be no end to the new diseases, symptoms and risks people need to worry about.

In fact, since drug ads began on TV, Americans take so many drugs it inspires satirical T-shirts like the one that says:

     "I take aspirin for the headache caused by the Zyrtec I take for the hay fever I got from Relenza for the uneasy stomach from the Ritalin I take for the short attention span caused by the Scopoderm I take for the motion sickness I got from the Lomotil I take for the diarrhea caused by the Xenical for the uncontrolled weight gain from the Paxil I take for the anxiety from Zocor I take for my high cholesterol because exercise, a good diet and regular chiropractic care are just too much trouble."

Here are some of the ways ads use fear to keep the public buying drugs...

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 May 2017 18:09
Senate Introduces 2 New Healthcare Bills PLUS Is Physician Shortage a Myth? Print E-mail
Written by FHI's Week in Review   
Monday, 22 May 2017 16:45

New Senate bills aim to boost Medicaid addiction treatment access and lift the ban on the creation and expansion of physician-owned hospitals. Meanwhile a new study discredits the commonly held belief that the U.S. is headed for a shortage of physicians.

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

Last Updated on Monday, 22 May 2017 16:54
Global Hacking Attack Infects 57,000 Computers in Over 100 Countries Print E-mail
Written by FHI's Week in Review   
Monday, 15 May 2017 17:52

According to Reuters in a 5.13.17 post:

Capitalizing on spying tools believed to have been developed by the U.S. National Security Agency, the cyber assault launched on Friday has infected tens of thousands of computers in 104 countries, with Britain's health system suffering the worst known disruptions.

...Cyber extortionists tricked victims into opening malicious malware attachments to spam emails that seemed to contain invoices, job offers, security warnings and other legitimate files.

...The ransomware encrypted data on the computers, demanding payments of $300 to $600 to restore access.
According to UK based Express in a post that same day:
A MASSIVE cyber attack has targeted NHS < National Health Service> sites across the country with ransomware, plunging them into chaos....Some 48 hospitals are understood to have been affected...37 hospitals the NHS has revealed have been attacked directly and those that shut down their systems as a precaution...                              

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

Last Updated on Monday, 29 May 2017 13:34
Chronic Care Management Services as a Solution Print E-mail
Written by Jason Walter   
Tuesday, 09 May 2017 00:00

It can probably go without saying, but hospital stays are incredibly expensive. Hospitalization alone accounts for one-third of the $2 trillion spent annually on healthcare in the United States, and there is a high rate of hospital re-admissions due to poor planning and transitional care.

In just the Medicare program, the 30-day readmission rate for patients with some chronic conditions is as much as 23 percent. Research has shown that millions of these re-admissions may be preventable, saving billions each year in Medicare spending. One way to manage hospitalization, help with transitional care, and prevent many of these costly re-admissions is through the use of chronic care management services.

Hospitalization and Transitional Care Challenges

According to data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), older adults (aged 65 and up) account for 40 percent of hospitalized adults in the U.S. and nearly half of all healthcare dollars spent. The leading admission diagnoses among these patients are cardiovascular diseases, pneumonia, and septicemia. Not only are many of these hospital stays more expensive for older adults due to the seriousness of the conditions, but the average length of stay is longer than with younger patients. Both cost savings and better patient outcomes in these cases can be achieved through the use of chronic care management services.

Chronic Care Management Services as a Solution

One of the major predictors of whether or not your patient will end up back in the hospital within 30 days is the number of chronic conditions that they have. Fortunately, the chronic care management (CCM) program was specifically tailored to help patients with more than one chronic condition. A care coordinator assists the provider with this risky population through monthly non-face-to-face clinical staff time that can help address items on the physician’s care plan related to hospitalization management and transitional care. During these calls, the care coordinator can address several issues that both help with transitional care and prevent re-admissions. Among these are:

    Medication Management- The care coordinator provides medication reconciliation services, which have been shown to cut down on hospital re-admissions.

    Patient Education- Patients are provided with educational materials about their illnesses, including instruction on prevention.

    Medical Care Coordination- The care coordinator reviews the patient’s personalized care plan, can coordinate home health care services, and assist with other transitional care needs.

Limitations on Chronic Care Management Services

While chronic care management services can help manage hospitalization costs and transitional care, there are a few limitations to the CCM program. Medicare limits the billing of certain services occurring on the same day, so providers will need to make sure that concurrent services aren’t rendered for:

    Home Healthcare Supervision code G0181

    Hospice Care Supervision code G0182

    End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) codes 90951-90970

    Transitional Care Management codes 99495 or 99496

Otherwise, a CCM care coordinator can be an invaluable tool for primary care providers and patients to both save costs and deliver a higher standard of care.
Jason M. Walter is VP of Marketing at iSalus Healthcare located in Indianapolis, Indiana. To learn more, please visit

Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 May 2017 15:47
The Worst Things You Can Say to a Patient Print E-mail
Written by Physicians Practice   
Thursday, 27 April 2017 00:00

In life, once something bad has been said, you can't take it back. In medicine, damaging words can be the biggest obstacle between a provider and a patient's relationship.

We asked our advisory board to share with us some of the worst things that a practitioner can say to a patient during their visit. Some of these damaging words are innocuous and some of the comments go much deeper than that. Other comments reflect the difficult things that providers will have to say to a sick patient, which are not necessarily mean-spirited but reflect a harsh reality.

Here's what they had to say...

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Last Updated on Friday, 28 April 2017 14:27
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