In the News This Week…

Romney Medicare plan: Key details still in flux, 9-24-12, WRAL/Associated Press
Writer Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar reports on Republican Mitt Romney’s Medicare plan and how it would affect consumers on critical matters of costs and benefits.

Obama Medicare plan: No voucher but maybe a bill, 9-24-12, WRAL
Writer Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar reports on President Obama’s Medicare plan and how it would affect consumers on critical costs and benefits.

CBO: Penalty tax on uninsured could yield $7 billion in 2016, 9-19-12, Modern Healthcare
Writer Jessica Zigmond reports that the federal government could receive about $7 billion in collections from approximately 6 million Americans who will pay a penalty tax because they are uninsured in 2016, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

Estimated Savings of $5,000 to Each Medicare Beneficiary Under the Affordable Care Act, 9-17-12, US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
A HHS report states that average Medicare beneficiary savings in traditional Medicare will be approximately $5,000 over the 2010 to 2022 period. Beneficiaries who have high prescription drug spending will save much more – over $18,000 in the same period.

Uninsured Rate Fell Slightly in NC, 9-21-12, The Progressive Pulse
In North Carolina the uninsured rate fell from 16.8 percent to 16.3 percent. Despite population growth and hard economic times, the actual number of uninsured people fell by more than 44,000. This improvement largely reflect increased private coverage among young adults — helped by a health reform provision allowing them to stay on their parents’ insurance plans until age 26 — and greater enrollment in public programs such as Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Extending insurance coverage could reduce racial disparities in health care, 9-20-12, NC Policy Watch
NC Policy Watch reports that under the Affordable Care Act, racial and ethnic differentials in health insurance coverage are poised to shrink due to the extension of coverage to hundreds of thousands of individuals and families, particularly through the Medicaid expansion.

Money key factor in driving med students from primary care careers, 9-21-12, Science Codex
Researchers from North Carolina State University (NCSU), East Carolina University (ECU), and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University in New York have found that many students are choosing to pass up a career in primary care because those physicians make substantially less money than specialists, such as dermatologists or radiologists.

New System for Patients to Report Medical Mistakes, 9-22-12, New York Times
Reporter Robert Pear writes that a new patient questionnaire will document medical mistakes and unsafe practices by doctors, hospitals, pharmacists, and others who provide treatment.

Texas hospital plans ‘moonshot’ against cancer, 9-21-12, WRAL
AP Chief Medical Writer Marilynn Marchione reports that the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is launching a massive “moonshot” effort against eight specific forms of disease.

Cancer drug mark-ups bring in big money for NC nonprofit hospitals, 9-24-12, News and Observer
Reporters Joseph Neff, Ames Alexander and Karen Garloch write that large nonprofit hospitals in North Carolina are dramatically inflating prices on chemotherapy drugs at a time when they are cornering more of the market on cancer care.

Consumers embrace health IT, docs lag behind, 9-24-12, Healthcare IT
Associate Editor Erin McCann reports that when it comes to willingness to interact and engage with health information technology, consumers far surpass their physicians, according to the Optum Institute and Harris Interactive national survey.

Childhood obesity battle remains major health concern, 9-24-12, The Herald-Sun
Writers Sarah Armstrong and Meryl Kanfer report that despite increased attention, childhood obesity continues to represent the most significant threat to public health, and particularly, to the future affordability of care in the United States.

 
 

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