In the News This Week…

Blue Cross Vs. the Docs, 9-28-12, Triangle Business Journal
Writer Jason deBruyn reports on the reimbursement issue between North Carolina radiologists and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. The NCMS has appealed BCBSNC reimbursement policy on behalf of the radiologists and should be notified of the outcome in coming weeks.

Hundreds seen at risk in meningitis outbreak, 10-4-12, News and Observer/Associated Press
AP medical writer Mike Stobbe reports that an outbreak of a rare and deadly form of meningitis has now sickened 26 people in five states, including North Carolina. Those affected all received steroid injections mostly for back pain, health officials said Wednesday. Four people have died, and more cases are expected.

Obama, Romney debate sheds little light on healthcare issues, 10-4-12, Reuters
Reporter David Morgan writes that after the first of four presidential debates neither President Barack Obama nor his Republican challenger Governor Mitt Romney had much to say about the health care issue currently being debated in the country. Obama and Romney agree that the $2.8 trillion United States healthcare system is broken, but neither candidate presented voters with a clear idea of how to fix it.

Romney reform repeal would mean more uninsured: Commonwealth Fund, 10-2-12, Modern Healthcare
Writer Jessica Zigmond reports that presidential candidate Governor Mitt Romney’s plan to appeal the health reform law would leave about 72 million Americans without health insurance coverage by 2022, according to a Commonwealth Fund report.

Administration Advises States to Expand Medicaid or Risk Losing Federal Money, 10-2-12, New York Times
Reporter Robert Pear writes that the Obama administration is putting pressure on states to expand Medicaid, telling them they may lose federal money if they delay. Federal officials also have told states that if they choose to expand Medicaid, they are free to reverse the decision at any time.

Doctor Visits Dropping, New Census Figures Show, 10-1-12, New York Times
Reporter Sabrina Tavernise writes that Americans of working age are going to the doctor less frequently than they were 10 years ago, according to a new report by the Census Bureau.

Joint Commission ranks 620 hospitals as top performers on quality measures, 9-19-12, Modern Healthcare
Writer Maureen McKinney reports that the Joint Commission recognized 620 hospitals as top performers based on hospital’s performance during 2011 across 45 accountability measures in areas such as pneumonia care, heart failure care, and inpatient psychiatric services.

Hospitals: Feds share billing blame, 9-26-12, Politico
Writers Brett Norman and Jason Millman report that a threat from Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice to crack down on questionable Medicare billing has drawn a fairly strong rejoinder from two major hospital groups who say federal regulators deserve part of the blame.

State’s First Chief Medical Examiner Dies, 10-4-12, News and Observer
Writer Amanda James reports that NCMS member Richard Page Hudson Jr., MD, North Carolina’s first chief medical examiner has died at age 81. Dr. Hudson was appointed in 1968 and the system of medical examiners that he launched became what is now the largest centralized medical examiner’s system of any state.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony – Oak Island Pediatrics, September 2012, South Port Times
The South Port Times reports that a ribbon cutting was held in honor of NCMS member Paul Buongiorno, MD, to welcome him to Oak Island Pediatrics and to announce the opening of its psychiatric clinic.

Health department works to meet healthy living goals, 10-2-12, Smithfield Herald
Writer Rebecca Putterman reports that Johnston County Commissioners have signed on to lead the Community Transformation Project, a five-year grant from the Centers for Disease Control to improve healthy living efforts in North Carolina.

NC Health Department: Trader Joe’s peanut butter may be linked to national Salmonella infections, 9-24-12, Mountain Express
Reporter Caitlin Byrd publishes a press release stating that Trader Joe’s Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter may be linked to a national outbreak of Salmonella infections.

State Fair To Monitor Smoke From Tractor Pull Event, 10-4-12, News and Observer
Writer Brook Cain reports that agriculture officials are set to monitor the smoke that is generated during the tractor pull events at this year’s State Fair. These precautions are taking place after a Chapel Hill woman claimed her daughter got sick from the fumes from the fuel at last year’s State Fair.

 
 

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