Healthcare

New government regs threaten medical testing labs

Every year Medicare spends $580 billion on behalf of its beneficiaries. Of this amount, less than 2 percent is spent on clinical laboratory and pathology services, the blood and tissue analysis performed under the supervision of clinical and anatomical pathologists.

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Congressmen misrepresented me on Obamacare

In reading the August 2, 2013 Congress blog, A closer look at the Obamacare data hub, I was surprised to see the authors, Reps. Patrick Meehan (R-Pa.) and James Lankford (R-Okla.) took entirely out of context something I said in a recent interview with the Associated Press and misleadingly used my quote to suggest I was commenting on the Affordable Care Act's federal data hub.  It is very disappointing to see two public officials twist the facts in their effort to discredit the ACA.

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How Congressional staff can keep their healthcare coverage

On August 6, the federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM) released its proposed rule to fund 72-75 percent of the health care premium costs for Members of Congress and their staff. Because of the proposed rule, recent media reports have suggested, the Congressional staff health care crisis would be averted.  However, the proposed rule and its preamble only address half the issue.  In fact, there are two major questions that OPM needed to address – only one of which the Agency has signaled it understands.  OPM and the White House have the opportunity to do right by Congressional staff in the upcoming rulemaking but to do so, they will need to read the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) – all of it.

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Don't cancel in-office prostate cancer treatment

It is intuitively obvious that healthcare is best delivered when diagnostic and therapeutic services are provided in a coordinated, comprehensive fashion.  This future vision is being realized in prostate cancer, where centers of excellence have formed where physicians of different specialties work together to ensure that patients have access to all appropriate treatment modalities. Men battling prostate cancer – the second leading cause of cancer death in men – now have the option of receiving integrated care at centers with specialized expertise in their disease.

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Reasonable certainty of no harm?

Many food labels read like the contents of a chemistry set, not a cracker or beverage:  sodium stearoyl lactylate, acesulfame potassium, sucrose acetate isobutyrate.  But the real issue is not the complexity of the ingredients’ names, but whether the ingredients are safe.

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Medicare proposes a barrier to an innovative Alzheimer's diagnostic tool

Earlier this month, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a draft Decision Memorandum to deny Medicare reimbursements to patients using an innovative FDA-approved Alzheimer's diagnostic technology designed to help physicians identify whether patients with signs of cognitive impairment may have Alzheimer's or are in fact suffering from another form of dementia. This information is vital to patients, their providers, choices regarding their treatment and their ultimate health outcomes.

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Health exchanges will not lower insurance costs

We are not in the habit of quibbling with academic studies, but the recent report on health exchange rate submissions by the office of the HHS Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) needs some truth-in-labeling.

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A closer look at the Obamacare data hub

Over the last several months, Americans across the country have been outraged by reports of malfeasance by federal bureaucracies. Chief among the perpetrators has been the Internal Revenue Service, and it seems that with each passing day we learn of another scandal.

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Taking a page from the HIV/AIDS movement to boost Alzheimer’s advocacy

Within the next few weeks, Danish researchers are expected to release the results from a clinical trial that could offer promise in finding a cure for HIV. The idea that scientists are even discussing a potential HIV cure is testament to just how far we have come in combating this disease. Just two decades ago, most people receiving an HIV diagnosis experienced it as a death sentence.

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Fix the 'doc fix' for good

Republicans and Democrats across the ideological spectrum agree that the current Medicare payment system must be repealed and that the rate of growth in health care spending in the United States is unsustainable. Now is the time to act.

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