Blog

Medical Imaging Centers are New Target of Payor's Cost-Cutting Measures

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield drew attention and criticism earlier this summer when it announced a change in its Imaging Clinical Site of Care program. The policy states that MRIs and CT scans not deemed “medically necessary” should be done at freestanding medical imaging centers rather than at a larger hospital.

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CRISPR-Cas9 Trials Target Cancer Cell Research

September 6, 2017 BY Alanna Moriarty

CRISPR-Cas9 Trials Target Cancer Cell Research

On August 22, CRISPR Therapeutics and Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center (MGHCC) announced a two-year research collaboration to develop T-cell cancer therapies. The CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology will be used to improve upon existing cancer cell therapies and focus on the specific needs of patients with blood cancers and tumors.

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Hospital EHR Implementation Rates Rise, Don’t Necessarily Ease Information Flow

According to a new study published in Health Affairs, electronic health record logs show that physicians are spending less time on face-to-face patient interactions and more time on so-called desktop medicine. Desktop medicine refers to digital tasks providers must complete, such as communicating with patients through online portals, refilling prescriptions, ordering tests, corresponding with staff, and reviewing test results.

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The growth of health IT has brought new clinical and administrative capabilities to healthcare delivery, increasing efficiency and allowing data-driven care.  But security remains a serious problem – especially for the Veteran’s Affairs Healthcare System. A recent audit by the VA OIG listed the health system’s IT security as a material weakness, specifically in protecting financial information. Various factors, including periods of poor management, inadequate funding, and its sheer scale, have made it difficult for the VA health system to modernize its information security infrastructure. However, a review of the VA health system’s record of large-scale breaches suggests that human error and improper protocols are a greater cause of violations than sophisticated attacks like hacking or non-opportunistic theft.

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The Hidden, Growing Problem of Physician Burnout

April 4, 2017 BY Definitive Healthcare

The current political climate has generated a lot of uncertainty regarding future healthcare developments, but the debate over national policy can sometimes overshadow issues affecting the frontlines of patient care. One growing problem is physician burnout, manifesting itself in a lack of enthusiasm for work, growing cynicism about patients or career, and a poor sense of self-worth. Physician burnout can lead to poor job performance and in serious cases, suicide. Even worse, feelings of burnout have become more prevalent over time, increasing two fold from 2011 to 2015, according to a Mayo Clinic study. While it may appear to be a problem best solved on an individual, case-by-case basis, administrators and healthcare researchers have been working to identify the root causes and manage burnout on an organizational level.

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