It’s Time for Congress to Make Integrated Care Central to the Nation’s Patient Experience

The primary objective of our health care system is to ensure that quality health care is readily accessible for patients. However, as health care becomes increasingly entangled in a web of networks, insurers, and providers, the patient’s best interest can get lost.

As a physician overseeing a network of dedicated health care professionals, I know firsthand that we can do better. But, the physician community can’t do this on our own. We need Congress and the administration to advance payment reform policies that strengthen integrated care models that are already showing great promise. (more…)

Susan G. Komen Targets a New Generation

CEO Judith Salerno Aims to Reignite the Charity by Appealing to Younger People

When Susan G. Komen’s president and chief executive, Judith A. Salerno, took over the nonprofit a year ago, the Dallas-based breast-cancer group was just emerging from its worst fundraising and public-relations crisis.

The trouble began in February 2012, when Komen announced a policy to cut grants to Planned Parenthood affiliates. Though the amount of the grants—mainly targeted toward education—was well under $1 million, the backlash against Komen’s policy shift was swift and massive, and divided women’s-health advocates across the U.S. (more…)

Health Care Reform Implementation Update

In the past week, CMS has released several advisories including updates to the rating system for nursing homes, premium and deductible information for Medicare Part B and Part D for 2015, Pioneer ACO results, payment dispute settlements, and insurance fee FAQs. Even though they are out of session, a group of congressional members asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) for a legal opinion regarding the risk corridor program under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission held its most recent round of meetings on October 9 and 10. Countdown to the second open enrollment period under the ACA is one month now. (more…)

60 Minutes Acknowledges COA Blasted It for Reporting Inaccuracies in Cancer Drug Costs Show

As we posted last week, COA was contacted by 60 Minutes earlier in the year about a segment on cancer drug pricing. Several of the COA leadership told the accurate story on camera, as well as provided 60 Minutes with data supporting the quality and cost efficiency of community oncology providers. Unfortunately, 60 Minutes ignored the facts in order to fit what seems to be pre-determined conclusion within their story on cancer drug pricing. COA blasted 60 Minutes in a letter from President Bruce Gould, MD about the inaccuracies and the adverse impact false information can have on cancer patients. Reporter Lesley Stahl acknowledged the letter on air on 60 Minutes.  (more…)

Georgia’s Rural Hospitals Teeter as Solutions Are Debated

Eight rural hospitals in Georgia have closed or downsized and another 15 are teetering on the brink of closure and could be gone in the next year or two, according to a group representing rural hospitals.

While some say expanding Medicaid could help, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said he is against expanding “entitlements” and would rather see more poor people get subsidies to buy private insurance under the Affordable Care Act. (more…)

ObamaCare Bronze Plan Premiums To Jump 14% In 2015

Bladder Cancer Drug Shortages and Price Gouging: The New Reality

The Presentation

Tom quit smoking as his second marriage started.  The booze stopped as well.  In his inimitable Yinzer brogue he assured me he was “totally clean and n’at”.  The light banter stopped when his wife interjected about seeing blood all over the toilet yesterday.  Tom was in denial.  His wife knew the score.  Both started crying. (more…)

Use of Intensive Medical Services for Ovarian Cancer Patients at End of Life Increases Despite Rise in Use of Hospice

There have been widespread efforts to improve the quality of life of terminally ill patients. As more patients choose to spend their final days and weeks in hospice care rather than a hospital, the hope is the use of intensive and costly hospital services would decline. A new study by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers shows for one group of terminally ill cancer patients, that is not what is happening. (more…)

MD Anderson Study First to Compare Treatments, Survival Benefits for Early-Stage Lung Cancer

Removal of the entire lobe of lung may offer patients with early-stage lung cancer better overall survival when compared with a partial resection, and stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) may offer the same survival benefit as a lobectomy for some patients, according to a study from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The research is the largest population-based study to review modern treatment modalities for early-stage lung cancer and is published in JAMA Surgery. (more…)

Metastatic Breast Cancer Landscape Analysis: October 2014 Research Report Released

The focus on survivorship obscures the fact that, in spite of decades of breast cancer awareness and research funding, 40,000 women and men still die of breast cancer every year in the United States with metastasis the cause of virtually all deaths from breast cancer.


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