GOP Obamacare repeal dies as House pulls American Health Care Act bill

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C6BGOAzWgAIVPt1House Speaker Paul Ryan on Friday withdrew the much-maligned bill to replace the Affordable Care Act from the floor Friday as Republican dissent swelled.

The move came just minutes before the U.S. House of Representatives was set to vote on the American Health Care Act. GOP leadership in the House frantically tried to muster the votes to save the bill during floor discussion despite a growing number of defections from moderates and ultra-conservatives.

“This is a disappointing day for us. Doing big things is hard,” Ryan said during a news conference Friday afternoon. “All of us, myself included, will need time to reflect on how we got to this moment, what we could have done to make it better.”

Ryan visited President Donald Trump at the White House on Friday before returning to the House floor for debate on the bill, telling the president they did not have the 216 votes necessary to pass the legislation. Trump issued an ultimatum on Thursday, telling the GOP they needed to pass the AHCA or Obamacare would live on.

By Erica Teichert , Harris Meyer and Virgil Dickson | Modern Healthcare

Image Credit: Modern Healthcare


CMS pushes back CJR expansion, cardiac bundled payment initiatives by 3 months

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healthcare_consumer-e1478497357270With the Trump administration in office, it comes as no surprise that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have delayed a number of bundled payment initiatives.

In an interim rule posted in the Federal Register, CMS delayed the expansion of the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Model as well as the implementation of cardiac bundled payment initiatives from July 1, 2017 to October 1, 2017. Additionally, the rule pushes back the effective date of the Cardiac Rehabilitation Incentive Payment Model from July 1 to October 1.

The interim rule does one other thing: For the second time, it delays the effective date of a final rule that outlines the implementation of CJR and other bundled payment initiatives. In February, the effective date was delayed from February 18 to March 21. Now the effective date has been pushed back from March 21 to May 20.

By Erin Dietsche | MedCity News

Illustration Credit: MedCity News


Tapping telehealth for complex cases

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Healthcare_PatientRoom_01Shortly after Thanksgiving last year, Ron Cobbley woke up with a stiff neck. Ibuprofen did nothing to help the South Jordan, Utah, resident. Soon the pain became so intense that Cobbley headed for the emergency room at Intermountain Healthcare’s Riverton Hospital.

Several MRIs and CT scans later, Cobbley’s doctors noticed a staph infection nestled where his collarbone meets his sternum. The doctors ordered surgery. While recovering, Cobbley, 74, turned on his hospital room’s high-definition television, outfitted with a zoom camera, speakers and microphones, to meet with Dr. Todd Vento, Intermountain’s medical director of infectious diseases telehealth services.

Vento conducted the post-operative evaluation from his office at the system’s Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah, its flagship campus. He examined Cobbley’s incisions and spoke with the local care team to discuss medications.

By Shelby Livingston | Modern Healthcare


Stratasys introduce 3D printers to hospitals in five states to help US veterans

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140114113712-military-pensions-disabled-veterans-620xa-906x565In an agreement with the US Department of Veterans Affairs Center for Innovation (VACI), Israeli 3D printer manufacturer Stratasys (NASDAQ:SSYS) is installing 3D printers in five Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals around the nation. The 3D printers will be used to help plan surgical operations, train medical students, and produce functional prosthesis for patients in need.

The project is part of Stratasys’ Corporate Social Responsibility that “is aimed at ingraining the power of 3D printing across young minds, bringing transformative medical and educational programs to underprivileged communities, and creating life-changing impacts for the people who need it most.”

By Beau Jackson | 3D Printing Industry

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images


Scientists want to define just how smart robot surgeons are

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dimsFor roughly three decades, medical robots have assisted surgeons in the operating theater. They provide a steady hand and can make tiny incisions with pinpoint accuracy. But as robotics improve, a new question has emerged: How should autonomous robots be treated? The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves medical devices, while medical societies monitor doctors. A robot that can operate on its own falls somewhere in between. To help, Science Robotics has produced a scale for grading autonomy in robot-assisted surgery. If adopted, it could help regulators decide when and how machines should be treated like humans.

By Nick Summers | engadget

Image Credit: Frank Perry/Getty Images


Higher U.S. Physician Spending Doesn’t Lead to Better Patient Outcomes

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mar17-13-522846088-850x478Health care spending in the United States reached $3.2 trillion in 2013, which accounted for 17% of U.S. GDP. This is almost twice as much as the OECD average of 9%, yet health outcomes in the U.S. are not twice as good as in these other countries. In fact, many outcomes are worse. For example, life expectancy at birth in the U.S. is 78.8 years, which falls short of the OECD average of 80.5 years.

Health care spending also varies substantially within the United States. Many studies have documented enormous geographic variation in spending, finding no clear relationship with quality of care and health outcomes. While some differences in spending and patient outcomes are due to factors outside the health care system, this evidence suggests that there is considerable waste in U.S. health care spending. Many have concluded that at least 20% of spending could be reduced without harming patients.

By Yusuke Tsugawa & Anupam B. Jena | Harvard Business Review

Image Credit: Harvard Business Review


Virtual rehab to gain ground in orthopedics as bundled payments take hold

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Online_rehabIf you believe that digital health and orthopedics seem mutually exclusive, then you are sadly out of step with the times.

At a panel presentation about alternative payment models and bundled care at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in San Diego on Tuesday, speakers clearly signaled that virtual therapy would be used more and more in the future. Especially now when bundled care programs like the CMS-mandated Comprehensive Care of Joint Replacement (CJR) is in place in 67 metropolitan statistical areas in the U.S.

That should be good news for digital health startups in the field who are eager to prove the clinical validity of their products, as well as help hospitals to lower the overall cost of joint replacement procedures.

By Arundhati Parmar | MedCity News

Illustration Credit: MedCity News


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