Physicians should recieve full, refundable tax credits to help them buy and use health information technology, according to the American Medical Association's House of Delegates. Of the physicians who responded to an AMA survey, 79 percent backed the idea of a tax credit to defray EMR costs.
According to a study conducted at the Columbia University Medical Center, CT scans could be responsible for as much as 2 percent of all cancers in the United States in the next 20 to 30 years due the radiation exposure. The news was released amidst the Radiological Society of North America's annual meeting, and the RSNA responded by saying that while there is risk with CT, the potential benefits far outweigh them.
An Internet-based program called Telehealth can monitors patients with such chronic illnesses as congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or diabetes. The program warns when certain individually determined thresholds are passed, such as blood pressure or blood sugar, and makes the daily information available to the patient's doctor and nurses.
Rural hospitals throughout Illinois be connected to a high-speed fiber-optic network aimed at improving healthcare by linking staff to the expertise and resources of much larger hospitals in the Chicago area.
The Miami-Dade County Commission is to start negotiating with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, which may be willing to offer lower premiums or better coverage to residents than they have previously sold in exchange for the county's seal of approval.
The American College of Physicians has officially announced its endorsement of a single-payer healthcare system. the organization, however, stopped short of saying that a single-payer system like Medicare, in which the government would get and pay most bills, is the best way to achieve universal coverage.
Citing the health benefits of doing so, virtually all Nashville-area hospitals plan to ban smoking outdoors on their property in 2008. Hundreds of hospitals nationwide have enacted total smoking bans, starting with the Mayo Clinic in 2002.
Boston Medical Center sent a letter recently to 2,600 patients that wrongly implied they could get care at BMC only if they signed up for the hospital's insurance plan, called HealthNet. The content of the letter and the direct approach to patients enrolled with other insurers violated HealthNet's state contract, and the state will penalize the insurer by reducing the number of patients it covers.
Community Health Systems Inc. said it has sold Barberton Citizens Hospital in Barberton, OH, to its joint venture partner Buyer Summa Health System. Buyer Summa Health System previously owned a 3.25 percent stake in the 311-bed acute care hospital.
Atlanta-based Grady Health System's national accreditation at risk after a five-day Joint Commission inspection identified "numerous requirements for improvement." Hospital officials gave no details about the kinds of shortcomings found by The Joint Commission inspectors.