Friday, January 27, 2012

2012 Election Preview?

By Tara Pihn

In reviewing some recent campaign literature circulating in Dade County, this reporter observed the following:

Mitt Romney Day One Executive Order #1:  Pave the Way to End ObamaCare
Direct the Secretary of HHS and all relevant federal officials to return the maximum possible authority to the states to innovate and design healthcare solutions that work best for them.

Meanwhile we can expect the President to continue to tout the new healthcare law.  Mr. Obama has a page on his website detailing his record on healthcare where particular attention is paid to vilifying insurance companies.  This taps into an almost universal (and often well deserved) dislike of insurance companies by Americans

Monday, January 23, 2012

More Evidence of Hard Working Bureaucrats

The OIG recently released a report entitled:


The key finding was that "Contrary to Federal law, CMS accepted some PDE data submitted by sponsors for prescriptions written under the Part D program by excluded providers and used these PDE data to adjust Medicare Part D payments to sponsors at the end of the plan year. Of approximately $185 billion in gross drug costs included in sponsors' PDE data for calendar years 2006 through 2008, CMS accepted PDE data with gross drug costs totaling $15,079,608 for prescriptions written by excluded providers. Furthermore, CMS accepted PDE data with gross drug costs totaling an additional $1,985,315 for prescriptions that may have been written by excluded providers."

Citing "inadequate internal controls", the OIG recommends several procedural changes at CMS to correct the problem. Click HERE to view the report.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Healthcare Technology Update

According to a recent article in the Daily Business Review, the healthcare technology sector is 'white hot' for investors. The author, Mike Seemuth,also points out that the health sector is rapidly creating new jobs in the region, second only to hospitality in South Florida. He lists Miami based CareCloud, Consult A Doctor of Miami Beach and Ft. Lauderdale's MAKO Surgical as examples of healthcare technology firms that are attracting capital and hiring new workers.

The enthusiasm surrounding healthcare tech is not universal however. A recent article in Fortune entitled Mobile health: Hallelujah or bah humbug? questions the validity of crossing healthcare with mobile devices. The author, Lisa Suennen, wants to know if mobile is the future of healthcare, or more hype than substance. She also revisits 1999's crop of eHealth companies "...and the trail of a bazillion incinerated VC dollars and careers."
Meanwhile, Jupiter Medical Center just launched its new MedWaitTime online service. According to the facility's press release,
"The MedWaitTime service is designed for people with non-life-threatening conditions. By visiting, a user can reserve the next available appointment for Emergency Department treatment and choose to wait comfortably at home until then. The online service has a fee of $8.99 to save a spot, which is refunded if the patient is not seen within 30 minutes of the scheduled time."

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Revisiting the Japanese Natural Disaster

Every Picture Tells a Story

On March 11th of 2011 Japan was hit by a massive earthquake and tsunami. Thousands were killed and whole towns were destroyed. The quake precipitated a nuclear crisis as well at Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO)'s Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant's Unit 3 and Unit 4 reactor buildings in Fukushima prefecture, northern Japan.  Predictably the disaster spawned a massive healthcare crisis and the nation's health system faces many challenges going forward. The country is just recovering from the massive impact of this trifecta of misfortune.  These are some then and now combination images.