Tuesday, December 27, 2016

'Late effects' of cancer treatment

A 12/25/16 Washington Post article examines "late effects" of cancer treatment:

One of medicine's greatest successes is the sharp rise in survival rates for children with cancer. But the flip side of that success is that many of those children are turning up years or even decades later with serious and sometimes life-threatening complications, including second cancers, heart disorders, cognitive problems and infertility.

"These treatments seem to accelerate the aging process," said <Dr.> Greg Aune, a researcher and pediatric oncologist who works at a clinic for childhood cancer survivors at University Hospital in San Antonio.

Read more in the current issue of Week in Review>> http://conta.cc/2hhhJPZ

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Risk, Adherence to a Healthy Lifestyle, and Coronary Disease

Published by the New England Journal of Medicine on 12/15/16, the authors describe their study methodology:

Using a polygenic score of DNA sequence polymorphisms, we quantified genetic risk for coronary artery disease in three prospective cohorts - 7814 participants in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study, 21,222 in the Women's Genome Health Study (WGHS), and 22,389 in the Malmö Diet and Cancer Study (MDCS) - and in 4260 participants in the cross-sectional BioImage Study for whom genotype and covariate data were available. We also determined adherence to a healthy lifestyle among the participants using a scoring system consisting of four factors: no current smoking, no obesity, regular physical activity, and a healthy diet.

The authors conclude:

Across four studies involving 55,685 participants, genetic and lifestyle factors were independently associated with susceptibility to coronary artery disease. Among participants at high genetic risk, a favorable lifestyle was associated with a nearly 50% lower relative risk of coronary artery disease than was an unfavorable lifestyle.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Faculty Announced for Healthcare Roundtable Event Dec. 6

The topic is BUNDLED PAYMENTS and the program begins at 7:30 a.m. in Ft. Lauderdale on 12/6/16.


Jeffrey B. Kramer, CPA

David Fater
Chief Executive Officer
ALDA & Associates International, Inc. 

Alexandru Visan, MD, MBA     
Executive Cortex Consulting


Lanny Pauley
Chief Operating Officer
First Choice Neurology

Details HERE>> http://conta.cc/2gc4kvR

Monday, November 14, 2016

Trump Wins, Republicans Will Control Both Houses

On November 8, 2016, Donald Trump won the White House  while Republicans maintained control of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.

Repeal and Replace, a Republican mantra since the ACA's enactment in March of 2010, is now possible. However, many experts are predicting the Affordable Care Act will be modified instead.

In a November 11, 2016 MWE.com blog post entitled How Congress, President-Elect Trump Might Proceed on Promise to Repeal, Replace ACA, attorneys Jeremy Earl Ankur J. Goel and Kate McDonald assert...

Read more in the current issue of Week in Review>> http://conta.cc/2fRWYMn 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Healthcare Roundtable to Address Bundled Payments in Upcoming Program

Bundled Payments  
Navigating the Financial, Liability, Regulatory and Operational Challenges
Tues., 12/6/16 | 7:30-9:30 am | Ft. Lauderdale

Register/Learn More>>

Sponsor: BDO

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

FL Avoids Direct Hit from Hurricane Matthew; Can't Steer Clear of Human and Economic Costs

Starting Thursday afternoon (10/6/16), the storm moved up the Atlantic Coast as a very dangerous Category 3 hurricane, bringing torrential rain, powerful winds, a storm surge and flooding. After Florida and Georgia avoided a direct hit, the storm touched down in South Carolina in the late morning on Saturday (10/8/16) as a Category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Florida hospitals prepared to get hit by the monster storm Matthew, with many facilities altering their normal operations, and a number of facilities closing and evacuating patients.

Providers scrambled to address the needs of their most vulnerable patients. For example, Dr. Maina Gatonye, Chief Medical Officer for Chen Senior Medical Centers in South Florida...

Read more in Week in Review http://conta.cc/2dZRZGS 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Join Us Oct. 18, 2016

Bank of America Practice Solutions &
Carr Healthcare Realty
Practice Startup/Practice Expansion
A Panel Discussion & Workshop

Ft. Lauderdale

Register/Learn More>>
Digital Resource

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

How Big Sugar Enlisted Harvard Scientists to Influence How We Eat-in 1965

Deena Shanker in a 9.12.16 Bloomberg post, reports:

The food industry has funded research in an effort to influence nutrition science and health policy for more than half a century, new research out Monday has found.

It's no secret that industry funds such efforts today: An investigation in June, for example, showed how the National Confectioners Association worked with a nutrition professor at Louisiana State University to conclude that kids who eat sugar are thinner than those who don't.
An article by University of California-San Francisco researchers, published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, shows how far back such efforts go: In 1965, the Sugar Research Foundation, the precursor to today's Sugar Association, paid Harvard scientists to discredit a link now widely accepted among scientists-that consuming sugar can raise the risk of cardiovascular disease. Instead, the industry and the Harvard scientists pinned the blame squarely, and only, on saturated fat. 

Read more in Bloomberg

View the JAMA article

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

3rd Annual Women in Medicine program announces faculty, sponsors

The Healthcare Roundtable will produce their 3rd annual Women in Medicine event to be held at FiveStar Premier Residences Hollywood on September 27th from 7:30-9:30 a.m. Entitled Women in Healthcare: Leaders in the Transformation of Medicine, the program will feature several prominent female healthcare professionals. Healthcare attorney Jodi Laurence, who moderated last year, will again serve as moderator. Presented by Greenspoon Marder and FHIcommunications, Danna-Gracey is also a sponsor.

In addition to Ms. Laurence, the faculty includes:

Opening Remarks
Tracey H. Stokes MD, FACS, Owner/Operator, eSSe Plastic Surgery

*     Ingrid Vasiliu-Feltes, MD, MBA, Psychiatry/Psychiatry & Neurology
Chief Patient Safety and Quality Officer, UHealth, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine
*     Susan Fox, DO, Internal Medicine, Vascular Medicine/Phlebology          
Owner/Operator, Fox Vein Experts
*     Karen Kennedy, DO, Anesthesiology/Hospice & Palliative Care
Vice President of Medical Affairs, TrustBridge Health

Closing Remarks
Matt Gracey, Owner/Founder, Danna-Gracey

Monday, August 8, 2016

Can a holistic approach to healthcare improve quality and lower cost?

In an August 4, 2016 H&HN post by Alan Spiro, MD and Adam Perlman, MD, the authors remind us that most health systems in the United States aim to deliver patient-centered care.

According to the authors:

...to accommodate true patient-centered care, the focus of our health care system must shift from only treating disease to also creating health and well-being. This requires adopting a new, integrated model that helps people fulfill their own health needs - an achievement that will ultimately deliver the cost and quality outcomes that health managers seek.
If a major goal of health care is to help people live with vitality for as long as they can, we must address the factors - as many as possible - that affect the course of their life-health trajectory. These factors include nutrition and exercise, managing stress and competing priorities, economic forces, and hurdles preventing access to care.
In addition to treating illness, health care's goal must, therefore, be to promote well-being and prevention as well as to provide support in virtually all aspects of people's lives. Such a holistic approach is at the very definition of patient-centered care and requires treating the body, mind and spirit using whatever combination of tools is most appropriate. By helping people fulfill their own health care needs in this way, we can achieve lower cost and higher quality.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Obama Pens Healthcare Reform Essay for JAMA

President Barack Obama, in a JAMA article posted on 7/11/16 and entitled United States Health Care Reform Progress to Date and Next Steps, discusses the significance of the law ("... the most important health care legislation enacted in the United States since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965"), recaps the objectives and offers evidence that the law is working.

The president and his aides once shunned the word "Obamacare," at a time when both the law and Obama were struggling politically. Now it is clear he accepts the nickname and realizes the legislation will define his presidency. It may be the first time a sitting president has authored a complete academic article - with an abstract, findings and conclusions - that's been published in a scientific journal, at least in recent history. The president offers some valuable insights on lessons learned and, in his recommendations for building on the current reforms, takes aim at Big Pharma. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Here's What Happens To Your Medical Bills When Your Doctor Joins Forces With A Hospital

Dr. Peter Ubel, writing in Forbes on 6.30.16, reports:

For much of the history of U.S. medical care, hospitals and physicians have existed as separate financial entities. Physicians in the U.S. have typically been self-employed, as solo or group practitioners and not as hospital employees. An internist like me might have admitting privileges to several local hospitals...

The U.S. government is trying to change that. The Medicare program is encouraging healthcare providers to consolidate forces into entities like accountable care organizations, in hopes that such integration will increase healthcare efficiency. These hopes exist because some of the most respected healthcare institutions in the country-places like the Kaiser Permanente system and the Mayo Clinic -have long integrated their physicians with hospitals.

Read more in the current issue of Week in Review>> http://conta.cc/29bXLCl 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Dying In A Hospital Means More Procedures, Tests And Costs

Alison Kodjak in a June 15, 2016 NPR post:
People who die in the hospital undergo more intense tests and procedures than those who die anywhere else.
An analysis by Arcadia Healthcare Solutions also shows that spending on people who die in a hospital is about seven times that on people who die at home. 

Read more in the current issue of Week in Review>> http://conta.cc/28KzciG 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Americans are dying at the highest rate in more than a decade

Jen Christensen, in a 6.3.16 CNN report:
Americans died at a higher rate in 2015, news that comes as a surprise to experts who are used to seeing a decline in the number of deaths.
The age-adjusted death rate was 729.5 deaths per 100,000 people in 2015, compared with 723.2 in 2014.
According to Ms. Christensen:

This current data don't get at the demographics of the deaths, and a one-year increase in the death rate is not enough to tell us whether it's an anomaly or something else is going on with American's health. But it is a rare enough event that the experts are sure to be watching for additional trends. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Healthcare Roundtable Concludes Spring 2016 Programs

Entitled Choosing the Right Practice Model: Examining the Options to Find the Optimal Fit, the latest Healthcare Roundtable program was co-presented by MGMA South Florida Chapter and FHIcommunications. Held on the morning of May 17, 2016, this was the final program of the spring season. The series will resume on September 27th with the 3rd Annual Women in Medicine event. Details will be announced over the summer. Approximately 45 healthcare professionals attended. The panelists were David Edelman, MD, Laurent Dreyfuss, DO and James Leavitt, MD. Brian Foster served as moderator. Alain Fernandez, President of SFMGMA, delivered Opening Remarks while Arminda ‘Mindy’ Figueroa, Chief Marketing Connector, Latin2Latin Marketing + Communications, LLC, delivered Closing Remarks.

The program, led by Brian Foster of CareCloud, explored various medical practice models. Each doctor shared their story of developing a medical practice that simultaneously exploited trends in the business of healthcare and suited their personal goals and aspirations. Dr. Edelman, a surgeon, detailed the benefits of maintaining autonomy and having the resources of VitalMD as support. He specifically noted that his reimbursements have improved since transitioning to VitalMD, allowing him to reduce his caseload and focus on quality. Dr. Dreyfuss, an ED doctor, compared and contrasted his experience being an employee at Cleveland Clinic and his entrepreneurial venture of opening, as a franchisee, an orthopedic urgent care facility (OrthoNOW). Dr. Leavitt, a GI, related his journey of starting a small group and having it grow into a large multi-specialty group with multiple offices. Gastro Health, now the largest GI group in Miami Dade, was just acquired by a private equity firm.

The host was First Citizens Bank in Ft. Lauderdale. The sponsors were CareCloud and Accountable Care Options. 

Monday, May 9, 2016

Beyond the Affordable Care Act: A Physicians' Proposal for Single-Payer Health Care Reform

What Happened
Unveiled May 5, 2016 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., the Physicians for a National Health Program assert that a single-payer system is the most effective way to drive true healthcare reform. According to the paper's authors:
Even after full implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), tens of millions of Americans will remain uninsured or only partially insured, and costs will continue to rise faster than the background inflation rate. We propose to replace the ACA with a publicly financed National Health Program (NHP) that would fully cover medical care for all Americans, while lowering costs by eliminating the profit-driven private insurance industry with its massive overhead.

Why it Matters
In the U.S. we spend far too much on healthcare with mediocre outcomes. That said, single-payer is hardly a panacea (see Still Think a Single-Payer System is Best? Read This First, Medscape -complimentary registration required). Hopefully we can come up with a uniquely American solution that cures our current ills without creating new ones.
Read more in the current issue of Week in Review>>

Monday, April 25, 2016

Unauthorized Filming for "NY Med" Results in $2.2 Million Settlement with New York Presbyterian Hospital

According to a 4.21.16 HHS.gov post:
Today, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced that it has reached a $2.2 million settlement with New York Presbyterian Hospital (NYP) for the egregious disclosure of two patients' protected health information (PHI) to film crews and staff during the filming of "NY Med," an ABC television series, without first obtaining authorization from the patients. In particular, OCR found that NYP allowed the ABC crew to film someone who was dying and another person in significant distress, even after a medical professional urged the crew to stop. 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Healthcare Roundtable Announces Spring 2016 Program

Choosing the Right Practice Model: Examining the options to find the optimal fit

Tuesday, May 17 | 7.30-9.30 am 
First Citizens Bank
6555 N Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308

As the transformation of healthcare accelerates, many healthcare professionals are asking what’s the right practice model for the future? Sure it’s about profits but it’s also about quality of life. Whether just starting their medical career or considering a mid-career change, doctors want to make the right choice. IPAs, ACOs, Hospital Employment, Large Group and Concierge/DPC are among the myriad options available to practicing physicians today. Taking advantage of market trends to find the right niche is key as doctors struggle to leverage their investment in education, training and credentialing. On May 17, the Healthcare Roundtable will address this provocative topic. A panel of healthcare professionals will define and describe the various options and share their experiences.

Register/Learn More>>

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Physicians Choosing Concierge Medicine Can Double Revenue Per Hour

According to Vera Gruessner in a recent RevCycleIntelligence.com post:
"We specifically analyze the revenue generated by physicians individually and collectively within a practice," Wayne Lipton, Managing Partner at Concierge Choice Physicians, told RevCycleIntelligence.com about his facility's revenue cycle management practices. "The revenue per hour in a concierge program that we set up is usually twice the revenue rate per hour spent than they would generate in a traditional practice."

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Aetna's CEO Backs Down from Negative ACA Remarks After Receiving Call from HHS Secretary

What Happened
Chad Terhune, in a February 29, 2016 KHN post, informs us that:

The head of Aetna Inc., the nation's third-largest health insurer, said he supports insurance exchanges, even though he questioned their sustainability earlier this month and lost money in the marketplaces last year.

Aetna Chief Executive Mark Bertolini said U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell called him Feb. 1 shortly after he made critical remarks during an earnings conference call.

Why it Matters
In a highly regulated industry with an oligopoly of payers, it's clear that the insurers are just puppets of the government. Crony capitalism is scorned by rank and file Americans regardless of political affiliation. This is why outsider presidential candidates like Bernie Sanders (who often talks about a "rigged economy") and Donald Trump are doing so well in the polls.

Read more in the current issue of Week in Review>> http://conta.cc/1W35Cox

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Healthcare Roundtable Announces Spring 2016 Program

The title of the program is:

Bending the Cost Curve - Engaging the patient to ensure better outcomes

It will be held on Tues., March 29, 2016 from 7:30-9:30 a.m. at 200 S. Andrews Ave., 9th Floor, Fort Lauderdale 33301

We will be featuring South Florida experts on Health & Wellness and Value Based Care. The Title Sponsor is P & G. Lubell and Rosen is our host while Accountable Care Options is a second sponsor.  

Register/Learn More

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

FDA's Response to Prescription Opioid Drug Abuse: Reactive or Proactive?

Robert M. Califf, MD, Janet Woodcock, MD, and Stephen Ostroff, MD of the FDA, in a 2.4.16 New England Journal of Medicine post, describe a "Proactive Response" to the crisis...

Read more in the current issue of Week in Review>>

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Readmissions Revisited

According to Garret Johnson & Zoe Lyon writing for The Incidental Economist on 1.27.16:
While the HRRP < Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program> adjusts for age, sex and comorbidity differences across hospitals, there is now substantial evidence that high readmission rates - especially for medical conditions, as opposed to surgical ones - are driven more by patient factors outside of hospitals' control (e.g. poverty, lack of social supports) than by hospitals' quality of care and discharge planning. Studies show that patients who are poorer, sicker, and of racial minorities are readmitted at higher rates than other patients, which raises concern that the HRRP is simply punishing hospitals for the groups of patients that they serve.
Read More>>

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Healthcare Roundtable Announces Winter 2016 Program

TrustBridge Health and FHIcommunications will again partner to produce an End of Life Care panel discussion. The 2016 event will be held on February 23rd. The theme this year is The Conversation Continues.

"CMS is now reimbursing physicians for end of life counseling; meanwhile the value based model is infiltrating the hospice sector and Americans are graying rapidly," stated Jeff Herschler, President of FHIcommunications. "We felt it was very timely and extremely relevant to re-visit the topic in the new year," he added.

Karen Kennedy, DO, Vice President of Medical Affairs, TrustBridge Health has joined the panel. Meanwhile the venue has been announced. The event will take place at:

 550 W Cypress Creek Rd. Ste 550
 Fort Lauderdale , FL 33309

Register/Learn More: