(AP) — Federal prosecutors say a Raleigh, NC hospital has agreed to pay nearly $2 million to settle allegations it overbilled Medicare by ordering higher-cost services for patients who only needed outpatient treatment. The U.S. Justice Department said that between 2004 and 2007 Rex Healthcare billed Medicare for inpatient admissions to increase what it could charge for a spinal surgery procedure.
Lindsey Tanner, AP More kids are getting CT scans in emergency rooms, a study found, raising concerns about exposure to adult-sized radiation doses and potential risks for cancer down the road. The number of ER visits nationwide in which children were given CT scans surged from about 330,000 in 1995 to 1.
Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, AP Every year, thousands of people make a deal with their doctor: I'll pay you a fixed annual fee, whether or not I need your services, and in return you'll see me the day I call, remember who I am and what ails me, and give me your undivided attention. This arrangement potentially poses a big threat to Medicare and to the new world of medical care envisioned under President Barack Obama's health overhaul.
Marilynn Marchione, AP Cardiologists are reporting a major advance: A long-awaited study suggests that many people with a bad aortic valve can avoid open-heart surgery and have a new one placed through a tube in an artery instead. However, there is a downside — a higher risk of stroke — and uncertainty about how long these valves will last.
Marilynn Marchione, AP New research casts doubt on the value of bypass surgery for many people with very weak hearts from clogged arteries and previous heart attacks. Doctors say the operation did not improve survival for those who already were taking medicines to control heart risks like high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Cell-enriched fat transfer may sound more like a science fiction comic than a surgical procedure, but this relatively new technique is allowing plastic surgeons to take fatty (adipose) tissue from a patient's own body, purify it, and place it in a different location of their choice. Research over the past decade has shown that adipose tissue contains large amounts of stem and regenerative cells, the same as those found in human embryos.
Nordion, Inc. recently shared results from their first multi-site, Phase II clinical trial of TheraSphere® for treatment of metastatic liver cancer. The trial evaluated a variety of factors, including safety and tumor response, in patients with liver metastases. The overall tumor response, including stable disease, was 90 percent in metastatic neuroendocrine tumors and 69.
Titan Medical, Inc. announced today that it has completed its beta console and industrial design prototypes, and commenced an early user study. The initial testing will include a review of ergonomics and console functionality through various methods by key opinion leaders in robotic surgery. The company expects to complete the study by the end of April.
Maria Cheng, AP For German patients plagued with problems like chronic pain and mild depression, doctors may soon be trying something a little different: a placebo.After completing a major study on the use of placebos, the German Medical Association recently concluded the fake pills sometimes work better than real medicines and recommended that doctors give them out more often — even without explicitly telling their patients.
Matthew Perrone, AP Medicare officials stated that the program will pay the $93,000 cost of the prostate cancer drug Provenge, a therapy that typically gives men suffering from an incurable stage of the disease an extra four months to live. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid said the biotech drug made by Dendreon is a "reasonable and necessary" medicine.
Lauran Neergaard, AP Scientists only recently learned how certain diseases affect women differently than men, and blacks differently than whites. Now a major new report says it's time to study the unique health needs of gay and transgender people, too. Stigma often keeps lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from seeking health care — and when they do, there's little research to guide doctors in their treatment, the Institute of Medicine reported.
Bariatric surgery is an especially cost-effective therapy for managing Type 2 diabetes in moderately and severely obese patients. These findings and others were presented today at the 2nd World Congress on Interventional Therapies for Type 2 Diabetes, hosted by NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical College.
Doctors who used a free iPhone application provided by the UK Resuscitation Council performed significantly better in a simulated medical emergency than those who did not, according to a study in the April issue of Anaesthesia. "Every year approximately 30,000 people in the UK have an unexpected cardiac arrest in hospital and, despite significant advances in resuscitation research, survival rates for adults suffering a cardiac arrest remain poor" says Dr Daniel Low, the consultant anaesthetist who developed the application.
A major UK study on complications of anaesthesia has shown that obese patients are twice as likely to develop serious airway problems during a general anaesthetic than non-obese patients. 'The airway' means the air passages from the outside world to the lungs, which must be kept open to keep the patient alive.
Anna McFall, Associated Press MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Nine Alabama hospital patients who were treated with intravenous feeding bags contaminated with bacteria have died and the maker has pulled the product off the market, state health officials said Tuesday. Ten others who got the nutrient treatments that are delivered directly from the plastic bags into the bloodstream through IV tubes also were sickened by the outbreak of serratia marcescens bacteria, health officials said.