Too many terminally ill patients receive expensive and aggressive treatment that diminishes quality of life. Medicare weighs whether to go beyond palliative care, while Aetna discovers that a more humane and less costly approach involves allowing curative treatment and loosening admission criteria.
Insured patients are liable for ever-growing out-of-pocket costs that many cannot pay. Each segment of the health care industry will be forced to contend with the unintended consequences of consumer debt, and the resulting dynamic will strain business relations among employees, employers, insurers, and providers.
Mental health conditions have not been dealt with during medical treatment. Likewise, people with mental health conditions have not had their medical conditions managed. That’s changing because new ways of providing behavioral health care are being adopted just as the federal rule on parity is taking effect.
One of the reasons costs rise is because technology keeps getting better. That does not always have be the case, however. MIS is worth adopting, this study indicates, because it has demonstrated both clinical benefits and a reduction in hospital cost per case when used for colectomy, hysterectomy, and thoracic resection.
More than 2 million antibiotic-resistant infections occur annually — a huge and chronic problem in health care that’s being addressed in new ways. Insurers and accountable care organizations are starting to work together to help physicians reduce inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics, making them think twice.
The author reviewed and rejected all four options offered by his ENT and lived to tell about it
Fewer than half of the 137 groups reported spending below Medicare’s benchmark, with total savings of $401 million
Analysis of data from claims is uncovering opportunities to advise prescribers and, through them, to improve outcomes
The key is measuring chemotherapy agents’ efficacy based on aptosis — cell death — as reflected by cells’ changing optical density