Telemedicine Could Save Healthcare System $6 Billion a Year

Posted On : October 2, 2014,   Time : 8:40 am

A new study by the national consulting firm Towers Watson concludes that more employers are seeking telemedicine options for their workers in a belief that it will be more time efficient and save money. According to Bloomberg BNA, the use of telemedicine by companies could save the U.S. healthcare industry $6 billion a year. “This strikes me as the kind of thing that in the long run will be beneficial to both employees and employers i

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Up To a Third Of All Knee Replacement Surgeries May Be Unnecessary

Posted On : October 2, 2014,   Time : 8:29 am

A new study suggests that as many as one-third of all knee replacement surgeries are unnecessary. According to Modern Healthcare, a leading trade journal, researchers studied the medical records of 175 patients who underwent a knee replacement surgery, assigning a number of criteria to determine whether they were good candidates for the procedure. The criteria included the extent of damage to the knee, the patients’ age, and the extent of any arthritis. But 60 of those patients -- a full 34 percent -- were not considered good candidates to have their knees replaced. “It seems reasonable to question whether (knee repl

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Many Medical Practices Still Can’t Share Electronic Medical Records

Posted On : October 1, 2014,   Time : 4:24 pm

Medical practices and hospitals across the country are investing billions of dollars to install sophisticated electronic medical record systems. Yet despite all the money being spent, in many instances the various systems do not talk to one another. That is the case with Dr. Raghuvir B. Gelot, an eye, nose and throat specialist who practices in North Carolina. The New York Times has reported that he cannot

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Patient Satisfaction With Their Doctor Can Be a Dangerous Thing

Posted On : September 28, 2014,   Time : 11:34 pm

Just how reliable is a patient rating of their physician? That’s the question asked by USA Today. The newspaper noted that a variety of factors can go into how patients rate their doctor. Among the biggest is their overall satisfaction, which can run counterintuitively to what course of care is actually best for them. Nevertheless, patient satisfaction is a significant factor in how Medicare determines payments to doctors and hospitals. As a result, many doctors feel pressured to overutilize tests and other medical services. USA Today quoted a study from the journal Emergency Physicians Monthly concluding that nearly 60% of emergency room doctors ordered more tests

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Unnecessary Imaging Costs U.S. At Least $7.5 Billion a Year

Posted On : September 27, 2014,   Time : 6:00 am

The consulting firm peer60 surveyed 196 hospital executives to come to that figure, which is that firm's low-end estimate. The actual price tag could be as high as $12 billion, representing about one out of every eight imaging procedures that takes place in the U.S. Defensive medicine – performing a medical task more out of concern of being sued for malpractice than actual medical necessity – was one of the biggest drivers of unnecessary imaging. However, some doctors are also having trouble keeping up with the latest developments in imaging, leading them to order unnecessary tests, the survey concluded.

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