Democratic senators asked the HHS to revise proposed meaningful use language to give health care providers more flexibility in meeting criteria for the financial incentives. A letter signed by 37 lawmakers asked the HHS to "temporarily defer" some of the IT goals without changing the ultimate program timeline or requirements.
An analysis of Medicare data showed the hospital admission rate for heart attacks in the elderly was 23% lower in 2007 than in 2002. Researchers attributed the decline to the cumulative effect of prevention and treatment efforts by public health groups, professional organizations and health care payers over the past two decades.
Physician board certifications now come with expiration dates, requiring many doctors to take tests to maintain them. Recertification tests may eventually include an assessment of a doctor's communication skills with patients and technical skills, including performance observations.
State legislators in Delaware on April 13 will conduct a joint committee hearing to discuss with Delaware Insurance Commissioner Karen Weldin Stewart reports of preauthorization coverage denials of some cardiac imaging tests. Stewart earlier said her office plans to look into the preauthorization processes of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware, Aetna and Coventry Health Care.
Canadian and U.S. researchers found that using FDG PET to identify the patients that need to undergo revascularization treatment helped lessen cardiac events than when using the conventional methods of care. "The results suggest that outcome may be benefited using FDG PET in an experienced center with ready access to FDG and integration with imaging, heart failure and revascularization teams," the researchers said.