The CMS next year will integrate into its Hospital Compare website new standards on patient safety, which will monitor health care-related infections and hospital-acquired diseases. The agency also will conduct studies to ensure that the public understands data published on the site, which aims to ease the selection process of hospitals offering Medicare services.
Highmark's recent move to limit the use of nuclear cardiology stress tests is not based on national standards and could prevent patients from getting properly indicated tests, Dr. William P. Follansbee, the chairman of the American College of Cardiology/American Society of Nuclear Cardiology task force on noninvasive cardiac imaging, writes in this opinion piece. The right to decide on the most appropriate imaging tests to perform rests on the physicians and patients, and not on insurance companies, Follansbee writes. Highmark should scrap its program and instead consider implementing a program based on appropriate-use criteria, he writes.
A McClatchy Newspapers-Marist poll found 51% of registered voters surveyed wanted to keep the health reform law or change it to add benefits, while 44% wanted to repeal or reduce its provisions. Voters generally liked popular provisions of the law, such as the ban on denying coverage because of pre-existing conditions, but 65% did not like the mandate that everyone must buy insurance.
Researchers at National Nuclear Security Administration's Brookhaven National Laboratory have developed a gamma camera that features a higher resolution compared with the currently used technology. The new camera can be used to detect nuclear weapon material, as well as to identify abnormalities in tissues and organs.
Eckert & Ziegler f-con Deutschland, a unit of Eckert & Ziegler Strahlen-und Medizintechnik, has entered a deal with ZAG Zyklotron for the production of PET agent 18F-FDG. The deal will allow Eckert & Ziegler to produce and sell 18F-FDG and other radiopharmaceuticals produced by the other company's cyclotron.