Health Policy

Healthcare of Tomorrow: Digital, Genomic, and Patient-Focused

Caroline Helwick

March 2013, Vol 4, No 3 - Health Policy

New Orleans, LA—As a leader in the movement to modernize healthcare through the latest technology, Eric J. Topol, MD, the Gary and Mary West Endowed Chair of Innovative Med­icine, Professor of Genomics, Depart­ment of Molecular and Experimental Medicine,  Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla; Director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute, La Jolla; and Chief Academic Officer, Scripps Health, San Diego, CA, proposes creative and effective ways to treat patients that will also dramatically reduce the cost of care.

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Time to Review Practice Policies: HIPAA Privacy and Security Regulations Released

Ross D. Margulies, JD, MPH; Jayson Slotnik, JD, MPH

February 2013, Vol 4, No 2 - Health Policy

On January 17, 2013, nearly 3 years after its initial proposed rule, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued the long-awaited and much- anticipated HIPAA “omnibus” rule, extending the scope of the privacy law beyond providers to their business associates and subcontractors and adding increased penalties.1 Regulated entities must be in compliance with the new rules by September 22, 2013, although covered entities and business associates will have up to 1 year after the 180-day compliance date to modify existing contracts to comply with these revised [ Read More ]

CMS Finalizes Payment Policies for 2013, Signaling a Shift toward Paying for Value

Ross D. Margulies, JD, MPH; Jayson Slotnik, JD, MPH

November 2012, Vol 3, No 8 - Health Policy

?In this article we address the final payment rules issued on November 1, 2012, by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Physician Fee Schedule (PFS), and the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Pay­ment System. These annual updates to Medicare payment rates for physicians and hospitals can have a dramatic impact on reimbursement and incentives within the Medicare program, but they also tend to impact trends in the commercial insurance market.

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Molecularly Targeted Agents Have Lower Rates of Severe Diarrhea than Standard Chemotherapy

Phoebe Starr

September 2012, Vol 3, No 6 - Health Policy

New York, NY—Diarrhea is a common side effect of standard chemo­therapy, but the risk is less well characterized with molecularly targeted agents, which may add to the risk of diarrhea when combined with standard chemo­therapy, according to Lowell Anthony, MD, Professor of Medicine, University of Kentucky, and Chief of Medical Oncology, UK HealthCare, Lexington, who discussed this topic at the 2012 Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer Inter­national Symposium.

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Medicare Proposes Rewarding Quality, Cutting Payments for Oncology Providers

Ross D. Margulies, JD, MPH; Jayson Slotnik, JD, MPH

September 2012, Vol 3, No 6 - Health Policy

On July 6, 2012, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) and Hospital Out­patient Prospective Pay­ment System (HOPPS) proposed rules for fiscal year 2013. These rules include a number of proposed changes aimed at improving quality and promoting value in cancer care in the Medicare program. Although many of these changes are positive, a number of proposed cuts to payment rates, particularly to services performed by radiation oncologists, could have a devastating impact on oncology providers and patients.

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The Affordable Care Act: The Day of Reckoning Arrives

Ross D. Margulies, JD, MPH; Jayson Slotnik, JD, MPH

July 2012, Vol 3, No 5 - Health Policy

Over the past 2 years, we have written about the impact of accountable care organizations, value-based purchasing, health insurance exchanges, and other programs relevant to the oncology community. These initiatives were all born out of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which, on June 28, 2012, had its major day of reckoning. In a 5 to 4 decision authored by Chief Justice John Roberts, the US Supreme Court upheld the ACA’s individual mandate—the requirement that most Americans obtain health insurance that meets the definition of minimum essential coverage.

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AMA Delegates and Oncologists Balk at ICD-10 Implementation

Caroline Helwick

March 2012, Vol 3, No 2 - Health Policy

New Orleans, LA—According to the American Medical Association (AMA) and many oncologists, the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) diagnostic coding system will be a needless and expensive burden to oncology practices, without enhancing patient care. ICD-10 is being developed by the World Health Organization. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) ordered the switch in 2009 as part of carrying out the Health Insur ance Portability and Accountability Act. [ Read More ]