California lawmakers call for mining of Rx database to ID reckless prescribers; Medicare spending on cancer care not linked to survival rates;

News From Around the Web

> Lawmakers in California this week called for the state's medical board to mine a statewide prescription database in order to identify doctors who irresponsibly prescribe narcotics, the Los Angeles Times reports. "If we are going to take seriously the role of patient protection, then we have to be proactive in determining if there is a pattern of overprescribing," Assemblyman Richard Gordon (D-Menlo Park), who co-chairs a joint legislative panel that oversees the medical board, said. Article

Health Finance News

> Hospitals in California have lodged a strong objection to pending legislation that would spell out strict guidelines on how the state's acute care providers would define charity care, according to the Long Beach Business Journal. The legislation would mandate the state's hospitals spend a minimum of 5 percent of their net revenue on charity care to maintain their nonprofit status. Article

> Under pressure to convince mostly conservative legislatures to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, red state hospital associations are turning to economic arguments, according to The Wichita Eagle. For instance, hospital associations in Kansas and Arkansas face uphill battles in persuading GOP-majority statehouses to accept Medicaid expansion. Both have commissioned or participated in studies demonstrating the economic benefits of expanding Medicaid coverage to 133 percent of the federal poverty level. Article

Provider News

> Healthcare remains a bright spot in the job market, adding 32,000 jobs in February, according to new data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of those, ambulatory services added 14,000 jobs, while hospitals added 9,000. Post

> Medicare spending for advanced cancer significantly varies across regions, but there is no direct link between higher regional spending and improved patient survival, according to a study published yesterday in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Article

And Finally... What a travesty! Article


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