FDA clears first blood-tracking device using RFID; Research points to inconsistency in physician-patient interaction;

News From Around the Web

> The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday cleared the first blood tracking device using radio frequency identification technology, iTrace for Blood Centers (Version 1.0.924.0). The tool, according to Karen Midthun, director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said in an announcement that the product will help to streamline blood collection while "aiding in product tracking and reconciliation." Announcement

Health Finance News

> At least 250,000 U.S. veterans won't get insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act, putting financial strain on the healthcare industry in general and at the hospitals where they obtain care in particular. Altogether, 40 percent of veterans have incomes at or below 138 percent of the federal poverty level. Article

> Participants in California's health insurance exchange seemed to make a unilateral decision to help keep prices low: Exclude some of the state's most prestigious--and costliest--hospitals. Landmark Los Angeles providers such as Cedars-Sinai Medical Center are not included in the networks of any of the 13 health plans participating in the Covered California exchange, while only one plan offers UCLA Medical Center. Article

Provider News

> Despite the health industry's emphasis on patient-centered care, propelled even faster by the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, research shows little consistency in how physician-patient interactions promote shared and informed decision-making, according to four studies and a commentary published this month in JAMA Internal Medicine. Article

> People struggling to control their weight also tend to have a hard time finding a doctor they want to stick with, thus compromising continuity of care for a population at increased risk for health problems, according to new research published in the journal Obesity. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine found overweight patients doctor-shopped--defined as switching doctors more than five times within two years--23 percent more than patients of normal weight. Article

And Finally… The cheese may stand alone, but it rolls pretty deep. Article

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