HHS, FCC select members for FDASIA workgroup; Locked down Boston hospitals balance operations, safety;

News From Around the Web:

> The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and the Federal Communications Commission have selected members for a new Food and Drug Administration Safety Innovation Act workgroup tasked with creating a report for the Health IT Policy Committee by year's end that contains a proposed strategy and recommendations on an appropriate, risk-based regulatory framework for health IT. According to HHS, the workgroup's members include "agency officials and experts representing patients, consumers, healthcare providers, startup companies, and health plans or other third-party payers." Announcement

> A new kidney transplant startup--Konnectology--analyzes claims and clinical data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to help users find out "which providers have the best outcomes for transplants and other complex surgical procedures," according to MedCity News. Article


> For hospitals in Boston, this week has been far from business as usual. With a massive manhunt for a second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing underway Friday morning, hospitals were joining schools and local businesses on lockdown to ensure the safety of patients, family and staff. Article

> Investments in nurse staffing, education and work environments help magnet hospitals achieve better patient outcomes and lower mortality rates, a study in the May issue of Medical Care found. Surgical mortality was 20 percent lower at magnet hospitals, after adjustments are made for clinical factors, research by the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing showed. Article

Health Insurance News

> Although the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services issued a 3 percent increase in Medicare Advantage payment rates a few weeks ago, UnitedHealth is reassessing its outlook for the program. The chief executive of UnitedHealth, the country's largest provider of Medicare Advantage plans, said the company may have to cut benefits, change provider networks or exit some markets to ensure its Medicare Advantage plans remain profitable. Article

> Arkansas continues to be an unexpected leader in the area of Medicaid expansion: Its House and Senate have both passed legislation that would allow the state to use federal dollars to pay private insurance companies to expand the Medicaid program. Article

And Finally… Do as I say, not as I do. Article