High-tech treatments overused for low-risk cancer patients; Medical costs projected to rise modestly in 2014;

News From Around the Web

> Despite not knowing their effectiveness, advanced, high-tech treatments for prostate cancer often are used on patients in low-risk situations, according to an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. A review of men diagnosed with prostate cancer between 2004 and 2009 found that the use of advanced technologies, such as intensity-modulated radiotherapy increased from 32 percent to 44 percent among those with low-risk disease, MedPage Today reported. Article

Health Finance News

> Hard-nosed and extremely organized negotiations with its three labor unions bore fruit for Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia: savings of nearly $19 million in its new contract with three unions representing non-medical staff. Such savings are critical at a time of tight operating margins, said executives with the hospital during a presentation at the Healthcare Financial Management Association's annual national institute in Orlando, Fla., last week. Article

> Medical costs are expected to increase modestly in 2014, according to the consulting firm PwC. It attributes the trend not only to the still sluggish economy, but also to elements of the Affordable Care Act. Altogether, the PwC Health Research Institute projects medical costs will increase 6.5 percent next year--a full percentage point less than it forecast for 2013. Article

Practice Management News

> For a sixth consecutive year, the Medical Group Management Association gave members the opportunity to sound off about the toughest challenges they're currently facing in running their practices. According to this year's "Medical Practice Today: What members have to say" report, groups are struggling most with financial-management issues, supporting other research citing practices' money woes. Article

And Finally… B-I-N-G- … No! Article