Robotic-assisted kidney surgery safer but more expensive than other procedures; HL7 developing new standards;

News From Around the Web

> Robotic-assisted kidney surgery is safer, but more expensive, than open and laparoscopic procedures, according to a study by the Vattikuti Urology Institute at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. "Excessive hospital charges were significantly higher with robotic partial nephrectomy," says Khurshid R. Ghani, M.D., of Vattikuti Urology Institute and lead author of the study, in an announcement. "While we can report no cost-savings with the procedure--quite the opposite--the benefits are obvious." Article

> HL7 is developing new standards, HealthData Management reports. "FHIR combines features of HL7's current Version 2, Version 3 and CDA integration product lines, while using new Web standards and having an enhanced focus on ease of implementation," according to an explanation from the organization. Article

Practice Management News
 

> As the cost of certain medical tests and procedures becomes more transparent, the theory goes, physicians and patients can make more informed and cost-effective decisions. But how do cost-based decisions influence quality of care? According to experts, the best way to ensure the information is used appropriately is for physicians and patients to engage in discussions, case by case, about how costs should be factored into the overall decision-making process, according to an American Medical News article. Article

> In healthcare, burnout doesn't afflict physicians alone. Other healthcare workers also are feeling a strain of heavy, unsatisfying workloads--so much so that more than a third of them plan to look for a new job this year, according to a new survey from CareerBuilder.com. Article

Health Finance News
 

> A new study by the American Hospital Association has concluded that Medicare patients are receiving services in hospital emergency departments at greater rates and require more intensive care than only a few years ago, impacting the cost of providing treatment. The average number of ED visits per 1,000 fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries rose almost 12 percent between 2006 and 2010, while severity of illness treated in EDs rose by 9 percent, according to the report analyzing Medicare claims data and compiled by The Moran Company. Article

And Finally… Gwyneth Paltrow not so high and mighty when it comes to neighborhood zoning laws. Article

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