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Nov. 16, 2017
Volume VIII |  Issue 46      
GOP Tax Plan Would Cut Medicare Pay to Providers by $25B in 2018
Robert Lowes reports for Medscape Nov. 14:

Physicians, hospitals, and other providers would see their Medicare payments shrink by $25 billion next year if Congress approves a House Republican tax bill that would add roughly $1.5 trillion to the federal deficit over 10 years, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said today. Lower reimbursement would materialize because the increase in the deficit would trigger automatic "sequestration" cuts for a variety of federal programs, including Medicare, under the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) Act of 2010.
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Comparison of Hospital Resource Use and Outcomes Among Hospitalists, Primary Care Physicians, and Other Generalists
In this cohort study of 560,651 admissions of Medicare beneficiaries in 2013 researchers examined whether the type of generalist physician caring for a hospitalized patient-the patient's primary care physician, a hospitalist, or another covering outpatient generalist-affect patient outcomes in and out of the hospital. This Original Investigation was published online by JAMA Nov. 13, 2017.
Too Early or Timely Diagnosis  
A Country Doctor Writes
I went to a thought provoking series of talks about dementia the other day. One of the first PowerPoint slides listed "Early Diagnosis" as being important. Having watched my father in his final days of end stage Alzheimer's disease seven years ago, I have no sympathy for screening the general population for this gruesome disease. Why would anybody in their right mind want to know that such is the fate that awaits them?
If you have no symptoms, and if you are enjoying your family, career, community and intellect, could you still appreciate whatever time you have left on this planet if someone told you that you are doomed to die emaciated, nonverbal, incontinent, immobile and contracted?
Dr. Jonathan Fialkow
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Trump picks former pharma exec, ex-Bush official to lead HHS department  
Maegan Vazquez, CNN

President Donald Trump on Monday announced he is nominating Alex Azar, a former pharmaceutical company executive and George W. Bush administration official, to succeed Tom Price as the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services...He previously served as HHS general counsel and deputy secretary for President George W. Bush. Following his time with the administration, he worked for pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly & Co. and became president of Lilly USA in 2012. As part of his role at Lilly USA, Azar was on the board of directors for the Boards of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), a drug lobbying group. He left Lilly USA and BIO in January.

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