FHIcommunications logo Inform | Connect | Engage 
Feb. 15, 2018
Volume IX |  Issue 7     
Health equity is the missing value in value-based payments
Christopher J. Frank, MD, PhD
The way doctors and hospitals are paid is undergoing a quick and quiet revolution in an attempt to control costs and improve health outcomes. Federal payers are driving this change from fee-for-service payments to reimbursements based on quality outcomes and measurements of clinical processes. This focus on clinical outcomes does not account for the deep inequities that drive poor health outcomes in the United States. Without measuring and paying for improvements in health equity, attempts to achieve a high-value and lower-cost health care system through changes to our payment system may fail.
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VA Director Under Fire 
Emily Wax-Thibodeaux
The Washington Post

Embattled Veterans Affairs Secretary David J. Shulkin promised House lawmakers Thursday <2.15.18> that he will repay parts of his taxpayer-funded travel to Europe last year, a 10-day trip that included choice accommodations for a Wimbledon tennis match and several sightseeing excursions with his wife...Shulkin, appearing shaken, told the committee he would repay the treasury, follow the inspector general's recommendations and "do whatever I have to do to make things right."
17 Dead in Mass Shooting at High School in North Broward
Elizabeth Chuck, Alex Johnson and Corky Siemaszko NBC News

At least 17 people were killed when a teen opened fire with a semiautomatic rifle at a high school in Parkland, Florida, on Wednesday afternoon <2.14.18>, officials said. Fourteen others were wounded, five of whom
suffering life-threatening injuries, hospital officials said. Authorities said the suspect, identified as 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, concealed himself in the crowd fleeing Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. He was arrested in nearby Coral Springs and later charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.
Doctors Learn How To Talk To Patients About Dying 
Melissa Bailey | KHN

Lynn Black's mother-in-law, who had lupus and lung cancer, was rushed into a hospital intensive care unit last summer with shortness of breath. As she lay in bed, intubated and unresponsive, a parade of doctors told the family "all good news." A cardiologist reported the patient's heart was fine. An oncologist announced that the substance infiltrating her lungs was not cancer. An infectious-disease doctor assured the family, "We've got her on the right antibiotic." With each doctor's report, Black recalled, most of her family "felt this tremendous sense of relief." But Black, a doctor herself, knew the physicians were avoiding the truth: "She's 100 percent dying."
Healthcare Triage 
The Ups and Downs of Evidence Based Medicine 
 Aaron Carroll, MD