Volume V, Issue 29

July 16, 2018
Medicare Proposes Major Physician Bookkeeping, Pay Changes
Kerry Dooley Young reports for Medscape on July 12, 2018 that Medicare unveiled a series of broad proposals today intended to pay physicians for more remote care and ease their record keeping burden, while also suggesting a cut in pay for certain newly introduced drugs that are administered in medical offices. According to a letter from CMS Administrator Seema Verma, provided exclusively to Medscape, a large part of the new proposal targets wasted time.

Most specialties would see changes in their overall Medicare payments in the range of 1-2 percent up or down from this policy, but we believe that any small negative payment adjustments would be outweighed by the significant reduction in documentation burden, Verma wrote in her letter. If you add up the amount of time saved for clinicians across America in one year from our proposal, it would come to more than 500 years of additional time available for patient care, according to Ms. Verma.
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Johnson & Johnson told to pay $4.7 billion in baby powder case
A Missouri jury on Thursday < 7.12.18> ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay a record $4.69 billion to 22 women who alleged the company's talc-based products, including its baby powder, contain asbestos and caused them to develop ovarian cancer. The company is battling some 9,000 talc cases. J&J denies both that its talc products cause cancer and that they ever contained asbestos.

"The floodgates were already open on this issue, but this verdict breaks the dam," states Elizabeth Burch, a University of Georgia law professor who teaches about mass-tort law.
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Northwestern researchers on a big breakthrough: Slowing cancer cell growth
Monica Ginsburg, reporting for Crain's Chicago Business on 7.12.18, interviews Karl Scheidt, PhD director of the Center for Molecular Innovation and Drug Discovery at Northwestern University. New research led by teams from Northwestern University and Oregon Health & Science University shows that it may be possible to significantly slow down the growth of cancer cells, potentially making them easier to target with existing treatments like chemotherapy and radiation. The study, published in June in the journal Nature Communications, also includes researchers from Xiamen University in China, University of Chicago and the University of Washington. Research funding was provided by the Department of Defense and the Veteran's Administration.

"Cancer cells are lethal because they move; they're alive," says Dr. Scheidt, co-leader of the study. "How do we slow down that process? That has been the Holy Grail to figure out. We're looking at a completely different way of treating the disease."



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Florida Health Industry Week in Review is published every Monday by

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What Happened (WH) and
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