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Sep 24, 2018

DUBLIN, Calif. — On a recent Friday morning, more than 30 dentists and dental staffers gathered in a conference room to learn an arcane new skill: how to bill medical insurers.

Pacing back and forth, the Florida dentist leading the two-day course advised the participants to stop thinking of themselves as tooth technicians and reposition themselves as “physicians of the mouth.”

“There is a medical part of our practice and a dental part,” said the presenter,...

Sep 24, 2018

This story also ran on NPR.
This story can be republished for free (details).

Workplace wellness programs that offer employees a financial carrot for undergoing health screenings, sticking to exercise regimens or improving their cholesterol levels have long been controversial.

Next year, they may become even more contentious. Two recent court rulings have cast uncertainty over what is the appropriate limit for financial...

Sep 23, 2018

Hundreds of thousands of low-income children and other members of low-income legal immigrant families could drop out of public programs providing healthcare, nutrition and housing assistance due to a controversial proposed Trump administration rule announced Saturday.

The 447-page proposed rule would allow immigration officials to consider legal immigrants' use of public health insurance, nutrition and other programs as a strongly negative factor in their applications for legal...

Sep 21, 2018
Any day now: Imagine being hit with a $1 million penalty every time you prevent a bit of patient information from flowing to another provider. That's the hefty fine the 21st Century Cures Act lays on IT vendors and providers for data-blocking. The Office of Management and Budget is reviewing a proposed rule from HHS that would finally spell out what actions would violate the law. So keep your eyes on the Federal Register.

Sept. 24: Comments are due on the CMS' massive outpatient payment...

Sep 21, 2018
Healthcare costs are too high. Families are grappling with double- and triple-digit increases in health insurance premiums and rising out-of-pocket expenses. A growing percentage of our nation's gross domestic product is consumed by healthcare costs—far more than other developed countries. We need solutions.

To advance the conversation, in May, I released a nine-page white paper of ideas to make healthcare affordable again.



Sen. Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-La.)...

Sep 21, 2018

Like its namesake, Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital isn't satisfied standing pat. The Hollywood, Fla., hospital is adding floors and has been pushing northward, expanding its services to Palm Beach County. Leading the charge at “Joe D,” is Caitlin Beck Stella, who took over as CEO on June 18. She replaced Chantal Leconte, who retired after five years at the helm. Joe DiMaggio Children's is part of Memorial Healthcare System. Stella has a public health background and has been in children's...

Sep 21, 2018

Despite long-term efforts to eliminate the stigma of mental illness, negative connotations are still connected to those words. As someone with bipolar disorder, I have experienced this on many levels in many different settings.

Even as a social worker and a professor, it's been clear to me that being mentally ill is accepted much differently than other kinds of illnesses. But for some cultural groups, the stigma runs much deeper.

Among African-Americans, mental illness has a...

Sep 21, 2018
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INDIANOLA, Miss.—“That's all I have to say about that—I have to go bury the dead,” undertaker Stephen Holland said after listing his grievances with his state's Medicaid politics early one Friday morning in June. Holland is one of a handful of white Democrats left in Mississippi's House of Representatives, and he helped shape the past 20 years of Medicaid history when he chaired the panel with jurisdiction over the program. Reliving that history rattled him.

In...

Sep 21, 2018

Two contentious provisions have stalled the Senate and House plan to release final opioids legislation by Friday. Talks are likely to push into the weekend and possibly until Monday.

The opioids package of more than 70 bills is likely to stay on track for final passage before the end of the month, but two hospital-backed bills continue to stall the final product: a provision to roll-back the extra privacy rules around the medical records that show a patient's addiction history; and a...

Sep 21, 2018

Lakeland (Fla.) Regional Health and Orlando (Fla.) Health lasted less than a year as integrated partners, and will break up on Sept. 30.

The two initially affiliated on Oct. 1, 2017, as a means to improve access to care and enhance quality.

"We have concluded that because of our different strategies and distinctive communities served, these goals can best be achieved independently," Lakeland CEO Elaine Thompson said.

Orlando Health officials could not be reached for...

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