Author: Healio ophthalmology

HHS proposes new guidelines for Medicaid, CHIP, health insurance marketplaces

New Affordable Care Act rules proposed this week by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius set guidelines for eligibility notices and appeals in Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program and Exchanges, plus give states additional operational flexibility for Medicaid programs.“Today, we are proposing a rule to provide Americans with access to affordable, high-quality health coverage and give states more flexibility to implement the law in a way that works for them,” Sebelius said in a press release.

Rheumatoid factor, antinuclear antibody may portend primary Sjögren’s syndrome

Specific diagnostic testing protocols may show signs of Sjögren’s syndrome in patients with clinically significant dry eye, according to a study.The prospective multicenter study included 327 patients with clinically significant aqueous-deficient dry eye. Investigators conducted Schirmer testing, corneal fluorescein staining, conjunctival lissamine green staining and tear film breakup assessment. Patients also took a questionnaire on their history of systemic disease and dry eye.

BLOG: Of doctors and pilots

When I grew up in the early 1970s, I remember considering different professional careers. Among the most desirable were becoming a doctor, a lawyer, an engineer and a pilot. These were the most respected and best paid mainstream career choices. I chose…

Surgical trainees can safely perform femtosecond LASIK

With the guidance of an experienced surgeon, surgical trainees can safely perform femtosecond LASIK, yielding good visual outcomes, according to a study.In a retrospective case series comparing femtosecond LASIK outcomes of 72 eyes operated on by resident and fellow trainees and 157 eyes operated on by an attending surgeon, only flap thickness was found to be significantly different between the two groups, with the attending group achieving thinner flaps (P

Digital health records not upholding promises on lower costs, better care

Electronic health records have not brought the expected reductions in costs or improvements in health care, according to a RAND Corp. analysis.The report concludes that current systems were slow to be adopted and “neither interconnected nor easy to use.”A 2005 analysis by RAND researchers predicted that a broad adoption of health care information technology could eventually save $81 billion annually in US health care costs.The latest report cites the need for health care providers to “re-engineer” processes based on a “compelling vision” that could still meet the original promise of (Read more...)

CMS announces formation of new ACOs in Medicare

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that 106 new Medicare accountable care organizations (ACOs) were created that the agency predicts could give 4 million Medicare beneficiaries access to high-quality health care and save $940 million over the next 4 years under the Medicare Shared Savings Program.“Accountable Care Organizations save money for Medicare and deliver higher-quality care to people with Medicare,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius stated in a CMS press release. “Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, more doctors and hospitals are working together to give (Read more...)