Washington Health Policy Week in Review Archive

Washington Health Policy Week in Review is a weekly newsletter that offers selected stories from the daily newsletter CQ HealthBeat.

  • July 24, 2006 Issue
Check That Pill: Medication Errors Common, IoM Study Finds

Medication errors are harming at least 1.5 million people a year, according to an Institute of Medicine (IoM) report. Treating medication errors in hospitals alone costs an estimated $3.5 billion yearly and another $887 million for Medicare beneficiaries.

CMS Goes on Offense on IPPS Proposal

Within one week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) twice defended its sweeping plan to change the way Medicare pays for inpatient hospital procedures as lawmakers and medical groups continue to push for a one-year delay.

GAO Finds Few Medicare Beneficiaries Have Trouble Getting Doctor Care

As physicians warn Capitol Hill that seniors may have a tough time finding care if Medicare doctor payments are reduced, a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report concludes that no more than 7 percent of Medicare beneficiaries nationwide have had major difficulties accessing a physician. But the American Medical Association cautioned that the GAO analysis "should not be interpreted as an improvement in access."

Medicare Imaging Cuts Slammed by House Panel

Cuts in Medicare payments for medical imaging that are scheduled to start Jan. 1 took a beating at a House hearing, with only one or two lonely voices offered in defense.

Moving Closer to Electronic Records for All

The nation's health care system moved a step closer to electronic health care records becoming standard operating procedure for patients and their health care providers. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Michael O. Leavitt announced a list of ambulatory, or outpatient, electronic health record systems that have been approved by a federally sanctioned panel charged with setting standards for such products.

Oregon Senators Introduce Catastrophic Health Bill

A new bill (S 3701) introduced by both of Oregon's senators would create up to six pilot projects for which states can apply through the Department of Health and Human Services. These projects would provide basic coverage for the uninsured with additional protection for those with high out-of-pocket health costs.

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