Our latest Potpourri captures the excitement of the holidays with scintillating items on certificate of need program effects on utilization, the public’s views on health care costs and government’s role in health care, the cost of developing new drugs and a survey on physician compensation.
Everyone is concerned about health spending growth, the primary cause of which is unit price increases. So why are obvious methods to reduce unit price of services, like substituting less-expensive providers, ignored? An article in Health Affairs looks at limitations of use of nurse practitioners.
Hospital unit prices appear to be the single largest cause of increased health spending, according to several lines of research. In a new report, the National Institute for Health Care Reform examines whether state rate regulation could help address the problem.
Pay-for-performance programs have enough problems demonstrating that they actually work to improve outcomes and now the Government Accounting Office has identified another potential problem for these initiatives–the federal fraud and abuse regulations.
Maryland is unique among the states in having an all-payer hospital rate regulation system. The most recent report on the system’s performance shows that it is continuing to constrain the grow of hospital spending. Payers, hospitals and patients seem happy with the system.
The Food & Drug Administration releases its strategic plan for regulatory science, identifying priority areas and implementation strategies for each. How the FDA carries out its strategy over the next few years will greatly affect both the medical products industry and overall health spending.
The FDA released a draft guidance on how it will regulate mobile and wireless healthcare devices and applications, which to a large extent follows proposed guidance from the mHealth Regulatory Coalition. The guidance may facilitate growth of this industry segment.
The FDA’s 510(k) medical device approval process has been criticized for requiring too little data on potentially harmful devices. The FDA undertook a review of the process and has issued a description of initial steps it plans to take, which the industry seems to view as acceptable.