Weekly Nephrology/Health IT News Roundup: November 11, 2011
Institute of Medicine Report Says FDA Not Fit to Regulate HIT
Health information technology has been touted as crucial to better healthcare, but a new report says an entirely new regulatory agency is needed to oversee this largely unregulated sector, which can also injure or kill patients if it’s not operating properly.
Meaningful Use About Better Care, Not Just Better Technology
The larger goal of Meaningful Use is to equip providers with the information technology they will need to reduce the cost of care, improve population health and enhance the patient experience. If healthcare organizations can’t achieve these goals, it won’t make any difference whether they attain Meaningful Use, Stage 1, 2 or 3.
Drug May Delay Development of Kidney Cancer
A new study has found that the drug Axitnib may delay the development of kidney cancer for longer than other treatments.
Research Aims to Prevent Diabetic Kidney Failure
Researchers at the Penn State College of Medicine say that the enzyme arginase-2 plays a major role in kidney failure, and blocking the action of this enzyme might lead to protection against renal disease in diabetes.
Fewer Transplants in Minority Children with Kidney Disease
Black and Hispanic children with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) have lower rates of kidney transplantation before dialysis (preemptive transplantation) than white children, and the findings cannot be explained by socioeconomic status.
Medicare’s Blood Drugs
The FDA has warned that the blood drugs Procrit, Aranesp, and Epogen are dangerous to patients, but Medicare and Medicaid still spend billions paying for the medications, prompting charges of government waste from critics.
Walmart Wants to Be Nation’s Biggest Primary Care Provider
Walmart — the nation’s largest retailer and biggest private employer — now wants to dominate a growing part of the health care market, offering a range of medical services from basic prevention to management of chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease.
Few Americans Think Health Is Improving in the U.S.
Public skepticism about health isn’t confined to doubts about last year’s health care law: Most Americans also think the overall health of the public isn’t improving, according to a new poll commissioned by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Reducing Health Care Costs While Improving Care
A briefing to the congressional “super committee” currently seeking ways to cut the federal budget deficit provided recommendations to curb health spending long term. Included are some examples of the recommendations offered at the briefing, as well as some comments on how the Congressional Budget Office might score the various suggestions.