USA Today – First look at Medicare data in 35 years
Reimbursements to doctors who provide Medicare services in 2012 ranged from nearly $21 million to a single Florida ophthalmologist to the $27,000 for the average anesthesiologist, according to the first look at government payment data in 35 years.
The data were released this week by the Center for Medicare Services after a court order lifted an injunction sought by the American Medical Association had been in place since 1979.

New York Times – Study finds sicklier enrollees in earliest stage of health law
People who signed up early for insurance through the new marketplaces were more likely to be prescribed drugs to treat pain, depression and H.I.V. and were less likely to need contraceptives, according to a new study that provides a much-anticipated look at the population that signed up for coverage under the new health care law.
The health of those who enrolled in new coverage is being closely watched because many observers have questioned whether the new marketplaces would attract a large share of sick people, which could lead to higher premiums and ultimately doom the new law.

Boston Globe – Doctors’ notes on mental health shared with patients
At the end of every workday, psychiatrists, social workers, and other mental health providers write notes describing their patients’ visits. It is where they chronicle paranoid behavior, excessive drinking, or relationship problems. These candid comments often are available to other doctors, but they are rarely shared with patients themselves.
Now, as part of an ongoing effort to make care more transparent, clinicians at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center have begun posting the mental health notes in patients’ electronic medical records, allowing the patients immediate access to the summaries at home.
On March 1, about 40 providers started sharing their notes with more than 650 patients. Some are eagerly reading every word, clinicians said, while others have no interest.

National Public Health Week’s fourth annual Twitter chat – Join public health leaders, advocates and enthusiasts for an hour –long chat on topics ranging from child health; to prevention; to healthy workplaces. The chat takes place today from 2-3 p.m. EDT.

It is day three of National Public Health Week and today’s theme is “Get out ahead” as NPHW encourages prevention efforts to improve our health. From exercise to eating healthy, what can you do today to improve your health for the future?

 

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