August 17, 2012
By Amy Kaufman*
Programs that Reward Doctors for Quality Critiqued
The Boston Globe (8/15) reports that programs designed to reward doctors and hospitals for hitting certain quality targets have been critiqued in several recent publications. This type of incentive program is a major part of a healthcare law that Governor Deval Patrick (D-MA) signed into law in Massachusetts last week.
D.C. Circuit Upholds Biotech Company's Right to Patent Two Genes
The New York Times (8/16) reports that a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld the rights of Myriad Genetics to patent two "isolated" genes, but "denied the biotechnology company's efforts to patent methods of 'comparing' or 'analyzing' DNA sequences."
Group Raises Questions About Federal Spending on Graduate Medical Education
Modern Physician (8/16) reports that "the federal government spends more than $11.5 billion on graduate medical education—or about $100,000 for each of the 115,000 physicians in resident training." According to a brief published by Health Affairs, however, questions about how much money the government should spend remain unanswered. (Note: registration is required to access this article.)
Academic Medical Centers Increase Clinical Productivity
The Advisory Board Company (8/10) reports that academic medical centers have increased their clinical productivity in recent years after incorporating productivity into faculty compensation. Researchers from the University of Buffalo School of Medicine found that there was a clear link between this change in compensation structure and improvement in research productivity, but did not find a clear link to improvement in teaching productivity. The researchers' report can be found in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
*We would like to thank Amy Kaufman, Esquire (Patton Boggs LLP, Washington, DC), for providing this week's update.
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