June 15, 2012
By Sarah Kitchell*
Study Explores the Causes of Physicians' Disruptive Behavior
An article in Modern Physician (6/12) summarized a recent study in the Journal of Hospital Medicine that explored disruptive and unprofessional behaviors among hospitalists. The article noted that "certain workload and worksite characteristics are associated" with these behaviors were identified by the study and that hospitalists who worked night shifts, younger hospitalists, and hospitalists with less clinical time "were much more likely than others to engage in such behaviors"
(note: registration is required to access this article).
Human Microbiome Project Sequences Genetic Material in 100 Trillion Bacteria
The New York Times (6/13) reported that the results of the five-year, federally funded Human Microbiome Project, which were recently published in Nature and other journals, are expected to "change the research landscape" by significantly advancing "our understanding of bacteria in human health." The article stated that "[n]ot only do the bacteria help keep people healthy, but they also are thought to help explain why individuals react differently to various drugs" and may have an impact on why "some are susceptible to certain infectious diseases" and contribute to "chronic diseases and conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, asthma, [and] obesity."
Study: Female Physician-Researchers Paid Less Than Male Physician-Researchers
The Associated Press (6/14) reported that a study published in JAMA reviewed the salaries of physicians "involved in research at U.S. medical schools and teaching hospitals, all at the same stage in their careers" and found that the average salaries for males were "at least $12,000 higher than women's." Further, the study found "salary inequities even among women and men without parental responsibilities, in similar jobs." Dr. JoAnn Manson, who makes salary decisions as chief of preventative medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital, noted that "men much more frequently than women ask her for salary increases and promotions," which the article noted as being a potential cause of the disparity.
Medicare Revalidation Efforts Deactivate Billing Privileges of More Than 23,000
AMA News (6/14) reports that Medicare's enrollment revalidation efforts have led to the revocation or deactivation of "more than 23,000 health professionals and equipment suppliers" out of a total of 275,000 reviewed since the start of the initiative in March 2011. As part of its fraud prevention measures, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services will use "strengthened measures to rescreen 1.5 million participants" enrolled as providers or suppliers in the Medicare program" until March 2013.
Second Lawsuit Claims State CON Laws Are Unconstitutional
Modern Healthcare (6/11) reports that a second lawsuit was recently filed in federal court "challenging the constitutionality of state certificate-of-need laws that regulate when and how healthcare providers operate." This case, like a similar case heard in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last year, relies on a "dormant commerce clause argument" and seeks to "invalidate Virginia's entire certificate-of-need law on the basis that violates Congress' power to regulate interstate commerce."
AHA and Hospitals Support Drug Repackaging Bill to Fight Drug Shortage
The American Hospital Association and other prominent advocacy groups support a bill that would, among other things, allow "hospitals and nonhospital providers [to] repackage[e] non-controlled drugs in short supply within the same health system," FierceHealthcare reported (6/14).The article explains that "current FDA [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] regulations only allow hospitals to repackage drugs for use within the same building, but under the U.S. House of Representatives drug user fee reauthorization legislation, other hospitals in the system could share the short-supply drugs."
*We would like to thank Sarah Kitchell, Esquire (McDermott Will & Emery LLP, Boston, MA), for providing this week's update.
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