EHR: cost or benefit?

Today’s edition of Modern Healthcare’s Health IT Strategist reports:  Two influential economists yesterday told federal lawmakers that the widespread implementation of e-prescribing tools and electronic health records may only have a marginal effect on savings — and could conversely result in increased costs. Robert Reischauer, president of the Urban Institute, and Eugene Steuerle, a senior […]

It's the deficit, stupid

Warning against complacency over the federal deficit, Ben S. Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman, said Thursday that recent positive trends on the budget were a “calm before the storm,” masking a long-term danger posed by looming deficits in Social Security and Medicare. “The longer we wait, the more severe, the more draconian, the more difficult […]

First 100 hours agenda item – House passes Medicare prescription drug negotiation requirement

The House of Representatives has passed part of the Democrats’ "first hundred hours" agenda (follow along at home, via Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s website), the provision that eliminates restrictions on CMS negotiating process for pharmaceuticals covered by Medicare Part D.  See earlier related HealthBlawg post here. Update 4/18/07: The Senate deep-sixed the Part D price negotiation […]

Federal appeals court upholds Wal-Mart win over Maryland "fair share" employee health benefits law

The NY Times reports that Wal-Mart won its appeal to the Fourth Circuit, arguing that Maryland’s fair share law was pre-empted by ERISA.  Further discussion of the law and the lower court ruling may be found in an earlier HealthBlawg post.  Update 1/21/07: Read full opinion of Retail Industry Leaders Assn. v. Fielder (4th Cir., […]