Health Wonk Review and news roundup

June 26th, 2008 by Julie Ferguson

Health Wonk Review – Jaan Sidorov has posted a well-written and very interesting issue of Health Wonk Review at Disease Management Care Blog. Jaan has been a frequent contributor to HWR of late but this is his first time hosting – so when you stop by, be sure to check out his blog, which is billed as “An ongoing forum for information, insights and musings from the world of disease management, the medical home, informatics, pay for performance, primary care, chronic illness and health insurance.”
New Jersey reform – New Jersey lawmakers have taken fast action to enact reforms in response to recent scathing public critiques of the state’s workers comp system. This represents the first major overhaul of workers comp since 1979. The measure now awaits Governor Corzine’s signature before it will become law.
Toxic exposure – Iraq vets – In April, we posted about contractors in Iraq bringing suit against KBR for exposure to the highly toxic substance of sodium dichromate. Now, via the Boston Globe, we learn that contractors weren’t the only ones affected. As many as 250 soldiers were also believed to have been exposed to the chemical, according to the Department of Defense. Reports stated that soldiers were observed to be bleeding from the nose and spitting blood. Congress is currently holding hearings to examine potential malfeasance of contracting firms operating in Iraq.
Medicare Set Asides – A few weeks ago, we linked to the Medicare Set Aside flow chart. Since then, we’ve found another good resource in the Medicare Set Aside Blog and Information Resource. We’ll be adding this to our blogroll.
Electronic Medical Records – On Monday, we blogged about Google throwing its hat in the electronic medical records (EMR) field, and today we learn that a major consumer group, insurers, Google, and Microsoft have just agreed to adopt standards to help speed adoption. Congressional lawmakers are also looking at a various bills related to EMR.
Heart animation – Anatomical illustration has come a long way in recent years. Click on the hybrid interactive heart to see a fascinating example of the state of the art. Also related: heart animation with bloodflow. These links are via the always-interesting Medgadget.
Political regime change and health care – Joe Paduda looks at what health care initiatives might look like in a democratic landscape come 2009 and beyond: “While the Dems would love to begin with a huge overhaul of the entire health system, they’ve learned that doing really big things takes time, consensus, and foundation-building. Instead, the new year will likely start with fixes to current programs and ‘corrective action’ to address issues of little concern to the Bush Administration.”
Industry consolidation – in a $2.1 billion deal, Willis Group agrees to buy Hilb Rogal & Hobbs, locking up Willis’ standing as the third largest global brokerage. (Aon and Marsh hold positions one and two, respectively). Does this signal the start of a spate of M&A activity?
Short takes