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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Today's Globe: team healthcare, insurance and follow-up care, VA backlog, gene voyage, hospital revenue

A renowned Harvard economist unveiled a plan yesterday to revamp the US healthcare system by focusing on the value of care to patients, arguing that improving the quality of medical services can by itself save money and provide a road map to a national health plan. Michael E. Porter, a specialist in competition and strategy at Harvard Business School, said that doctors should work together in teams and measure their performance afterward to help fix the national health system. Porter outlined his ideas at a briefing in Washington and in an article published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association. His coauthor was Elizabeth Olmsted Teisberg of the University of Virginia.

Americans don't always get the follow-up medical care they need even if they have health insurance, say two studies, also in JAMA, that underscore the complexity of ensuring everyone has access to good care.

The Veterans Affairs' system for handling disability claims is strained to its limit, and the Bush administration's current efforts to relieve backlogs won't be enough to serve veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, investigators said yesterday.

A yacht voyage that genome pioneer Craig Venter took around the world has turned up a startling array of new genes and new gene families, his team reported yesterday.

Revenue growth at Massachusetts hospitals
did not keep pace with the increase in expenses during the 2006 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, according to an analysis by the Massachusetts Hospital Association.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 06:24 AM
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