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March 2011 Archives

March 1, 2011

Sorrow, shock over Daines' death at 60 - Times Union

With sadness we report the following from today's Albany TimesUnion:

State leaders reacted with shock and sorrow to the news that former state Health Commissioner Richard Daines died Saturday at his home in Dutchess County.

A cause of death has not been released, although heart attack is suspected.

Daines, 60, was appointed health commissioner by former Gov. Eliot Spitzer in 2007, and stayed on the job through the end of Gov. David Paterson's administration. Daines recently announced he would be joining the New York Academy of Medicine as a visiting scholar.

Read the rest of the TimesUnion writeup at its website. On behalf of the Health Law Section, we extend our condolences to the Daines family for their loss.

March 8, 2011

Confusion about the Status of Health Reform

Twenty-two percent of people participating in a recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll believe the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act "has been repealed and is no longer law." View the poll here and then submit your thoughts to Supraspinatus.

March 9, 2011

'Medical home' idea deemed a success | poughkeepsiejournal.com | Poughkeepsie Journal

From the Poughkeepsie Journal online March 9, 2011:

The "medical home" idea is advancing rapidly in the Hudson Valley.

Its developers say it's a lot like the old-fashioned family doctor, but with some technical twists.

The movement has taken a big step in the past year. Six major health insurance plans have paid a combined $1.5 million in extra reimbursements to doctors in 11 practices who achieved the medical-home goal.

Read the rest of the article at the Journal's website.

March 10, 2011

Medical Homes in New York Hudson Valley

Government Health IT carried an article yesterday (3/9/11) on the advancement of the patient-centered medical home model in New York's Hudson Valley:

Six health plans in a large scale project demonstrating patient-centered medical homes in New York's Hudson Valley paid incentives of $1.5 million to 236 primary care physicians in 11 practices. These physician practices affect nearly half a million patients in the region.

The incentives were paid to providers for converting their practices to patient-centered medical homes, a team-based model, and providing the enhanced services that are part of that transformation, according to a March 9 announcement from the Taconic Health Information Network and Community (THINC).

Read the rest of the article at Government HealthIT's website.

Feedback on creation of NIH's NCATS- advancing translational sciences

From today's NIH Feedback blog post by NIH Dir. Francis S. Collins, MD, PHD: an invitation to listen/participate in a webinar- March 16 at 4pm- he will speak to the community about his vision for NCATS ( the proposed National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences) (1). The 1-hr. webinar is hosted by the nonprofit organization FasterCures. see info. link below.
Read in Feedback posts (1)
-about the recent Scientific Management Review Board (SMRB) public teleconference about NIH activities related to the creation of NCATS. The Board heard from members of the public and from the chairs of the NIH working groups that have been charged with providing guidance on the proposed reorganization. Read the teleconference transcript linked there (46pp)
-about the Dec. 7, 2010, the SMRB recommendation that NIH realign its resources to establish a new Center devoted to advancing translational sciences. The action came in response to NIH Director's charge to the SMRB to formulate/recommend a plan for achieving optimal organization for therapeutic development within NIH.
A few excerpts from NCATS FAQS (2):
-The proposed Center would be formed initially by integrating selected translational research programs now located within the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), and the NIH Director's Common Fund.
-In addition to strengthening and streamlining the process of developing small-molecule compounds into drugs, the Center would support research aimed at accelerating the development of a full range of products and techniques for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease, including diagnostics, biologics, medical devices, and behavioral interventions.
-The central role of the proposed Center would be to establish and provide focused, integrated, and systematic approaches for building new bridges that link basic discovery research with therapeutics development and clinical care.
Read more about the scientific rationale, benefit to the public, proposed organization, logistics and public input, and impact on portfolio research and impact on employees.
(1) http://feedback.nih.gov/ NIH's Feedback is a virtual space for input from individuals across NIH and the broader community on important NIH initiatives as well as issues that affect NIH, the biomedical research community, and human health in general. see current and archived posts

NIH/FDA: Pluripotent cells in translation

NIH/FDA are collaborating on a series of workshops on moving pluripotent stem cell therapies into the clinic.
The first two day workshop, "Pluripotent Cells in Translation: Early Decisions" is scheduled for March 21 & 22.
The first day will cover pluripotency and its challenges, sources of pluripotent cells, and stem cell banks; the second day will cover making pluripotent stem cells into a product, product characterization, and emerging technologies. see webcast info. (1)
New York's Empire State Stem Cell Board will hold a Funding Committee Meeting on March 28 (2) NYSTEM´s 2011 annual meeting is scheduled for May 24 & 25 and will focus on accelerating therapeutic applications of stem cell science, including a dedicated workshop/panel discussion on finding the translational path from stem cell research to therapies.

(1) http://videocast.nih.gov see upcoming events schedule

March 24, 2011

Area hospitals receive reimbursements for meeting health-care goals » Local News » Press-Republican

Upstate hospitals are figuring out how to get more for quality care:

Excellus Blue Cross/Blue Shield has distributed more than $19 million to hospitals across the state, including checks to CVPH Medical Center in Plattsburgh, Alice Hyde Medical Center in Malone and Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake. The reimbursement funds are part of the Hospital Performance Incentive Program.

Read the rest of the article on the Press Republican's website.

March 27, 2011

Update on NIH/FDA Pluripotent Stem Cells in Translation: Early Decisions

The event notice indicates that the meeting will be webcast at a link to be announced and many speakers indicated that their slide presentations will also be available - a significant and valuable resource to take advantage of.
Stand out meeting sessions from a legal perspective includes- Session 1 FDA Roles in the Translation Process, NIH roles in the Translation Process, in Session 2 Regulatory Challenges , in Session 3 NIH Guidelines, FDA Donor Eligibility and Cell Banking requirements, in Session 5 Here's what we expect (FDA) . Session speakers confirmed what one described: that early decisions made in research could be show stoppers at therapy stage.
Issues about donor eligibility and testing requirements were recurring subjects. Presentations revealed complex compliance issues. Attention was called to the importance of developing products with the needs of the future clinical site and staff in mind. Some of the early decisions in research/product development that could impact future clinical use included: the need to retain samples, check vendor supply chain and lot variability, check reagents for their pathogenic status, check the kinds of surfaces used for HESC growth, even the scale of vessels containing the growing cells is important since both nutrients and oxygenation make big differences for growth. Having a pure product is important but beyond that, knowing fully what the composition of the product is is as important. Each day ended with Wrap-ups/ Summaries -great ways to pull together and recap highlights of the day's sessions. FDA and NIH wrap ups noted that best practices were emerging- what are the early decisions in R&D that will impact clinical products, the control of cell and reagent sources, donor testing, knowing about any inherent characteristics incompatible with commercial scale product, stability and issues in scalability in stem cell manufacturing, and informed consent requirements. Another challenge: IVF practices in regard to their testing of couples among other issues.
The presentations also provide references for exploration -a few are listed below.

Continue reading "Update on NIH/FDA Pluripotent Stem Cells in Translation: Early Decisions" »

March 28, 2011

Loose budget accord reached

While some details are still being hammered out and bills are not expected immediately, Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders announced an agreement on the 2011-12 state fiscal year budget last night.

In the health care sector, the deal reportedly incorporates the majority of the Medicaid Redesign Team's proposals, with some alterations, and a cap on Medicaid spending. It is expected that additional details will become available throughout the day as conference committees issue reports and bill language becomes available.

Nursing homes suing New York | The Ithaca Journal | theithacajournal.com

In today's Ithaca Journal online:

Nursing home administrators, tired of waiting for implementation of a 2006 law, are suing the state to get updated reimbursement for their care of Medicaid residents.

Approximately 100 nursing homes, including one company with a nursing home in Endicott, a Binghamton nursing home and one company with two homes in Waverly, joined a lawsuit that calls for immediate implementation of the Reimbursement Reform Act of 2006.

Read the rest of the article at the Ithaca Journal's website.

About March 2011

This page contains all entries posted to HEALTH LAW SECTION BLOG in March 2011. They are listed from oldest to newest.

February 2011 is the previous archive.

April 2011 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.