Here’s a link to the Week in Congress’s report on this week’s activities on Capitol Hill.  The Hill reports that the House leadership found a good Republican caucus reception to the idea of passing a continuing resolution until December 9 in order to pass small blocks of appropriations or minibuses in a lame duck session rather than an omnibus. This is in line with the Senate majoritty leadership approach.

In big news for doctors, the CMS Acting Administrator announced yesterday four options for participating in the new Medicare quality improvement program next year without incurring a penalty.  The announcement was well received by the medical associations.

Healthcare Dive reports on an AMA study finding that doctors spend more time with their electronic medical record systems than with their patients. That’s $34 billion in taxpayer money shot down the train on a rush to implement these systems.

Also on the waste front, Fierce Healthcare reports that

  • Hospitals use their chargemasters and a relative lack of price transparency to overcharge for CT scans and other specialty services,” and
  • “A study by researchers at the University of California at San Francisco, published in the Journal of Neurosurgery, examined 58 neurosurgeries performed at their own facility. They discovered that nearly $1,000 in medical supplies on average were discarded with every surgical procedure.”

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