Healthcare News October 31, 2012

  • Kaiser: Savings hard to find in programs for dual-eligibles

    Everyone agrees that people who receive both Medicare and Medicaid generate significant expenses for the federal government — but controlling those costs might be harder than it seems.

    A new paper from the Kaiser Family Foundation says efforts to better coordinate care for “dual eligible” seniors have produced only modest savings. Dual-eligibles make up a relatively small share of all Medicare and Medicaid recipients, but they make up an outsized portion of spending within both programs.

    Dual-eligibles are among the oldest, sickest and poorest patients in the country — which makes their care some of the costliest. There is broad support in Washington for reducing spending through better care coordination between the two programs, but the Kaiser Family Foundation review says big savings will be hard to find.

  • Celebs back Obama in ‘Yes We Plan’ video

    Celebrities have cut a video for Planned Parenthood’s political arm to encourage votes for President Obama.

    The two-and-a-half minute “Yes We Plan” video echoes’s much-viewed “Yes We Can” video backing Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.

    The new film does not mention GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney or specific policy debates, but alludes to disagreements between Romney and Obama over abortion rights and the mandate that most employers cover birth control for free in their health plans. 

  • Romney surrogate says Roe v. Wade won’t be overturned

    Former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) told voters in the crucial swing state of Ohio Monday that Roe v. Wade is not in danger of being overturned.

    Coleman, a surrogate for Mitt Romney, is Jewish and opposes abortion rights. He made his comment during a town hall with Jewish voters in Beachwood, a suburb of Cleveland.

    “The reality is that choice is an issue for a lot of people, an important issue. President Bush was president eight years; Roe v. Wade wasn’t reversed. He had two Supreme Court picks; Roe v. Wade wasn’t reversed. It’s not going to be reversed,” Coleman said

  • New Website To Standardize Cardiac Educational Training Throughout Europe

    European nations are making their first attempt to standardize physician training and certification, which, surprisingly still varies from nation to nation. This first effort is being accomplished with the recent launch of an educational website commissioned by the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and created by the Frederick, MD-based firm, Enforme Interactive. The dynamic ESC website will provide standardized education and certification to its 75,000 members located in 52 (mostly) European countries. The educational website content calls upon best practices and will result in a higher quality of care for cardiac patients across the continent. Again, this is the first such attempt to address the challenges of varying medical education and practices which still exist among international nations.

    A recently launched European website is the first in the world to address the challenges of internationally harmonized medical education and certification. The dynamic new online education platform commissioned by the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and developed by Enforme Interactive, will provide consistent, standardized education and testing to its 75,000 members across 52 countries. European medical leaders are convinced that standardized medical training will result in a higher quality of care for cardiac patients across the continent.

    ESC, the non-profit association founded in 1950, based in Sophia-Antipolis, France, is dedicated to reducing cardiovascular disease through physician education. “European health care leaders have grappled for years with the variance in medical training and certification among cardiologists that occurs from nation to nation,” said Eric Delente, co-owner of Enforme Interactive, one of the largest providers of web technologies for medical and scientific associations in the U.S.  “Our assignment was to develop a learning platform that would respond to the complex and multi-faceted educational and certification needs of ESC’s international membership – yet designed in a manner that would be highly user friendly.”

    Delente and his team responded with the development of the ESC eLearning Platform, (ESCeL) which debuted at ESC’s annual congress in August, attended by approximately 28,000 health care professionals. The dynamic education portal provides for the training and certification needs across six cardiology subspecialties: acute cardiac care, echocardiography, heart failure, heart rhythm, percutaneous interventions, and prevention and rehabilitation.

    ESCeL will provide cardiologists with the online coursework, study materials, and examinations required for international certification across Europe. The site will also allow physicians to demonstrate their practical clinical experiences and professional skills through online case logbooks and patient safety journals, another requirement for certification. These and other logged clinical experiences will then be reviewed and approved at the local, national and European levels using a sophisticated workflow approval management engine, developed by Enforme. The certification requirement is further enhanced with a journal of publications, research and teaching experience submitted by the ESC physician members that following certification can be shared with prospective employers as a standardized CV.

    Delente said that two of the six cardio subspecialty groups are currently using the site with one or more groups expected to join in by year end. “There is a massive effort underway to add more content to the site. Currently, all the educational content is offered in English, but it will soon support the big five European languages and potentially, later, some languages in Asia and the Middle East.”

    Despite Enforme’s long track record of creating highly sophisticated website portals for medical associations that can deliver highly structured education, be tracked, audited and provide a state-of-the-art user experience, Delente said the ESCel site was extremely challenging. “Because of the internationality and diversity of ESC’s extensive membership which include numerous cardiac associations, the site required many special provisions.  However we felt confident we nailed the site this summer based on the response we received from the hundreds of medical trainees, trainers and professionals we demonstrated it to at the ESC conference.”

    While the ESCel site is still new, Delente believes it has already established a precedent for the importance and need for greater uniformity of medical training among international nations. “It is an issue that medical associations must be debating based on the number of inquiries we’ve received since the portal was launched.”

    Enforme Interactive is located at 228 N. Market Street in downtown Frederick, MD.
    To visit the ESC educational portal, visit
    To see a demonstration of its use, visit

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    2. TrustHCS First in Nation to Offer AHIMA ICD-10 Training Curriculum to Healthcare Provider Organizations
    3. HIMSS Analytics Europe identifies first EMRAM Stage 7 hospital in Spain

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