1 in 7 Mortality Postsurgery; ECT and MDE; and Monkeypox News

One in Seven Older Adults Die Within 1 Year After Surgery One in seven older adults die within 1 year of major surgery. The risk for mortality is higher among people older than 80 years or who are frail or may have dementia, according to a new study of community-living individuals. The study did not … Read more

CMS Spent Billions on Meds Without Confirmed Benefits OIG Says

The Medicare and Medicaid programs spent more than $18 billion over 3 years on medications for which there was no proof of a significant clinical benefit, a new federal report shows. On Tuesday, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for the Department of Health and Human Services released an initial take on its ongoing … Read more

Telehealth Benefits for OUD Prompts Call for Permanent Adoption

A new study provides strong support for permanent adoption of expanded telehealth services and flexible prescribing of medications for opioid use disorder (OUD), experts say. Results showed that expanded access to telehealth services, authorized during the COVID-19 pandemic, led to more Medicare beneficiaries with OUD entering treatment and staying in treatment, as well as to … Read more

Medicare Proposes Physician Pay, Policy Changes via Fee Schedule

Medicare’s 2023 draft physician fee schedule (PFS) proposes changes in policies for telehealth, opioid use disorder treatment, and dental services, as well as a plan for the limited use of fee-for-service funds to address social needs. In addition, the draft rule would expand opioid treatment and recovery services, including a bid for wider use of … Read more

Telemental Health Linked to Greater Post-Hospitalization Follow-up

High use of telemental health services by patients with serious mental illness (SMI) who live in nonmetropolitan US counties is associated with improvements in key outcomes, including greater post-hospitalization follow-up, new research suggests. In a nationwide study, researchers drew on Medicare data from nearly 3000 counties covering the period from 2000 to 2018. Results show … Read more