• Prices for hospital care vary widely, even within same city, data show
    WASHINGTON — The actual cost of hospital care became a lot clearer for consumers on Wednesday when the Obama administration released the average prices charged by more than 3,000 U.S. hospitals for the 100 most common medical procedures.
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  • Look Out Below, The Obamacare Chaos Is Coming
    The biggest political problem faced by so-called “liberals” and so-called “progressives” in President Obama’s second term is how to prevent voters from holding them politically responsible as the public comes to realize how badly they were lied to during the first Obama term to win passage of Obamacare.
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  • DIY Health Reform: Proof of How Easy it is to Slay the Healthcare Cost Beast
    Since Medicare was put in place, healthcare costs have increased 274x while all other consumer good and services have increased 8x. We are spending approximately $2.8 trillion on healthcare in the U.S. One could make the argument that there are 2.8 trillion reasons why market incumbents want to protect the status quo but there is a DIY Health Reform movement that is proving otherwise.
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  • Brill’s big breakthrough
    In a penetrating, systemic, and long (36 pages) look at medical care, US style, for Time magazine, with tale after tale of the financial miseries befalling the system’s victims, with number after number bolstering his analysis, Brill zooms in on the nation’s unrealistic and destructive healthcare costs—why they exist and persist.
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  • Commission on doc pay urges shift from fee-for-service, end to SGR
    Starting with the premise that physician salary and expenses account for 20% of healthcare spending but the decisions doctors make influence another 60% of that spending, the National Commission on Physician Payment Reform has released a dozen recommendations to ultimately change how physicians are paid by public and private payers.
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  • Wheels coming off
    The central parts of ObamaCare don’t roll out until 2014, but the wheels are already falling off this clunker. The latest news from four federal agencies is that 1) insurance will be a lot less affordable than Americans were led to expect, 2) fewer people than promised will get insurance and 3) millions of people who have coverage through a job now will lose it, thanks to the president’s “reforms.” Oh, and children are the biggest victims.
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  • How to Worry about the Deficit
    Today, there is no deficit crisis. Tomorrow, there will be no deficit crisis. But in ten years, we will have a massive problem of exploding health care costs. Now that's a crisis to worry about.
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  • Health reform: Alaska among 9 states to skip out on insurance exchanges
    Mitt Romney declared many times during his campaign that he’d “repeal Obamacare on day one” of his presidency. But "the election changes that," as House Speaker John Boehner said Nov. 8, in the wake of President Obama's re-election.
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  • Alaska governor rejects state-run health exchange as Friday deadline looms
    Gov. Sean Parnell announced in July that Alaska would not create a state-run health insurance exchange, and he is sticking by that, Parnell spokeswoman Sharon Leighow said Tuesday.
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  • To D or Not to D
    Vitamin D helps to build strong bones. And there were indications vitamin D could help to control cholesterol. But a study of eight weeks of supplementation finds it didn’t.
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  • Noroviruses get around
    Noroviruses are tiny, but they’re one of America’s busiest bugs. Researcher Aron Hall of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at foodborne outbreaks in the United States.
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  • 'Silent Exodus' From Medicine Threatens Patient Access to Care, Study Says
    The nation's physicians are disengaging from the practice of medicine by working fewer hours and seeing fewer patients. This silent exodus from the medical profession, driven by changes in the practice environment, has reduced patient access to physician services.
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  • Sending patients Outside doesn't cut it
    Medical care Outside to "save money" is an oxymoron. This concept brings to mind many, many concerns -- here are a few of mine:
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  • Mutated smokers
    Lung cancer mostly happens to smokers, but it can happen to nonsmokers as well. However, a study finds that smokers’ lung cancer cells are worse off
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  • Summary of Benefits and Coverage
    As of September 23, 2012 or soon after, health insurance issuers and group health plans are required to provide you with an easy-to-understand summary about a health plan’s benefits and coverage. The new regulation is designed to help you better understand and evaluate your health insurance choices.
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  • HHS, VA demonstrate secure sharing of sensitive health information
    The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced a demonstration of the standards to allow sensitive health information to be shared responsibly and to comply with confidentiality laws and regulations among providers using electronic health records (EHRs). The demonstration also showed how sensitive information can be tagged so that when it is sent to another provider with the patient’s permission, the receiving provider will know that they need to obtain the patient’s authorization to further disclose the information with others
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  • Who Should Be Gluten-Free
    Researchers say many people who should avoid gluten don’t – and they wonder why others do. Those who should avoid gluten have celiac disease, so the protein – found in wheat, rye and barley products – triggers an allergic reaction.
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  • Noticeably Less Sleep
    You might not notice, but not getting enough sleep might make you worse at noticing things.
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  • States continue to move forward, build Affordable Insurance Exchanges
    Today, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Maryland, Nevada, New York, and Vermont have received new grants to help support the establishment of Affordable Insurance Exchanges. Starting in 2014, consumers and small businesses will have access to high-quality, affordable health insurance through an Exchange – a one-stop marketplace where consumers can choose a private health insurance plan that fits their health needs and have the same kinds of insurance choices as members of Congress.
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  • In Defense of Generation Y
    Millennials in today’s workforce are often stereotyped as impatient and demanding. I disagree. In reality, we are optimistic and driven.
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  • Vital Signs: Walking Among Adults
    Background: Physical activity has numerous health benefits, including improving weight management. The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend ≥150 minutes/week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity (e.g., brisk walking) for substantial health benefits. Walking is the most commonly reported physical activity by U.S. adults.
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  • More Evidence That Exercise May Help Treat Depression
    It’s no surprise that upbeat, motivated people find it easier to get out and exercise. But exercise itself can actually improve mood and motivation as well, particularly for people with heart failure, a new study shows.
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  • Aging boomers, health care law creating shortage of doctors
    RIVERSIDE, Calif. - In the Inland Empire, an economically depressed region in Southern California, President Obama's health care law is expected to extend insurance coverage to more than 300,000 people by 2014. But coverage will not necessarily translate into care: Local health experts doubt there will be enough doctors to meet the area's needs.
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  • Health Insurance Exchange consultant’s report released to public
    ANCHORAGE — The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services today released the final report by Public Consulting Group (PCG) on Health Insurance Exchange Planning.
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  • Armed Antibodies: The latest weapon in the war
    ADC-s, otherwise known as Antibody-drug Conjugates or armed antibodies, are a new technology in the fight against cancer. After many years of trial and error, the technology now seems to work. And the companies making it work, like Seattle Genetics, Inc. (SGEN) or ImmunoGen, Inc. (IMGN), offer promising investment opportunities. ADC-s consist of three parts: the cancer antibody, a small but super-strong chemotherapy charge, and the linker that attaches the chemo to the antibody.
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  • Parnell plays cards close on Medicaid
    Gov. Sean Parnell is playing his cards close on whether he will expand Medicaid coverage to an estimated 38,000 lower-income Alaskans but said he would not form a state-managed health insurance exchange, two provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act passed in 2010. Alaska health care providers are closely following the governor’s statements on expanded Medicaid because if the coverage is provided it could substantially reduce losses hospitals and other medical providers suffer because of patients who cannot pay for treatment. Those losses are included in costs the providers charge other patients who are covered by insurance, and have the effect of driving up health insurance costs. So far, Parnell’s statements indicate he is leaning against the expanded coverage despite most of its being paid for by the federal government. Read more: http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/July-Issue-4-2012/Parnell-plays-cards-close-on-Medicaid/#ixzz21YdEC6Td
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  • Can a Woman's Job Raise Her Heart Attack Risk?
    July 18, 2012 -- Women with high-stress jobs are at higher risk of heart attacks and other heart problems compared to those with lower-stress jobs, according to a new study. "Women who had high-strain jobs had a 40% higher likelihood of having a cardiovascular event compared to women who were in the low-strain category," says researcher Michelle A. Albert, MD, MPH, a cardiologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital and an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. "High strain is defined as high demand and low control," she says. A factory job in which a worker is pressured to produce is an example.
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  • Parnell says no to state-run health insurance exchange
    JUNEAU -- Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell on Tuesday rejected the idea of a state-run health insurance exchange under the federal health care law, saying "federally mandated programs should be paid for by federal dollars." An exchange is a marketplace for coverage options. Under the federal health care law, the government can step in and establish exchanges in states where none exist.
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  • CWN Health Care Meeting Follow-up - Supreme Court Decision
    Don’t call it a mandate — it’s a taxSalvaging the idea that Congress did have the power to try to expand health care to virtually all Americans, the Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the constitutionality of the crucial – and most controversial — feature of the Affordable Care Act. By a vote of 5-4, however, the Court did not sustain it as a command for Americans to buy insurance, but as a tax if they don’t. That is the way Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., was willing to vote for it, and his view prevailed. The other Justices split 4-4, with four wanting to uphold it as a mandate, and four opposed to it in any form. (UPDATED) Attached is the full copy of the law.
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The Physicians of Alaska Physicians & Surgeon, Inc. (APS) join together to provide responsible and accountable patient care, which is physician-directed, patient-centered and cost-effective, and to work to preserve access to timely & appropriate primary care and specialty care for all Alaskans.

Toward this end, the physicians of APS resolve to: