MANAGED CARE September 2000. ©2000 MediMedia USA
Chest X-rays do not save lives when used to screen for lung cancer, according to a 20-year study reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Mayo Clinic/NCI researchers found that imaging led to no reduction in mortality, but revealed many "clinically insignificant" tumors, inviting potentially unnecessary treatment.... "California, open your Golden Gate?" Only so we can leave, say physicians. State and county medical societies report a physician exodus, thanks to comparatively low capitation rates and the state's high cost of living. The Census Bureau confirms California dropped from 8th to 12th in the '90s in ratio of doctors to population.... Congress will consider restoring $21 billion in Balanced Budget Act cuts to Medicare providers over five years. Enough? Hospitals seek $25 billion, nursing homes want $17 billion, and health plans say they need $15 billion.... The Health Care Financing Administration will pay Medicare physicians about five percent more in the aggregate next year, thanks to higher reliance on RBRVUs. The upshot: Higher pay for primary care, less for specialties.... Direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising will top $2 billion this year, for the first time, says Scott-Levin, the consulting firm.... Try it: An analysis in the Journal of Health Promotion suggests daily practice of transcendental meditation could prevent illness to the tune of $5 billion a year.