Headlines on Deadline…

Six California companies have begun paying physicians $20 for e-mail “visits” with patients…. More than half of HMO patients surveyed in an Archives of Internal Medicine study worry that capitation compromises quality of care…. Aetna admits that poor record keeping and incommunicative computer systems led it to pay millions in benefits in recent years to people whose coverage had expired…. A federal judge ordered United Healthcare to refund $4 million to members overcharged when their coinsurance rates were not adjusted to compensate for lower physician fees…. Johns Hopkins University will begin a program to verify and evaluate reported outcomes, thanks to a $6 million commitment from American Healthways, the disease management company…. Use of herbal supplements increased 350 percent from 1996 to 1999, according to a Kaiser Permanente survey …. Obesity correlates more strongly with chronic illness than do alcoholism, smoking, or economic status, according to a study in Public Health.

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