Daily roundup: June 13, 2014

Bite-sized hospital and health industry news

  • Arizona: Researchers at Arizona State University (ASU) are developing a device that could rapidly measure a patient's exposure to radiation from a nuclear event. The multi-million dollar, multi-institution project is part of an initiative from HHS's Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (Ringle, Phoenix Business Journal, 6/11).

  • Kansas: Twelve health care facilities in Wichita have joined forces to establish universal surgical safety protocols and create common rules for physicians who have privileges at several facilities. The newly minted Wichita Quality Health Collaborative requires clinicians to ID patients by birth date and name, verify the procedure with the patient, state known patient allergies with the surgical team, ensure that the incision site is correct and clearly marked, and address last-minute worries (Heck, Wichita Business Journal, 6/11). 

NEJM: Surgical checklists may not save lives

  • Michigan: About 12,500 patients will participate in a "surgery boot camp" in the weeks leading up to their operations as part of a University of Michigan Health System initiative aimed at helping patients recover more swiftly and reducing health costs. Through the boot camp, patients will eat healthfully, exercise more, and learn stress-reduction techniques. The initiative—made possible by a $6.4 million Health Care Innovation Award from CMS—will expand across the state and eventually include a smartphone application and home health program (Runk, AP/Miami Herald, 6/11).

  • New Jersey: The New Jersey Vapor Retailers Coalition is pushing back against a proposed 75% wholesale tax on e-cigarettes. Instead, the group says that the state should pass a five-cent tax on each milliliter of nicotine liquid in the devices, similar to the tax North Carolina passed this month. Gov. Chris Christie (R) says the tax could bring in $35 million a year (Dawsey, Wall Street Journal, 6/10).

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