Around the nation: West Virginia's pharmacy board will rank doctors by how many painkiller prescriptions they write

Bite-sized hospital and health industry news

  • Maryland: Michael Bloomberg's $350 million gift to Johns Hopkins University has attracted almost two dozen professors to various Johns Hopkins campuses. $250 million of the gift was earmarked to hire Bloomberg Distinguished Professors to collaborate across several disciplines, including global health and individualized health care delivery. The gift is one of the largest ever to a university, and the program aims to build academic connections to lead to unexpected scientific breakthroughs (Dance, Baltimore Sun, 6/21; Johns Hopkins release, 1/26/13).

  • Massachusetts: Barbara McNeil, professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School, has been named acting dean of the Faculty of Medicine. The appointment is effective August 1. McNeil served as acting dean previously in the summer of 2007, before current dean Jeffrey Flier took office. "I am pleased to help guide the School through this period of transition," McNeil says (Harvard Gazette, 6/21).

  • West Virginia: The state pharmacy board is developing a system to rank doctors within each specialty based on the number of pain medication prescriptions they write. The state will send doctors notices of "how they rank among their peers with their prescribing practices," says pharmacy board Administrator Michael Goff. The report cards will not be public, and doctors will know only their own numerical ranking. "This is an educational component. It's not for disciplinary reasons," Goff says (Eyre, Charleston Gazette-Mail, 6/20).

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