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Daily Rounds: Lawmakers Disagree On Payment Reform; Cool New Health Tech; Boomers And Shingles Vaccine

Patrick’s ambitious agenda focused on health care, education - The Boston Globe "Lowering health care costs — through a system that pays doctors and hospitals a set fee for a patient’s care rather than for each test or procedure performed — is no less perilous a path. State Senate President Therese Murray, who has been advocating such changes to health care payments since before Patrick took office four years ago, said the governor should expect a contentious debate when 200 state lawmakers deliberate over the specifics. “There will probably be at least 178 or 179 — probably more than that — who will disagree with some part of it,’’ Murray said in an interview." (Boston Globe)

New technology can be the best medicine - USATODAY.com "Several military-run treatment trials are testing the promise of cellphones and online apps in patient care. Poropatich foresees patients tracking their blood pressure and other measurements using computers and devices, and those findings being monitored remotely by caregivers. Similarly, cellphones and online video can connect care-intensive patients who want to remain in their homes with off-site doctors and families."(USA Today)

Doctors encourage baby boomers to get shingles vaccine - The Boston Globe "Typically the illness hits people after age 50, and it becomes increasingly more common with age. As waves of baby boomers enter their 60s — the leading edge turns 65 this year — doctors are encouraging them to get a shingles vaccine, which has been available since 2006 and approved for patients 60 and older. A study published last week in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that the vaccine was associated with a 55 percent reduction in incidence of shingles among the roughly 300,000 adults age 60 and older whose medical records were reviewed. That translated to one episode of shingles being averted for every 71 individuals who received the vaccine, the researchers said." (Boston Globe)

Political Focus on Jobs in Health Fight - NYTimes.com "In the fight over whether the law will create or destroy jobs, both political parties cite evidence to support their claims. But many economists say the effect on jobs is likely to be modest — neither so negative as Republicans assert nor so positive as Democrats contend." (nytimes.com)

This program aired on January 17, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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