Reflex: December 6, 2011

U.S. medical ‘trash’ saving lives abroad, reports Allie Torgan. “Doctors will often prepare for surgical procedures by opening instrument and supply kits that contain up to 100 items. Many of these items, such as scalpels, needles or sponges, go unused; they’re just not needed for that particular procedure. But because of government or hospital regulations in the United States, they are frequently thrown away, even when they are still wrapped.” Aaron’s comment: It’s great to see this “trash” being used to save lives in under resourced settings. But I bet there are parts of America that could benefit from them as well.

Innovative venture between BCBS NC and UNC Health Care opens today, writes David Ranii. The largest insurer in North Carolina and the University of North Carolina health system are opening a joint primary care venture that plans to care for 5,000 patients. Don’s commentthe new venture is called Carolina Advanced and the principals say it was spurred on by the ACO regs put forth in the ACA; their goal is to better coordinate the treatment of heart disease, diabetes and other common ailments. I wrote about it last winter on my old blog. Some other recent blog posts about this local health care market focused on integration/aggregation of market power here and here and here.

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