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POLITICO New York Health Care: Health care in five years; Hoosick Falls hearings

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written by Dan Goldberg

THE NEXT FIVE YEARS — Farzad Mostashari is a data guy. He founded New York City's Primary Care Information Project under Mayor Michael Bloomberg and served as the national coordinator for health information technology under President Obama. Better data leads to better health outcomes, empowering both physicians and patients to make better decisions, or so the thinking goes. But when his mother needed knee surgery a few years back, Mostashari admitted Tuesday, he was at a loss. “I couldn’t figure out where I would find — how I would find — data on who is the best knee guy in Boston,” he said during a conference about what health care will look like in 2021, hosted by the New York State Health Foundation and the United Hospital Fund. The surgery did not go well and his mother suffered from a series of complications. Now, in minutes, he can compare complication rates of surgeons in his area. What he came to learn, he said, was that the surgeon he chose had performed 84 knee operations the previous year and had twice the complication rate of the surgeon who performed 583 surgeries. “I took her to the wrong surgeon,” he said. The data available now has led to transformational change that is likely to shape how health care is delivered in the next five years. But equally profound, he said, is that the payment models are finally encouraging doctors to make the best use of the data. Read my full story here:

MY LITTLE RANT — There is a growing clamor for an Uber for health care, and what people often mean is something that disrupts the entire business model. During the conference, Jeff Kraut, an executive with Northwell Health, and Karen Ignagni, CEO of EmblemHealth both made a point that bears repeating: Be careful what you wish for. Uber makes money on surge pricing. It’s a great option for the middle class and only works in areas where the supply of drivers roughly equals the demand for rides. That’s not how a health care delivery system works. If you want health care that is always available and charges more when it’s an emergency, we already have that. It’s called the emergency room.

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AND MAKE SURE YOU FOLLOW Josefa and me on Twitter @J__Velasquez & @DanCGoldberg. And for all New Jersey health news, check out @katiedjennings

DFS CONCERNS — Jim Seward, an influential Republican senator, says he has “questions” about Gov. Andrew Cuomo's nominee to lead the state's Department of Financial Services, and a vote on her appointment has yet to be scheduled.

HOOSICK HEARINGS In light of the ongoing water pollution crisis in Hoosick Falls, the state Assembly has scheduled hearings for April to discuss water quality issues around the state.

NOW WE KNOW — Going on a road trip? You may be coming back with a spare tire. A week’s vacation may lead to weight gain, according to a study from the University of Georgia, which found adults going on a one- to three-week vacation gained an average of nearly 1 pound during their trips.

WE'D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU: This roundup is for you, so please tell us how we can make it even better. Send tips, news, ideas, calendar items, releases, promotions, job postings, birthdays, congratulations, criticisms and corrections to

SECOND ACT — A coalition of unions and advocacy groups is joining forces to push lawmakers to pass a mandatory nurse staffing law.

MAKING ROUNDS — Kathy Robinson, who many in the media know from her time at New York-Presbyterian, is now senior director of media relations and public affairs at Mount Sinai Health System.

HAPPENING TODAY The sodium suit is scheduled to have its day in court. There is a possibility the case is adjourned but I could not confirm that as of 11p.m. Read my Jan. 4 story on what’s at stake in this case.

PHARMA REPORT — Pay attention to this: Cigna and Aetna have struck deals with Novartis AG for a performance-based price for the Swiss drugmaker's new heart medication, Entresto, according to Reuters.

-MORE THERANOS TROUBLE — Walgreen’s, Theranos Inc.’s main retail partner, threatened to terminate its relationship with the blood-testing company unless it quickly fixes the problems found at its lab in California, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal.


-DYING TO GET IN — More than 6,000 poor, disabled or elderly Floridians who qualified for home- and community-based health services died during a 12-month period while they were on waiting lists for those services, state data shows.

-ORGAN DONATION FROM HIV PATIENTS — The New York Times reports: "Johns Hopkins said it was set to perform the first kidney and liver transplants between H.I.V.-positive donors and H.I.V.-positive patients in the United States, a development that advocates said could create a lifesaving pipeline for H.I.V. patients while shortening organ donor waiting lists for all.”

-RECYCLING DRUGS — A Utah bill proposes saving unused prescription drugs and donating them to the needy.

TODAY'S TIP — Comes from Community Healthcare Network’s Dr. Gregory Taddeo: “Baby Bottle Tooth Decay most often occurs in the upper front teeth, but other teeth may also be affected and the major factor is the frequent, prolonged exposure of the baby’s teeth to drinks that contain sugar. Tooth decay can occur when the baby is put to bed with a bottle, or when a bottle is used as a pacifier for a fussy baby.”


-GERM FREE — Weill Cornell Medicine researchers are excited by a new tool that can benefit pretty much everyone. Researchers found cell phones treated for 10 minutes in a new desktop-sterilization device were germ free, according to an article in Plasma Medicine. "The reality is, stuff is growing on cell phones all the time. Now we have a device that uses this cool plasma technology to get rid of it with speed and ease," principal investigator Dr. Jason A. Spector, a professor of surgery and of plastic surgery in otolaryngology at Weill Cornell Medicine, and a plastic surgeon at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, said in a press release accompanying the article.

-SOLID SUPPORT Half of Americans would support a tax increase to fund the Obama administration’s moonshot initiative to combat cancer, according to a national public opinion survey commissioned by Research!America.

MISSED A ROUNDUP? Get caught up here: 2/10, 2/9, 2/8, 2/5, 2/4

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