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Medicine and Public Issues | 
Neil M. Kirschner, PhD; Lois Snyder Sulmasy, JD; and Aaron S. Kesselheim, MD, JD, MPH
The Open Payments program is a government initiative through which financial relationships between applicable industries and covered physicians or teaching hospitals are publicly reported. The program does not assess these relationships but rather facilitates transparency and allows stakeholders to use this information in making informed decisions. This article outlines the program and its goals, reviews its requirements and when they go into effect, examines the implications for physicians and their patients, and makes recommendations to help physicians and teaching hospitals prepare for its implementation.
Topics: ethics, drug industry, health policy, medical industries, physician payments sunshine act, teaching hospitals
Recently revealed safety lapses in U.S. government facilities that work with deadly pathogens suggest that, despite efforts to protect us from bioterrorism as well as naturally occurring infectious diseases, there is another grave bioterror threat: the risk emanating from biocontainment laboratories themselves. This commentary discusses possible factors contributing to the safety lapses and strategies to prevent future incidents.
Topics: bioterrorism, containment of biohazards, biomedical research, laboratory biosafety level, biocontainment laboratories, laboratory
The National Quality Forum recently convened an expert panel to make recommendations on whether to risk-adjust health care performance measures for patient sociodemographic factors in addition to clinical factors present at the initiation of care. This commentary discusses why the panel chose to recommend such adjustment and why the topic is so hotly debated.
Topics: risk adjustment, socioeconomic factors, poverty, patient characteristics, performance measures, hospitals, patient readmission
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