A reader wanted to know when updates happen, so I will try to list them here, starting July 25, 2014.
2018 Aug 13 - added non-Medicare cost data for drugs and office visits.
2018 Aug 8 - added new guidelines for coma prognosis and videos to page on medical representatives
2018 Aug 1 - updated penalties on nursing homes for sending patients to hospitals too often
2018 Jul 27 - added links on telehealth, nursing home data, and Medicare Advantage data on encounters with beneficiaries
2018 Jul 6 - added links on Medicare premiums and FDA regulation of software apps.
2018 Jun 20 - added to advance directives page: report on Gosport hospital overprescribing painkillers, causing deaths of 456-656 patients, and added to drugs page: complexities of prior authorization
2018 Jun 14 - updated data on specialists 2012-2016
2018 Jun 3 - updated medical travel
2018 Mar 5 - Added pills advice and international comparisons
2017 Nov 7 - Added life expectancy adjustments for health status
2017 Sept 21 - Updated maps
2017 July 14 - Added 2015 map and spreadsheet of appointment lengths for general doctors
2017 June 19 - Added 2015 list of specialist doctors
2017 May 25 - Added Conflict of Interest to doctor ratings page
2017 May 23 - Updated FOIA page and spreadsheet of all agency processing times
2017 May 10 - Updated ACO public information, waivers, odds of a bonus for cutting patient care.
2017 Apr 27 - Added Medical Letter to Drugs page and Eye issues to Specialists page
2017 Apr 15 - FOIA results, response times, fees, settlement negotiations
2017 Mar 10 - Added detail on problems with e-cancellation in Drugs page
2017 Feb 27 - Rearranged Specialists page, highlighting and expanding Step C - Other Information for Choosing Doctors
2017 Jan 30 - Wider text, more on costs and referrals
2016 Dec 8 - added sites on FOIAs
2016 Nov 23 - estimated 8,000 heart failure deaths per year, caused by readmission penalties
2016 Nov 3 - rearranged penalty calculations and hospital quality. Added NICHE levels of geriatric care
2016 Oct 21 - updated readmission penalties to FY2017, with bypass operations for the first time. Added detail on Healthgrades data about hospitals and doctors
2016 Sep 27 - noted BCBS of NC costs on Specialists page
2016 Sep 18 - new format to name medical representative and noting organ donation.
2016 Sep 7 - updated codes for medical procedures with 2014 costs and volume
2016 Aug 30 - gave links to search for hospitals with the most experience in each procedure
2016 Aug 26 - put specialists on a new page, and re-wrote it with instructions for using Medicare's interactive site to search for specialists.
2016 Aug 23 - corrected patient strategies to note how hard it is to drop Medicare Part A.
2016 Aug 22 - lists of independent doctors and nursing home organizations
2016 Jul 8 - 2012-2014 data on 683,000 doctors & others, to find those who give long appointments & treat you in multiple settings
2016 Jun 10 - Signs and letters written by Medicare, telling patients about ACOs
2016 Apr 2 - Doctor's incomes, hours, satisfaction, discipline
2016 Jan 6 - More info on Drugs
2015 Nov 30 - Renamed Advance Directive Form to emphasize Medical Representative, and updated CPR statistics with success outside hospitals.
2015 Nov 17 - Improved labels in financial data, and added Google sheet of doctors' office hours.
2015 Oct 22 - Improved labels in office hours data, and gave numbers of new patient appointments instead of the ratio between later and new appointments.
2015 Oct 16 - Updated Hospitals.xls+Penalty.xls with minor price changes issued Oct.5. Also corrected total US penalties to exclude Maryland, which is exempt from penalties. Removed blank columns, since sorting is sometimes blocked by blank columns. Reformatted advance directive pdf. Clarified definition of 1st visit with a patient.
2015 Oct 3-6 - Linked to better file to find doctors' phone numbers. Described California's ratings of hospitals. Stressed agent in advance directive. Expanded Excel instructions. Noted new data on types of patients seen by each doctor.
2015 Sep 30 - Added links on selecting medical representative; changed background photos
2015 Sep 2 - Better labels for Doctors, dropped diabetes education (30') to stay under 200 MB
2015 Aug 22 - Clarified doctor files & advance directives; added a Creative Commons license
2015 Aug 9 - Added data on hospitals cutting treatment.
2015 Aug 6 - Slightly better sort of Doctors, added longer patient education, better labels of countries
2015 Aug 5 - Updated readmission penalties to October 2016
2015 July 25-31 - Compiled ratings of doctors on one page
2015 July 1-9 - Added length+number of appointments for 636,000 generalist doctors. Updated data on 230,000 specialists. Better advance directives.
2015 Jun 12 - Simplified example of advance directives
2015 Apr 25 - Added percent readmitted for various causes
2015 Apr 7 - Added state totals for each penalty
2015 Mar 20-23 - Added penalties, address, latitude + longitude to Hospital financial statements. Fixed omission of last character of amounts. Expanded description of penalties.
2015 Mar 14 - Added name, address, phone & hospital chain to Hospital financial statements
2015 Mar 4 - Re-ordered columns, and added web links in spreadsheets of doctors
2015 Mar 3 - Added spreadsheets of Hospital financial statements, and highest-volume 25 doctors for each procedure
2015 Mar 2 - Added note on how high-volume doctors get their start
2015 Jan 15-Feb 22 - Article on Advance Directives
2015 Jan 23-26 - Reduced readmission penalty estimates, to omit capital and other costs which are not subject to penalties, and use Medicare's October updates.
2015 Jan 7-14 - Split off sections about unnecessary care, knees, legal searches & patient reviews
2014 Dec 31 - Published article on selecting doctors by experience & other measures
2014 Dec 30 - Updated ACO list with 89 new groups starting in 1/1/2015
2014 Dec 18 - Corrected in my files, errors which Medicare had in 650 doctors' state or zip code.
2014 Dec 1-12 - Added research on doctors' experience
2014 Nov 29 - Added maps of doctors' experience
2014 Nov 26 - Added more complete files on doctors' experience
2014 Sep 8 - Added input on 2015 Dietary Guidelines
2014 Sep 2-5 - Added comments on Medicare ACO rules, an option to create nutrition graphs in USDA file of nutrients, and more comparisons of protein sources, in site & USDA file.
2014 Aug 22 - Re-sorted USDA file of nutrients, added nutrition labels for protein alternatives
2014 Aug 18 - Added Calories in the nutrition labels proposed in the salt section, and identified almond milk with less sodium than average
2014 Aug 7 - Updated readmission rates and penalties with data from p.756 of Medicare's final rule, instead of p.1495. Both tables have the same title and have slightly different numbers. Medicare says p.756 applies to readmissions penalties.
2014 Aug 6 - Added the idea of clearer Explanations of Benefits, as a cost-saving alternative
2014 Aug 4 - Updated readmissions with data released by Medicare today
2014 July 27 - Listed doctors' experience on home page, with files on the Northeast and elsewhere
2014 July 25 - Adjusted readmission penalties at each hospital, for variations in local costs
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