Medical peer review is a process by which a reviewing body reviews the care and treatment given by physicians to patients who suffered an unfavorable medical outcome to determine whether poor medical treatment or decisions was the cause of the unfavorable outcome. The federal Health Care Quality Immunity Act (HCQIA) immunizes hospitals and medical staff participating in professional peer review from civil lawsuits.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the agency that runs the Medicare program, has decided to cover positron emission tomography (PET) scans for Medicare patients with suspected Alzheimer’s disease. Medicare patients who have been diagnosed with dementia and who have experienced a six-month decline in cognitive abilities are eligible for PET scans, as are Medicare patients with early dementia or unexpected memory loss who are enrolled in certain clinical trials.
The Healthcare Integrity and Protection Data Bank (HIPDB) was created in an attempt to combat healthcare fraud. HIPDB requires the reporting of final actions that have been taken against healthcare providers, practitioners, and suppliers.
The National Environmental Public Health Tracking Program collects data on public health and the environment. The goal of the program is to identify, control, and prevent environmentally-related diseases. The program provides information that can be used to initiate public health actions, to conduct planning and evaluation, and to support scientific studies.
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a federal grant-based program that provides supplemental nutritious food, nutrition education, and health care referrals to people who are nutritionally at risk, including pregnant women, breastfeeding women, non-breastfeeding postpartum women, infants, and children up to five years of age.
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