An ongoing dialogue on HIV/AIDS, infectious diseases,
October 1st, 2008
Deadlines of Note
Just a reminder of some interesting deadlines/events out there, in case you were too wrapped up sharpening pencils for tomorrow’s Vice Presidential debate:
- As of today, Medicare will no longer reimburse hospitals for medical errors — which includes some hospital-acquired infections. According to this article, several other payors (including private insurers) are using this as a precedent for them to do the same. No doubt the desired outcomes — fewer errors, better outcomes, lower costs — are something we all want, but could it be that insurance companies view these outcomes with slightly different motivations than the people actually experiencing and delivering the health care? (Just a hunch.) Plus, some of these errors are more amenable to systems and behavioral changes than others. Mistakes such as wrong-limb surgery, retained devices during operations, or transfusions of the incorrect blood type are simply not the same as a nosocomial infection in a highly debilitated or immunocompromised patient. Great review of the complexity of this issue here in this week’s JAMA.
- Abstracts for the 16th Retrovirus Conference (CROI 2009) are due today at 5:30pm. As a regular attendee of HIV/ID conferences over the years (and, darn it, frequent rejectee of submitted abstracts), I can state unequivocally that the standards set by CROI for abstract acceptance must be the highest in our field. Moreover, once accepted, abstracts face an incredibly high hurdle to be chosen for oral presentations. Notable examples of this from the 2008 conference include the abacavir/DAD/cardiovascular disease study (published as a major paper in Lancet just a week later), and a large randomized clinical trial comparing abacavir/3TC with tenofovir/FTC. Both of these studies were posters, not oral presentations! This is a tough club to get into, that’s for sure.
- (Warning, no ID/HIV content to follow.) Tonight at 6:30 PM EST, the Chicago Cubs — the best team in National League this year — start their “quest” for their first World Series title since 1908. Yes, that’s a hundred years! Can there be any baseball fan with a pulse out there who isn’t rooting for them at least a little?