Johns Hopkins announced today that PepsiCo, the world's second-largest food and beverage business, will offer its employees the option to travel to Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore for cardiac and complex joint replacement surgeries. The travel surgery benefit will be extended to PepsiCo's domestic employees and their dependents almost 250, 000 people making the finest in medical care available regardless of geography. PepsiCo, which sponsors its own self-funded medical plans, will waive deductibles and coinsurance for those who elect to have their surgery at Johns Hopkins. The company will also cover the travel and lodging expenses to Baltimore for the patient and a companion. The payment methodology for these procedures is a bundled rate, an all-inclusive rate for hospital and physician charges and certain preoperative testing.
Despite the benefits, only a small minority of women, regardless of age, are opting for immediate reconstructive breast surgery after undergoing mastectomy for treatment of breast cancer, according to data presented at the 2011 CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held Dec. 6-10, 2011. Research has shown that immediate breast reconstruction after mastectomy improves psychological well-being and quality of life and provides women with improved body image and self-esteem compared with delaying the procedure. However, data from this study, presented by Dawn Hershman, M.D., associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, indicate that only about one third of women undergo the procedure. Hershman and colleagues identified 106, 988 women with breast cancer who underwent mastectomy between 2000 and 2010.
Japanese vehicle manufacturer, Toyota, is well-known for developing the principles of so-called "lean manufacturing". Research published in the International Journal of Technology Management suggests that the lean approach might also be beneficial to medical procedures, making hospitals more efficient and cut waiting lists. Management Engineer Kasper Edwards of the Technical University of Denmark in Lyngby and colleagues first reviewed the research literature on lean practices. Lean manufacturing based on the Toyota Production System is founded on the idea of "preserving value with less work". It is perhaps the natural extension of the Ford Motor Company's original production line approach and involves avoiding any expenditure or costs that do not create value for the end customer. From the consumer perspective, this means offering products or services at a price the customer is willing to pay.
Residents at U.S. neurosurgery training programs strongly oppose new regulations that further limit their duty hours, according to a survey study in the December issue of Neurosurgery, official journal of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health. The study was performed by Dr. Kyle M. Fargen and colleagues at the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Eighty-Hour Work Week Isn't Enough, Neurosurgery Trainees Say The researchers sent a survey to residents enrolled in 101 neurosurgery training programs in the United States and Puerto Rico. The residents were asked for their views on the new rules, which limit the maximum shift lengths of doctors in training, as well as the perceived effects of the limited hours on their education.
Breast reconstruction surgery will become both safer and more realistic thanks to research led by Queensland University of Technology (QUT). Professor Dietmar W. Hutmacher from QUT's Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI) recently conducted a research project in collaboration with engineers and surgeons in Singapore and Germany, which used computer aided design (CAD) to produce moulds accurately modelled on a laser scan of a patient's healthy breast. Surgeons successfully used the moulds during three tissue reconstruction operations. "Previously the surgeon would do everything by eye and feel. With the mould they have a physical template to check out the exact shape and tissue volume needed for the reconstruction surgery, " Professor Hutmacher said. The three patients taking part in the study reported higher levels of satisfaction with the surgery results than those in a control group.