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Care Delivery

 

The total number of licensed physicians has increased by 12 percent since 2010, with women and Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (DOs) making up a greater share of the physician population, according to a report released by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB).

Walla Walla General Hospital in Washington has been closed by owner Adventist Health, citing financial challenges and a failed plan to transfer ownership Providence Health & Services.

There appears to be a direct link between hospitals’ initiatives to improve blood use stewardship and a 20 percent decrease in blood utilization for 134 diagnoses which make up 80 percent of red blood cell usage.

Most healthcare organizations with revenue under $1 billion surveyed by the Ernst & Young LLP Advisory Health practice reported having no value-based reimbursement initiatives and placed a lower priority on bundled payments and alternative payment models than larger systems.

States would be able to waive requirements for insurers to cover the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s “essential health benefits” (EHBs) under Republican plans to replace the law. The benefits most likely to be waived, however, make up small shares of premiums compared to other costs, according to an analysis from Urban Institute fellows Linda Blumberg, PhD, and John Holahan, PhD.

 

Recent Headlines

ACHE 2017: Embracing value-based care essential to attracting big purchasers like Boeing, Walgreens

Large corporations want healthy workers and lower healthcare costs. If hospitals and medical groups are going to win the right to provide care to those employees and their families, innovative approaches to care, having the right infrastructure in place and taking a lot of meetings are a must. 

AMA: 90% of physicians satisfied with career choice

Despite changes in the healthcare field and multiple surveys finding an increase in physician burnout, almost all doctors say they’re satisfied with their choice to become physicians, according to a new survey from the American Medical Association (AMA). 

AAMC: Physician shortage could surpass 100,000 by 2030

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) said the nation’s physician shortage isn’t going to get any better, projecting a shortage of between 40,800 and 104,900 doctors by 2030 in a report conducted by global information company IHS Markit.

First-year residents will once again be able to work 24-hour shifts

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) has revised its limits on how long first-year residents can work in a single shift, increasing it from 16 to 24 hours, matching the maximum for residents at all levels.

How delivery system innovations can succeed: ‘Do fewer projects, but do them better’

The need for changing healthcare delivery is clear, according to David Bates, MD, MSc, chief of the general internal medicine division at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Allowing those changes to succeed in the world of value-based care, however, may require organizations to devote more of its own resources to delivery system reforms. 

HIMSS 2017: Prior authorization flaws require collaborative response

A multi-stakeholder conversation about the burden of prior authorization requirements offered a consensus that something has to change with these policies, but the parties could not offer a silver bullet on how the process can improve.

Telehealth increases utilization instead of replacing office visits

Using direct-to-consumer telehealth, where a patient was direct access to a physician on the phone or through videoconferencing, may be a tool to increase access to care. According to a study published in the March 2017 issue of Health Affairs, it also increases utilization and spending. 

Need for real-world evidence in value-based care could be advantage for pharma

With more physicians employed in larger organizations than private practices, and those larger groups being more likely to be reimbursed through models which involve financial risk, more physicians are looking to real-world evidence to inform their clinical decisions—a shift which could be beneficial for pharmaceutical companies.

New Jersey law limits initial opioid prescriptions to five days

New Jersey has enacted what its governor calls the strictest anti-opioid law in the country, affecting how long the length of initial prescriptions and waiving prior authorization requirements for those seeking treatment for addiction.

Uninsured rate at 8.8 percent; high-deductible plans on the rise

The latest National Health Interview Survey figures on health coverage show the number of people without health insurance fell to a new low through the first nine months of 2016.

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