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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

Employer demand for value-based care is growing

More employers are implementing value-based reimbursement and payment arrangements with insurers and providers, according to a survey released by employee benefits consulting firm Willis Towers Watson.

The 5 innovation questions CMS wants exchange insurers to ask themselves

Health insurers need to see the changing healthcare market as an opportunity to innovate like some car companies have done in their industry, CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt said at an Oct. 5 forum of marketplace insurers.

Hospital’s $39 charge for parents holding newborn goes viral

After the birth of his son Samuel, Ryan Grassley was surprised by one charge on his hospital bill: $39.35 for “skin-to-skin contact” when his wife held their newborn after a C-section.

Commercial ACOs more efficient than noncommercial, both struggle with IT

Accountable care organizations (ACOs) which have contracts with commercial payors beat Medicare and Medicaid-only ACOs on several measures of performance in a study published in the October issue of Health Affairs.

7 key findings on how physicians feel about their workload, morale, MACRA

The majority of physicians feel they have no time to see additional patients and aren’t feeling positive about the state of their profession, according to a survey conducted by the Physicians Foundation.

American Academy of Pediatrics: No more codeine for kids

Doctors should stop giving children codeine, according to a report by the American Academy of Pediatrics published in the journal Pediatrics.

 
5 forces driving ‘seismic change’ in healthcare

A new report from Pricewaterhousecooper’s Health Research Institute (HRI) tries to identify “a vision for US New Health Economy” over the next decade, breaking down shifts in healthcare to five separate areas driving “seismic change.”

New strategic plan for ‘future of nursing science’ released

The National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) has released its first new strategic plan in five years, focusing on the implementation of precision medicine and greater use of data science in clinical trials.

5 things to know about the state of employer-sponsored health coverage

A modest rise in premiums, a big increase in deductibles and a move away from paid provider organization (PPO) plans are among the notable results in the annual survey on employer-sponsored health benefits from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust (HRET).

The Medicare costs of tainted water systems

While contaminated water systems have received more attention thanks to the lead-tainted drinking water in Flint, Michigan, the healthcare costs of infections caused by waterborne bacteria have been increasing for years, according to a study published in the Journal of Public Health.

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