Modern Healthcare has released its eighth annual list of 100 companies and organizations that have been named to its Best Places to Work in Healthcare for 2015. Modern Heathcare states "The recognition program, now in its eighth year, honors workplaces throughout the healthcare industry that empower their employees to provide patients and customers with the best possible care, products and services."
Sutter Health Davis is the only Hospital in California that made the list. Other workplaces in California on the list include: Bay Cities Health District in Redondo Beach, Grand Rounds in San Francisco, MedeAnalytics in Emeryville, Sutter Center for Psychiatry in Sacramento, TigerText in Santa Monica, and Triage Consulting Group in San Fransisco.
See the list here at Modern Healthcare
Nearly $10 million in charitable donations by California taxpayers sat unspent in government accounts in 2015
"The chairman of California's Senate Governance and Finance committee said Thursday that he will ask committee staff to review all state accounts that handle charitable tax contributions to find out if there is unspent money languishing in them, in response to a report by The Associated Press.
The AP found that nearly $10 million in charitable donations by California taxpayers sat unspent in government accounts at the end of last year. Some of the funds never reach the intended charities and go back into state coffers after taxpayers check a box on their taxes to contribute, as good intentions meet a lengthy bureaucratic maze.
In this Aug. 19, 2015, photo, California Army National Guardsman, Sgt. Jeff Bennett, poses with his family daughter Serenity, 8 months, seated left, son Jaydon, 3, right, and wife Danielle, at their home in Folsom, Calif. After serving in Kosovo in 2014, Bennett was stuck with a $18,000 medical bill for his wife's high-risk pregnancy because of an unexpected lap in health insurance. The California Military Department last year pushed to change illegibility requirements for National Guard relief grants that had gone unused. Bennett was the first recipient of the new grant meant to help members of the National Guard returning from deployment. Rich Pedroncelli AP Photo "This is just embarrassing. It's unacceptable. People expect their money to be spent for these important purposes and these delays, you know, they're not explainable to me," said Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys. "So I just learned about it ,but I'm going to jump on it.""
Read more at Sacramento Bee
"Paramedic Jacob Modglin parks on a palm-lined street in Oxnard and jumps out of his ambulance. He is prepared for any kind of emergency.
But his patient is standing in the driveway of a one-story house, holding a thermos, and smiling. It's time for his 8 p.m. appointment.
Modglin is part of a new cadre of "community paramedics" working in a dozen pilot programs across California. Their jobs are to treat patients before they get sick enough to need emergency care.
The paramedics are still first responders, just deployed to prevent a crisis rather than react to one."
Read more at The Los Angeles Times
"Last year, 369 students graduated from Iowa medical schools, but at least 131 of them had to finish their training elsewhere because Iowa had only 238 residency positions available.
The story was the same for at least 186 students who graduated from Missouri medical schools and 200 who studied at Tennessee schools. States such as New York, California, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania were happy to take them -- all four states took in more residents than students they trained.
This is the world of medical resident matching. When states don't have enough residency positions for the medical students they've trained, they become resident exporters. When states have more residency positions than they have students to fill them, they become importers.
Medical students have a strong interest in where they end up. But so do states. Many have a shortage of doctors, especially in primary care. And physicians who go to medical school and do their residency in a single state tend to stay. Sixty-eight percent of doctors who complete all their training in one state end up practicing there, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).
So while some states spend tens or hundreds of millions of dollars to support medical schools and build new ones, a handful are recognizing that it's just as important to invest in residency programs -- to increase the number of doctors practicing within their borders."
Read more at MedPage Today
"A new survey from The Commonwealth Fund and The Kaiser Family Foundation asked primary care providers—physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants—about their experiences with and reactions to recent changes in health care delivery and payment. Providers’ views are generally positive regarding the impact of health information technology on quality of care, but they are more divided on the increased use of medical homes and accountable care organizations. Overall, providers are more negative about the increased reliance on quality metrics to assess their performance and about financial penalties. Many physicians expressed frustration with the speed and administrative burden of Medicaid and Medicare payments. An earlier brief focused on providers’ experiences under the ACA’s coverage expansions and their opinions about the law"
Read more at The Commonwealth Fund
"Darren Gold had a stomach virus the first time he used an app called Heal to summon a doctor to his Beverly Hills home. He liked the Stanford-trained doctor who showed up so much that he called Heal again when his 2-year-old son had a fever, and again when the whole family had colds.
The charges—$99 each for the first two visits; $200 for the family—weren’t covered by insurance, but Mr. Gold, who owns a corrugated-box company, says that was still a bargain compared with taking time off work to go to the doctor. “Now, whenever my son bumps himself, he says, ‘Daddy, we need to get the doctor here,’ ” Mr. Gold says."
Read more at The Wall Street Journal
"Super-utilizers are the frequent fliers of the health care system, whose serious illnesses send them to the hospital multiple times every year and cost the system hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. Figuring out how best to address these patients’ needs and reduce their financial impact on the health care system is a subject of intense interest among policymakers. Now a new study has found that, in contrast to the notion that “once a super-utilizer, always a super-utilizer,” many patients who use health care services intensely do so for a relatively brief period of time.
Research and news reports often point out that super-utilizers are often uninsured or on Medicare and Medicaid and account for a large percentage of health care spending. Federal officials have suggested that their “large numbers of emergency department [ED] visits and hospital admissions … might have been prevented by relatively inexpensive early interventions and primary care.” Many of the programs that have been developed to reduce super-utilizer health care use have focused on the needs of people with multiple chronic conditions, ensuring they have a medical home through which their care is coordinated, for example, or addressing their social services needs."
Read more on Kaiser Health News
"About half of the nation's primary care doctors expressed concern about quality-of-care metrics commonly used by accountable care organizations, according to the 2015 National Survey of Primary Care Providers released last week by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Commonwealth Fund.
In that survey, almost half of all primary care physicians surveyed (47% of them) also said that recent trends in health care are leading them to consider an earlier retirement.
According to KFF officials, the survey reflects a continuing 20-year pattern of physician dissatisfaction with market trends in health care.
That dissatisfaction extends to quality metrics and the financial penalties for not meeting those metrics. Roughly 50% of surveyed physicians said those provider performance metrics have a negative effect on patient care. About 22% said the practice would have a positive effect on patient care."
Read more at California Healthline
"Traditionally, medical students haven't been taught how to talk with their patients about the costs of treatments and medications. The thinking was that doctors should offer their best advice to all patients, regardless of their insurance or ability to pay.
But in a huge departure from the past, the vast majority of the country's medical schools now integrate discussions of cost, value and effectiveness into their curricula.
It's "a dramatic change," says Dr. Janis Orlowski, chief health care officer for the Association of American Medical Colleges, which helps medical schools develop curricula."
Find more at KPCC
"CVS Health, which operates the nation’s second-biggest pharmacy benefit manager, CVS Caremark, will exclude an additional 31 prescription medicines from insurance coverage next year, including Viagra and widely used treatments for diabetes and multiple sclerosis.
Released this week, the list of excluded drugs also included the weight-loss treatment Qsymia, which last week was excluded from the 2016 formulary of a rival benefit manager, Express Scripts, the nation’s biggest pharmacy benefit manager."
Read more at NY Times