California is expected to face a statewide shortfall of primary care providers in the next 15 years, with acute shortages in the Central Valley, Central Coast and Southern Border areas, due to the uneven distribution of care across the state, according to a report by the Healthforce Center at UCSF. The study predicts mid-range shortfalls of about 4,700 primary care clinicians in 2025, and the need for about 4,100 additional providers in 2030 to meet the expected population demand. Close monitoring of the clinician supply, along with targeted efforts to recruit and retain new primary care physicians is recommended.
Based on a scan of Community Health Needs Assessments (CHNAs) developed by nonprofit rural hospitals in Nebraska, this report finds the most common highest priorities were behavioral health issues and obesity and overweight issues, followed by access to care, chronic disease prevention and screening (e.g., diabetes and hypertension), and cancer. However, most CHNAs failed to discuss the gaps in available resources and the impact of previous intervention strategies.
A battle over high drug prices has become a battle over transparency—specifically, which drug makers are funding an effort to block a measure on the Ohio ballot this November that seeks to rein in the state’s drug prices. According to Stat News, the proposal in Ohio is similar to the one that California voters shot down last November following a huge oppositional push from drug companies; it’s even backed by the same group, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which runs a nonprofit network of clinics.
The Rauner administration has awarded bids to six insurers in a quest to overhaul a major Medicaid cost-saving initiative in Illinois which will cut the number of participating carriers in half, according to a report by Modern Healthcare. In Illinois, 12 insurers currently manage the benefits for about 63 percent of Medicaid recipients, though only 9 carriers bid for contracts. Under Rauner's overhaul, 80 percent of Medicaid enrollees must choose or be assigned to a managed care plan. The new contracts are expected to save between $200 million and $300 million a year through due to cost-cutting incentives for insurers.
California’s Hospital Quality Institute was named one of the American Hospital Association’s 2017 “Stars of the Field,” according to Advisory Board. The Hospital Quality Institute – which was formed by the California Hospital Association, the Hospital Council of Northern and Central California, the Hospital Association of Southern California, and the Hospital Association of San Diego and Imperial Counties – was honored for its "unprecedented breadth, depth, and alignment of statewide quality improvement initiatives," including a 47 percent decrease in early elective deliveries, a 34 percent decrease in obstetric trauma, and—over a five year period—a 30 percent decrease in sepsis mortality.
California’s Hospital Quality Institute was named one of the American Hospital Association’s 2017 “Stars of the Field,” according to the Advisory Board. The Hospital Quality Institute was formed by the California Hospital Association, the Hospital Council of Northern and Central California, the Hospital Association of Southern California, and the Hospital Association of San Diego and Imperial Counties. Results included a 47 percent decrease in early elective deliveries, a 34 percent decrease in obstetric trauma, and a 30 percent decrease in sepsis mortality over a five-year period.
State and local public health officials will assess how the elimination of the North Dakota Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control Policy (a.k.a. BreatheND) will impact tobacco use, according to The Bismarck Tribune. BreatheND’s services were folded into the state’s Health Department. The health department must develop a plan based on best practices from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to carry out their mission with less money.
Business owners invest in quality health insurance for their employees, but if insurance companies constantly look for ways to deny employees essential treatments, they undermine business investment and impede economic growth, according to a commentary by the president of the Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in the Naples Daily News. insurers regularly require doctors to obtain prior authorization for certain medications, even when the prescribing doctor has examined the patient and deemed a specific drug is necessary. This policy second-guesses doctors and values profits before expedient patient care, which can have negative implications for healthcare spending.
One of the American healthcare system’s most stubborn challenges is the vicious circle of poor health and poverty which continues to snare high-risk patients. According to Penn Today, the Penn Center for Community Health Workers designed a new program based on patient feedback that deploys skilled and caring health workers into the community. This approach improves quality of life for Philadelphia patients and has a direct impact on their health and well-being, while saving money on avoidable hospitalizations.
The Southcentral Foundation’s NUKA Model of Care has significantly improved patient satisfaction and decreased the use of avoidable medical services by embedding treatment for mental and emotional illness into its primary care practices, reports Politico. In 2011, the Foundation was awarded the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for delivering top-quality care at a lower cost than most U.S. providers. Integrative care models like the NUKA Model are increasing in popularity in response to mounting pressure to bend the healthcare cost curve, but reimbursement challenges threaten the model’s success.