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A recent federal report is ranking the health care at Wisconsin’s rural hospitals as one of the best, according to WKBT News. The report, from the Federal Health Resources and Services Administration, refers to the 58 rural hospitals with 25 beds or less. Hospital officials cite patient outcomes and communication with larger hospitals as contributing factors.
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.
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.
Rural medical clinics coordinate patient care better than Twin Cities clinics, on average, according to a new Minnesota survey that suggests small facilities and do-it-all small-town doctors still offer advantages in an era of modern medicine.
Prices for drugs at independent pharmacies and online retailers were lower on average than at grocery, big-box or chain drug stores, according to a recent study published in the American Journal of Managed Care. The study—which examined variations in prices for two generic antibiotics across and within Los Angeles-area zip codes—found that price shopping within a small geographic area can yield considerable cost savings for consumers.
Under a new Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services waiver approval, Maryland hospitals and doctors can enter care-coordination partnerships and share savings stemming from more efficient treatment, according to Modern Healthcare. Sixteen hospitals will participate in the Care Redesign Program, and more will be able to join next year. In addition to allowing hospitals and doctors to share in savings, the effort will make it easier for multiple providers to access patient's data, ensuring that all providers responsible for that person's care are aware of all treatments being received.
Ohio’s Healthcare Price Transparency Law did not go into effect as scheduled and faces stiff opposition from providers, according to Kaiser Health News. The law requires providers to give patients an estimate of what non-emergency services would cost before they commence treatment. Patient advocates say such transparency would be helpful for patients, allowing them to shop around for some services to hold down out-of-pocket costs, as well as prepare their household budgets for upcoming health-related spending in a time of high-deductible plans.
Michigan was recognized by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration as one of the top performing states for critical access hospitals over the last year, according to the Michigan Health & Hospital Association. These critical access hospitals typically serve rural communities, having 25 beds or fewer, having lower volume and voluntarily report on quality measures that are specific to rural environments.
Rural Western Kentucky is one of only a handful of U.S. regions to improve on a majority of measures tracked by the Commonwealth Fund’s Scorecard on Local Health System Performance. The most striking gains were tied to the state’s Medicaid expansion, which added nearly 500,000 low-income adults to the program, according to a report by the Commonwealth Fund. The coverage expansion helped recruit federally qualified health centers to the region. In addition, hospitals and other providers enhanced access through school-based clinics, offering urgent and behavioral health services.
There’s an uneasy relationship between the Cleveland Clinic—the second-biggest employer in Ohio and one of the greatest hospitals in the world—and the community around it. According to Politico, the Clinic’s status as a nonprofit ensures it doesn’t have to pay tens of millions of dollars in taxes, but it is supposed to fulfill a loosely defined commitment to reinvest in its community. However, the surrounding community is poor, unhealthy and—in the words of one national neighborhood-ranking website—“barely livable.”