Rural Missouri town approves sales tax aimed at saving hospital


Voters in southwest Missouri’s Nevada have voted to increase their taxes to save their hospital. Tuesday’s half-cent sales tax ballot measure was approved by 89 percent of voters.

Dr. Warren Lovinger, who chairs a group called “Citizens United to Strengthen Our Hospital”, tells our Nevada affiliate KNEM (AM 1240) that the vote is a strong community mandate for Nevada Regional Medical Center (NRMC).

“I can honestly say of all the people I had the pleasure of speaking to, it was almost unanimous the support,” Lovinger says. “And in situations where people were concerned, it was a matter of communication.”

The vote will help the 71-bed NRMC pay off its debts. The tax is expected to generate about $800,000 annually, specifically for bond payments.

New Montana legislation enabling Community Integrated Healthcare Pilot Program


With Senate Bill 38 passed, it’s now opening the doors to a new pilot program allowing emergency medical services to provide what’s called, Community Integrated Healthcare.

Great Falls Emergency Services say Community Integrated Healthcare is going to allow paramedics and emergency medical technicians to operate more as “primary caregivers” when taking care of patients.

Meaning give patients more care in non-emergency situations right then and there in places like your home versus having to take a trip to the ER.

“Little by little we’re realizing EMT’s and paramedics are medical providers that have a good level of medical expertise are completely mobile. Can go anywhere anytime unlike providers in a medical facility like a hospital are restricted to where their location is,” Justin Grohs, EMT-P Great Falls EMS, Operation Manager.

Hospital checklists are meant to save lives — so why do they often fail?

From Nature:

A cadre of researchers is working to make sense of the discrepancies. They are finding a variety of factors that can influence a checklist’s success or failure, ranging from the attitudes of staff to the ways that administrators introduce the tool. The research is part of the growing field of implementation science, which examines why some innovations that work wonderfully in experimental trials tend to fall flat in the real world. The results could help to improve the introduction of other evidence-based programmes, in medicine and beyond.

Rural hospitals take spotlight in coverage expansion debate

From Modern Healthcare:

Opponents of the public option have funded an analysis that warns more rural hospitals may close if Americans leave commercial plans for Medicare.

With the focus on rural hospitals, the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future brings a sensitive issue for politicians into its fight against a Medicare buy-in. The policy has gone mainstream among Democratic presidential candidates and many Democratic lawmakers.

Rural hospitals could lose between 2.3% and 14% of their revenue if the U.S. opens up Medicare to people under 65, the consulting firm Navigant projected in its estimate. The analysis assumed just 22% of the remaining 30 million uninsured Americans would choose a Medicare plan. The study based its projections of financial losses primarily on people leaving the commercial market where payment rates are significantly higher than Medicare.

Blackburn Eyes National Telehealth Programs in Rural Health Strategy

From mHealth Intelligence:

Congress may soon be reviewing a new strategy to create and expand multi-state telehealth programs that aim to improve access to care in rural parts of the country.

That’s the goal of US Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), who includes connected health in her newly announced Rural Health Agenda, a collection of three bills designed to deal with “health care delivery challenges in rural America to maintain quality care close to home.”

On July 31, Blackburn and co-sponsor Kevin Cramer (R-ND) introduced a bill, S.2408, which would amend the Public Health Service Act to create a national telehealth program. Called the Telemedicine Across State Lines Act, the bill has been referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

Randomized controlled trial to improve primary care follow-up among emergency department patients

From MDLinx:

Researchers assessed if a freely-available physician appointment-booking website could lead to a higher self-reported primary care follow-up via performing a pilot, randomized, controlled trial. Patients whose primary care follow-up was determined as important by the treating physician and who had health insurance but had no primary care provider (n = 272) were randomized to one of three groups: (1) a primary care appointment booked through the booking website prior to emergency department discharge; (2) written information on how to use the booking website; or (3) usual care (ie, standard follow-up instructions). According to findings, patients displayed a higher but not statistically significant self-reported primary care follow-up rate in correlation with using a booking website to schedule an appointment before emergency department discharge.

1 million Americans have recovered from opioid use disorder, study estimates

From Becker’s:

An estimated 1.2 million Americans have achieved long-term recovery from opioid use disorder, according to an study published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine.

For the study, researchers from Boston-based Massachusetts General Hospital analyzed data from the 2017 National Recovery Survey, which featured a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults who reported resolving an opioid issue. Researchers compared this group to a sample of adults who achieved long-term recovery from alcohol use disorder.