Medicaid population brings challenges, opportunity in focus on reducing ER use

From the Triad Business Journal:

After years of steady and reliable increases in the number of patients hospitals have seen come in through the emergency department doors, those volumes are now leveling off or in some cases decreasing.

Doctor Group Takes Steps To Fulfill The Promise Of Telemedicine

From Forbes:

The American Medical Association (AMA) seems very proud of their new,  just announced policy “for ensuring the appropriate coverage of and payment for telemedicine services.”  They believe telemedicine, properly implemented according to their guidelines, can “strengthen the patient-physician relationship,” increase quality of care, improve health outcomes, and save money. Wow. Who would not be in favor of that? But is this one of those instances when something that seems to good to be true, is?  A closer look at the policy report from AMA’s Council on Medical Service  shows that while much optimism is totally justified and appropriate, many reasons for caution remain.

Provider Shortage Threatens Rural Primary Care

From Becker’s:

Nearly half — 44 percent — of rural areas in the United States are experiencing a shortage of primary care practitioners, according to a panel of physicians at Rural Health Journalism 2014 covered by the Association of Health Care Journalists.

Emergency Physician Competing in “American Ninja Warrior” Contest

From the Reporter-Herald:

Noah Kaufman — Fort Collins resident and local doctor, competing in the 2013 Venice Beach qualifiers for “American Ninja Warrior” — had to overcome a number of obstacles to make it to the next round. He not only made it through the qualifying round in 2013, but out of hundreds of initial competitors, he finished in the final 20.

Kaufman, who works for Emergency Physicians of the Rockies that staffs the UC Health emergency rooms at Medical Center of the Rockies, Poudre Valley Hospital and West Greeley Emergency and Surgery Center, is back again this year.

The 39-year-old competed in the qualifying round of “American Ninja Warrior” in Denver, which will air Monday on NBC.

“IV Doctor” Sells $250 Hangover Tx

From CNN Money:

The I.V. Doctor, a service started in December by New York urologist Dr. Elliot Nadelson and his surgical resident son Adam, totes intravenous hydration and other medicine to help quell hangovers to ailing New Yorkers in luxe Hamptons beach homes, and apartments and offices throughout the city.

Dr. Adam Nadelson said the service has about 60 nurses in the city and 12 more in the Hamptons, who set clients up with about 200 ml of fluid, and any combination of anti-nausea, anti-heartburn and anti-inflammatory or headache medicine. The full cocktail of all the drugs, which Nadelson said is their most popular request, costs $249.

Six months in, Obamacare impact on emergency room visits unclear

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

Six months after new health insurance options took effect for millions nationwide, most Chicago-area hospitals say they haven’t seen a noticeable change in the number of emergency room visits.

The theory was that people who previously didn’t have insurance would no longer go to emergency rooms for treatment; under the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare, they would make a doctor’s appointment, lowering health care costs by reducing ER visits. Emergency rooms charge higher prices for minor illness and injury care than other ambulatory care settings, because they offer more services.

But so far, at least, there is little evidence of an impact.