Issue Spotlight: Interstate Medical Licensure Compact

From the Iowa Medical Society:

What is an interstate compact?

An interstate compact is an agreement between two or more states to coordinate independent authorities in the member states. The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact requires membership of at least seven states and would coordinate member states’ medical boards to independently license qualified physicians. The Compact was drafted by the Federation of State Medical Boards.

What other states are pursuing enactment of the compact in 2015?

Wyoming has enacted the Compact, and West Virginia’s legislature has passed it and submitted it for final gubernatorial approval. Compact legislation is pending in Montana, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, South Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Alabama, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Maryland. As soon as seven states have enacted it, the Compact becomes operational and those seven states will be given seats on a Compact Commission to write the rules for how the Compact will function administratively.

What is the status of Compact legislation in Iowa?

The Iowa Senate passed the Compact, Senate File 273, on Monday. It was sent to the House and assigned to the Human Resources Committee. The Committee assigned it to a subcommittee with Representatives Linda Miller (R-Bettendorf), Rob Taylor (R-West Des Moines), and Cindy Winckler (D-Davenport).

Simple vision test may help catch concussions

From Reuters:

A simple vision test using a stopwatch and a few flashcards may help parents and coaches screen young athletes for concussions, a small study suggests.

“In the youth leagues in particular, when there may not be doctors or athletic trainers on the sidelines when a kid gets hit, this enables parents with proper training to participate in the preliminary assessment of concussions,” said study author Dr. Steven Galetta, a researcher at New York University Langone Concussion Center. “It’s so affordable and easy to administer that any coach or parent could use it to determine when an injured child can return to the game and when they need to sit out.”

Efforts To Instill Empathy Among Doctors Is Paying Dividends

From the Kaiser Health Network (hat tip: Urgent Matters):

Clinical empathy was once dismissively known as “good bedside manner” and traditionally regarded as far less important than technical acumen. But a spate of studies in the past decade has found that it is no mere frill. Increasingly, empathy is considered essential to establishing trust, the foundation of a good doctor-patient relationship.

Wasted and dangerous: drunks swamp emergency departments and harm medical staff

From the Herald:

While the scourge of ice and other amphetamines has grabbed much of the media’s attention, a recent national survey of 2000 emergency department staff has revealed alcohol as a vastly greater problem: 92 per cent had been physically threatened by drunk patients, 98 per cent had been verbally abused and 88 per cent said the care of other patients had been negatively affected by drunks in the department.

The survey, conducted in December, found one in eight patients nationally had ended up in hospital as a result of harmful alcohol abuse and the college says nearly half of all Australians reported drinking at levels that put them at risk of injury.

One Dead, Two Injured In EagleMed Helicopter Crash Near Lake Eufaula

From Newson6:

Authorities say one person is dead and two others are at a McAlester hospital after an EagleMed helicopter crash Thursday night.

FAA spokesperson Lynn Lunsford said the crash happened at about 11:25 p.m. near the town of Stidham.

Lunsford said the helicopter with three EagleMed employees on board was headed from Tulsa to McAlester when it went down west of Lake Eufaula.

McIntosh County Emergency Management Director Wesley Dawson said the crash site is about a mile from a rarely used county road in trees on a 10,000 acre ranch. Muddy conditions made it difficult for rescue workers to get to the crash site.

Rural health advocate to assume No. 2 post at HHS

From The Hill:

One of the country’s leading rural health advocate will assume the No. 2 position at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Mary Wakefield, who has spent five years overseeing the government’s programs for vulnerable populations at HHS, was tapped Thursday as the department’s acting deputy secretary, according to a release provided first to The Hill.

Wakefield said in an interview Thursday that rural health will continue to be one of her top priorities, as well as reforms to make healthcare delivery more efficient across the board.