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Florida Hospitals Eye New Transplant Programs Print E-mail
Written by FHI's Week in Review   
Monday, 15 July 2019 17:30

Christine Sexton reports for News Service of Florida via Health News Florida on 7/12/19:  

It's been less than two weeks since Florida jettisoned some long-standing regulations for hospitals, but several facilities across the state are already gearing up to expand medically complex services, such as transplants. For the last two years, five hospitals have shown an interest in offering new high-end services, but they were unable to do so because of the state's certificate-of-need (CON) requirements...But now that...law has been eliminated...

John Couris, CEO of Tampa General Hospital, has an excellent blog post addressing the CON repeal and the potential consequences. He points out that "procedure volume is critical in order to have positive patient outcomes."  Cleveland Clinic Florida CEO Wael Barsoum is a proponent of the CON repeal, stating "I'm glad it's gone...It's better for our communities and better for our patients. Competition is a good thing. It drives lower costs and it drives better quality." Santiago Leon, JD, Associate Director, Health & Benefits at Willis Towers Watson in Miami is not impressed with Dr. Barsoum's argument. "Great, now we get more low-volume teams doing complex operations," he states sarcastically.

Read more in the current issue of Week in Review>>

Last Updated on Monday, 15 July 2019 17:59
 
New Telehealth Law Takes Effect in FL Print E-mail
Written by Vitale Health Law   
Tuesday, 09 July 2019 12:29

On June 25, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law HB 23, which sets up guidelines for telehealth services in Florida. The legislation took effect July 1. Among other things, the law creates new practice standards for how telehealth can be used and by whom, registration of out-of-state telehealth providers, where telehealth services can be provided, and provisions relating to reimbursement. The key provisions are as follows...

Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 July 2019 12:33
 
American Medical Students Less Likely to Choose to Become Primary Care Doctors Print E-mail
Written by Victoria Knight | KHN via Health News Florida   
Friday, 05 July 2019 10:26

Despite hospital systems and health officials calling out the need for more primary care doctors, graduates of U.S. medical schools are becoming less likely to choose to specialize in one of those fields.

A record-high number of primary care positions was offered in the 2019 National Resident Matching Program - known to doctors as "the Match." It determines where a medical student will study in their chosen specialty after graduation. But this year, the percentage of primary care positions filled by fourth-year medical students was the lowest on record.

"I think part of it has to do with income," said Mona Signer, the CEO of the Match. "Primary care specialties are not the highest paying." She suggested that where a student gets a degree also influences the choice. "Many medical schools are part of academic medical centers where research and specialization is a priority," she said.

Last Updated on Friday, 05 July 2019 10:29
 
Senate moves forward with first bipartisan healthcare plan Print E-mail
Written by FHInews   
Thursday, 27 June 2019 00:00

Tami Luhby
reports for CNN on 6.26.19:

A key Senate committee passed a sweeping, bipartisan bill Wednesday, marking the chamber's first effort to address several major healthcare issues plaguing the nation. The Senate Health Committee voted 20-3 to advance the legislation, which seeks to tackle surprise medical billing, lower drug prices and increase transparency in the cost of health care. The bill was cosponsored by the committee's chair, Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, and ranking member, Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington state. Also included is a provision sponsored by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, and Sen. Tim Kaine, a Virginia Democrat, that would raise the minimum age for buying tobacco products to 21, from 18. Alexander and Murray hope the full chamber will vote on the bill before the August recess.

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See also: An examination of surprise medical bills and proposals to protect consumers from them

Last Updated on Friday, 28 June 2019 17:08
 
Senators Agree Surprise Medical Bills Must Go. But How? Print E-mail
Written by Rachel Bluth | KHN   
Tuesday, 18 June 2019 00:00

Two years, 16 hearings and one massive bipartisan package of legislation later, a key Senate committee says it is ready to start marking up a bill next week designed to contain health care costs. But it might not be easy since lawmakers and stakeholders at a final hearing Tuesday <6.18.19> showed they are still far apart on one simple aspect of the proposal. That sticking point: a formula for paying for surprise medical bills, those unexpected and often high charges patients face when they get care from a doctor or hospital that isn't in their insurance network. The wide-ranging legislative package on curbing healthcare costs is sponsored by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the chairman and ranking member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. Given the committee's influence, and because this legislation has bipartisan support in the Senate where not many bills are moving, industry observers are taking the HELP panel's proposal very seriously. Alexander and Murray's bill lays out three options for paying surprise medical bills but does not specify which path the final legislation should take. Advocates for each of the choices were among the five witnesses Tuesday.

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Last Updated on Saturday, 22 June 2019 16:00
 
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