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Report: NJ hospitals most expensive in the US
New Jersey has the nation's most expensive hospitals, with Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center in Secaucus charging the highest rates in the country, according to an analysis of federal data by the largest union and professional association of registered nurses in the nation.
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Asthma Today: Management of Asthma in the Primary Care Practice
Pediatric/Adult Asthma Coalition of New Jersey
This program is designed to provide instruction on the application of the NAEPP Guidelines and to demonstrate methods for patient education in asthma self-management, a critical key to asthma control. For more information on this free CME program and to obtain free educational materials, click here.
New loan redemption program in the works in Trenton
NJAFP has played a significant role in the crafting of a new loan redemption program for physicians in New Jersey. NJAFP is working closely with the bill's prime sponsors, Sen. Robert Singer, R-Ocean, and Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwal, D-Camden, to get this measure on Gov. Christie's desk by Jan. 14. And we did! The Senate and Assembly overwhelmingly supported this legislation and sent it to the governor for his consideration on the final day of the legislative session. Gov. Christie now has 10 days to act on the bill.
While New Jersey already has a Primary Care Practitioner Loan Redemption Program, it simply has not worked to its fullest potential and has not served new family physicians or medically underserved communities well over the years. That program will remain in place for dentists, APNs, PAs and midwives and continue to service primary care physicians currently under contract with the program.
Highlights of the new loan redemption program include:
- This will be a physician only loan redemption program, administered under the New Jersey Department of Higher Education.
- The program is focused on primary care specialties (family medicine, general pediatrics, general internal medicine, general OB/GYN) and allows the Commissioner of Health to determine whether any shortages exist with other physician specialties in medically underserved communities and to include these specialties in the program, when appropriate.
- The program would involve a 4 year commitment to work in a medically underserved community or within five miles of one.
- This program will allow for part-time and full-time hiring with corresponding loan redemption amounts.
- Participants will receive 100 percent of loan repayment within federal max of $50,000/year. This program can provide up to $200,000 over 4 years compared to the current NJ program, which is $120,000 over 4 years.
- This program requires Commissioner of Health to review medically underserved community list annually (this hasn't been done since 1999) and make determinations for the list by January 1 of each year. There is also a more practical definition for determining these underserved areas which will ultimately improve access to hiring practices for loan redemption participants.
- The program will also prioritize applicants by focusing on NJ grown docs — whether coming from NJ high school/college, NJ medical school or NJ residency training and whether already residing in NJ, particularly in an underserved community. This NJ grown focus addresses the retention issue, but doesn't lock out of state entry to the program.
- Hiring practices must accept Medicaid/Medicare.
- Nonprofit clinics that do not fall into the medically underserved geographic area will automatically be eligible as a host practice provided they accept Medicaid /Medicare.
NJAFP will continue to work on this very important measure in Trenton. We have a coalition of support that includes MSNJ, NJ Council of Teaching Hospitals, all of the state's medical schools, AAP-NJ, NJAOPS, NJ Hospital Association and many more. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Claudine@njafp.org.
SONJ's Mobile Health Unit will be providing pre-participation exams at an on-site activity
Noon-4 p.m., Jan. 27 at Mountain Creek
If interested in volunteering please contact Andrea Picariello at 609-896-8000 ext. 266 or email her at email@example.com.
Flu season worsens across US, spreads to all regions
The annual flu epidemic is spreading steadily across the U.S., officials reported Friday, with "elevated" activity in all regions of the country now. While it's not worse than the average flu season yet, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say they're keeping a close eye out because the main strain making people sick is H1N1, which may hit young adults harder than the usual mostly elderly victims. "What we wonder now is whether there is a greater risk among kids and young adults," CDC flu expert Dr. Joe Bresee says.
Patients value physician access, communication offered in PCMH model
Annals of Family Medicine
More than 80 percent of patients perceived high quality of care in health centers. PCMH attributes related to access to care and communication were associated with greater likelihood of patients reporting high-quality care.
Camden Coalition's tracking of healthcare 'hot spots' could spread statewide
New Jersey already has one organization that's received national attention for targeting healthcare by mapping "hot spots" where frequently hospitalized patients live, but soon it may have several groups pursuing the same approach. The Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers will be working with five other groups or hospitals to develop "hot-spotting" tools to improve patient care, as part of a project sponsored by the Nicholson Foundation.
Health spending growth low for 4th consecutive year
By Pamela Lewis Dolan
For the fourth consecutive year, growth in healthcare spending remained historically low. But the likelihood this trend will continue, and how the Affordable Care Act will impact it, is still in question. From 2009 to 2012, the U.S. saw the slowest growth in healthcare spending since the government started tracking these trends in the 1960s, according to data released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. An analysis of the CMS data, published Jan. 6 in the journal Health Affairs, found spending on healthcare grew by only 3.7 percent in 2012 to $2.8 trillion, a slight increase from the 3.6 percent growth found in 2011.
President signs budget deal, short-term SGR fix
Family Practice News
Physicians will get a 0.5 percent raise in Medicare pay, thanks to a last-minute legislative fix to the Sustainable Growth Rate formula signed into law by President Barack Obama.
When doctors 'Google' their patients
The New York Times
Haider Javed Warraich, M.D., writes: "Doctors do 'Google' their patients. In fact, the vast majority of physicians I know have done so. To my generation, using a search engine like Google comes as naturally as sharing pictures of our children or a recent vacation on a social networking site like Facebook. But it surprises me that more physicians don't pause and think about what it means for the patient-doctor relationship."
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