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INDUSTRY NEWS

Struggling New Jersey hospitals could become ambulatory centers
Healthcare Finance
Consultants are recommending that three money-losing hospital in New Jersey — Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, East Orange General Hospital, University Hospital and Saint Michael’s Medical Center — should become ambulatory care centers before financial losses topple the institutions. The recommendation, dubbed the Greater Newark Healthcare Services Evaluation, was presented March 2 to the New Jersey Health Care Facilities Financing Authority and focused on the financial health of five hospitals: Newark Beth Israel, East Orange General, Clara Maass Medical Center, University Hospital and St. Michael’s.
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NJ Senate committee approves restrictions on religious exemption for vaccine
NJ.com
Over the tearful objections of parents who accused lawmakers of religious persecution, a state Senate panel voted to make it harder for school children to skip vaccinations because of religious beliefs. Since 2008, parents in New Jersey have needed only to submit a letter stating vaccines violate their religion in order for their kids to be exempt, without explaining how or why. Vaccines for nearly 9,000 students in the 2013-14 academic year were waived for religious reasons, compared to 1,641 in the 2005-06 school year.
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Public-employee healthcare: The Sweeny plan vs. the Christie report
NJ Spotlight
A pilot program that Senate President Stephen Sweeney put forward recently seeks to find savings in the ever-increasing part of the state budget that's devoted to paying for public-employee healthcare. That's also the goal of a big section of a report issued about a week later by the commission of experts Gov. Chris Christie impaneled to study the cost of public-employee benefits, including healthcare coverage and pensions.
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Across North Jersey, wary eyes await healthcare ruling
NorthJersey.com
Experts and advocates on both sides of the Affordable Care Act have been dissecting every aspect of the recent hearing on King v. Burwell, the most significant challenge to President Barack Obama's signature domestic initiative since the court ruled the law constitutional in 2012. None has as much at stake, though, as the people who purchased insurance this year with the financial help that now could be in jeopardy.
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Obamacare gains bring charity care cuts for NJ hospitals
NJ.com
For New Jersey's hospitals, part of the gift of the Affordable Care Act, with its expanded Medicaid and reduced uninsured population, is going to have to be returned. Hospitals across New Jersey are analyzing the potential impact of Gov. Chris Christie's proposed $148 million budget cut to the state's charity care subsidy program.
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Primary care physicians, other healthcare providers may soon treat hepatitis C along with specialists
Medical Daily
The National Institutes of Health announced they'll be leading ASCEND, a clinical trial in Washington, D.C., hoping to better understand the effects hepatitis C treatment has on 600 adults infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV), either alone or co-infected with HIV; about one third of Americans are infected with both viruses. More importantly, the trial aims to see if the virus can be effectively treated in community clinics led by primary care physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants.
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Following physician compensation trends? Read this 1st
HealthLeaders Media
Health systems and hospitals in smaller communities are under the same pressure as organizations in large cities to tailor physician compensation packages that recruit and retain doctors, but instead of trying to compete with them, one Texas hospital has found a way to offer something physicians crave in a constantly changing healthcare economy — certainty.
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How a shortage of 90,000 physicians may impact healthcare reform
Health IT Analytics
The healthcare industry could be short up to 90,000 physicians by 2025 if current demand continues to outstrip new graduates, warns the Association of American Medical Colleges in a new report, and the impact on current healthcare reform efforts could be devastating. As the nation's aging population strains existing resources and the Affordable Care Act brings in millions of newly insured patients requiring a full spectrum of services, the healthcare industry will need to act quickly if it is to avert a crisis over the coming decade.
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More about that doctor shortage, er, poor distribution of physicians
The Washington Post
One important critic of the shortage prediction is the prestigious Institute of Medicine, the independent health arm of the National Academy of Sciences, which looked at graduate medical education in a major report in 2014. "Further increasing the number of physicians is unlikely to resolve workforce shortages in the regions of the country where shortages are most acute and is also unlikely to ensure a sufficient number of providers in all specialties and care settings," a 21-member panel wrote. "Although the [graduate medical education] system has been producing more physicians, it has not produced an increasing proportion of physicians who choose to practice primary care, to provide care to underserved populations, or to locate in rural or other underserved areas."
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State medical board licensing: Challenges for telemedicine
By Christina Thielst
The pressures to reduce healthcare costs and improve access have never been greater. Everything from the Affordable Care Act to the "Silver Tsunami" of aging baby boomers requires a transformation of the healthcare delivery system. While telemedicine and other virtual forms of medical care are quickly being recognized as powerful solutions to these challenges, barriers to more widespread adoption remain. One of these is the long and complex process of obtaining licensure for physicians in the various states where patients are located.
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EHR trade group forms workgroup for healthcare delivery reform
iHealthBeat
The Electronic Health Record Association has created a workgroup on healthcare delivery system reform, Clinical Innovation & Technology reports. Through the Delivery System Reform Workgroup, EHR vendors can seek collaboration with providers, payers and patient advocacy groups to ensure that EHRs and other health technologies are used correctly in healthcare payment and delivery reform policies.
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Physicians want CMS to beef up ICD-10 contingency plans
Medscape
One hundred state medical societies and specialty organizations are urging the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to flesh out contingency plans for the transition to the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10), code set. Led by the American Medical Association (AMA), the physician groups issued a list of concerns they said showed some major gaps in current contingency planning.
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Geneia survey: Physician job satisfaction on the decline
EHR Intelligence
Healthcare bureaucracy and greater focus on data entry may be negatively influencing the physician profession including physician job satisfaction, according to a survey from the healthcare solutions group Geneia. The company polled 416 doctors in January 2015 and found that 84 percent claim the amount of quality time with patients has decreased over the last ten years.
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