Health Care – Open Mind http://open-mind.org/ Tue, 21 Jun 2022 06:04:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://open-mind.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon-6-150x150.png Health Care – Open Mind http://open-mind.org/ 32 32 Healthcare position tilts to Casten https://open-mind.org/healthcare-position-tilts-to-casten/ Tue, 21 Jun 2022 06:04:23 +0000 https://open-mind.org/healthcare-position-tilts-to-casten/ I welcome Dan Bailey’s letter in the June 8th Daily Herald, with just one exception. I support Sean Casten’s leadership in the fight for healthcare for all. The item of choice for anyone in unions or other jobs with excellent health insurance is the difference. Bailey is right, the pandemic is showing the dysfunction of […]]]>

I welcome Dan Bailey’s letter in the June 8th Daily Herald, with just one exception. I support Sean Casten’s leadership in the fight for healthcare for all. The item of choice for anyone in unions or other jobs with excellent health insurance is the difference.

Bailey is right, the pandemic is showing the dysfunction of our medical system. Millions of people were at risk without insurance; and those with work-related insurance became victims when they lost their jobs.

His depiction of people rationing prescriptions, postponing critical surgeries, and forgoing regular dental checkups captures the madness of our medical system. It reminds me of a discharged woman with heart disease who couldn’t afford her blood pressure medication. She rationed medication, abstained, and eventually suffered a heart attack. She was saved in the emergency room; but she couldn’t pay the bill.

Unfortunately, the cost of the emergency response could have bought her a lifetime supply of the medication she needed. Access to our healthcare system needs to be radically changed.

The difference between Newman’s and Casten’s positions on health insurance is simple. Newman supports a universal Medicare-for-all approach with a single payer. Casten supports universal coverage that provides quality healthcare to all through affordable ACA policies, while individuals have the choice to maintain quality healthcare plans provided by their unions or employers.

I had good health insurance that I would not give up through my job throughout my career. However, I would also have liked an affordable health insurance option if I were to leave this job. The research supporting the effectiveness and efficiency of Casten’s approach is compelling. I urge you to learn more about this and vote for him on June 28th.

Bruce Lane

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]]> St. Lawrence County School Districts May Return to Health Consortium education https://open-mind.org/st-lawrence-county-school-districts-may-return-to-health-consortium-education/ Sat, 18 Jun 2022 22:59:01 +0000 https://open-mind.org/st-lawrence-county-school-districts-may-return-to-health-consortium-education/ MASSENA — Some school districts that have left the St. Lawrence-Lewis Health Insurance Consortium are considering returning to the plan, according to Patrick H. Brady, superintendent of Massena Central School. Mr Brady, the district’s representative on the consortium, briefed the Massena school board on Thursday evening about the plan. He said the plan’s directors last […]]]>

MASSENA — Some school districts that have left the St. Lawrence-Lewis Health Insurance Consortium are considering returning to the plan, according to Patrick H. Brady, superintendent of Massena Central School.

Mr Brady, the district’s representative on the consortium, briefed the Massena school board on Thursday evening about the plan. He said the plan’s directors last met in May.

He said Locey & Cahill LLC, the consultant for the plan, is working on revisions to the entry and exit procedures for plan participants.

“That would become part of our collaborative agreement that holds this plan together with the school districts, and then that would come to you as the individual boards,” Brady said.

The school districts of Canton, Edwards-Knox, Ogdensburg, Madrid-Waddington, Heuvelton and Morristown had withdrawn from the plan. Morristown submitted its notification by April 30, 2021, allowing it to exit the plan by July 1, 2022.

This leaves 12 participating districts and the St. Lawrence-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services in the consortium.

“We’ve seen some schools leave the plan, but now you’re starting to see some of those schools thinking about going back to the plan. So let’s look at what the conditions for going back into the plan are? What are the conditions if you want to exit the plan?” Mr Brady said.

The plan includes employee compensation and medical insurance.

Workers’ compensation, Mr Brady said, “shows that the first nine months of the plan were about 16.6% below budgeted levels.”

“We’re still seeing the impact of COVID where you had fewer entitlements when not all people were working in the schools,” he said. “We now have a healthy net income of $254,378,” so the comp plan is “doing pretty well.”

The health insurance plan is under budget this year.

“This is mainly due to a number of factors. We let Morristown leave the plan. We’ve had a drop in enrollments over the past 18 months as well as the slow transition of some counties to the lower premium riders. We’re about 12% under budget on the spending side related to paid medical services and about 3% under budget on drug spending,” Brady said. “Part of that is really the ongoing impact of the pandemic as people haven’t sought as many medical services unless they’ve had COVID. And if you’ve been in the hospital, you’re probably on the Medicare side of COVID, which wouldn’t have impacted that plan as much as Medicare did.”

He said Locey and Cahill have issued a call for proposals for a Medicare Advantage plan. The request was sent to six insurance companies and four responded.

“Right now, Locey and Cahill, our administrator, are reviewing this information. They are expected to come to the next meeting with some recommendations to the board to consider a Medicare Advantage plan as part of our Excellus plan. We should see that analysis next time,” said Mr. Brady.

Excellus Blue Cross/Blue Shield assumed health insurance administration for the plan effective January 1, 2020. This role was performed by staff from the St. Lawrence-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services who have worked in BOCES’ administrative offices for more than 30 years.

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WHO emphasizes the urgent need to transform mental health and mental health care https://open-mind.org/who-emphasizes-the-urgent-need-to-transform-mental-health-and-mental-health-care/ Thu, 16 Jun 2022 21:58:08 +0000 https://open-mind.org/who-emphasizes-the-urgent-need-to-transform-mental-health-and-mental-health-care/ The World Health Organization today published its largest overview of global mental health since the turn of the century. The detailed work provides a blueprint for governments, academics, health professionals, civil society and others to help the world transform mental health. In 2019, almost a billion people – including 14% of the world’s youth – […]]]>

The World Health Organization today published its largest overview of global mental health since the turn of the century. The detailed work provides a blueprint for governments, academics, health professionals, civil society and others to help the world transform mental health.

In 2019, almost a billion people – including 14% of the world’s youth – were living with a mental disorder. Suicide was responsible for more than 1 in 100 deaths, and 58% of suicides occurred before the age of 50. Mental disorders are the leading cause of disability, resulting in one in six living with a disability. People with severe mental illness die on average 10 to 20 years earlier than the general population, mostly from preventable physical illnesses. Childhood sexual abuse and bullying victimization are major causes of depression. Social and economic inequalities, public health emergencies, war and the climate crisis are among the global, structural threats to mental health. Depression and anxiety increased by more than 25% in the first year of the pandemic alone.

Stigma, discrimination and human rights abuses against people with mental illness are widespread in communities and care systems everywhere; 20 countries still criminalize attempted suicide. In all countries, it is the poorest and most disadvantaged in society who are most at risk of mental illness and who are least likely to receive adequate services.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, only a small proportion of those in need had access to effective, affordable, and quality mental health care. For example, 71% of people with psychosis worldwide do not receive mental health services. While 70% of people with psychosis are reported to receive treatment in high-income countries, only 12% of people with psychosis in low-income countries receive mental health care. For depression, the gaps in care are large in all countries: even in high-income countries, only a third of people with depression receive formal mental health care, and the minimum appropriate treatment for depression is estimated at 23% in high-income countries. income countries to 3% in low- and middle-income countries.

WHO’s comprehensive report draws on the latest available evidence, provides examples of good practice and expresses people’s lived experience of why and where change is most needed and how best to achieve it. It calls on all stakeholders to work together to deepen the value and commitment to mental health, reshape the environments that affect mental health, and strengthen the systems that care for people’s mental health.

Director-General of the WHO dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “Everyone’s life touches someone with a mental illness. Good mental health means good physical health and this new report makes a compelling case for change. The inseparable links between mental health and public health, human rights and socioeconomic development mean that transforming mental health policy and practice can bring real, substantial benefits to individuals, communities and countries around the world. Investing in mental health is investing in a better life and future for everyone.”

All 194 WHO Member States have signed the Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan 2013–2030, which commits them to global goals for mental health transformation. The advances that have been made over the last decade prove that change is possible. But change is not happening fast enough, and the history of mental health remains one of hardship and neglect, with $2 in $3 of scarce government mental health spending allocated to standalone mental hospitals rather than to community mental health services where people live are best served. For decades, mental health has been one of the most overlooked areas of public health, receiving only a tiny fraction of the attention and resources it needs and deserves.

Devora Kestel, Director of the WHO Division of Mental Health and Substance Use, called for change: “Every country has ample opportunity to make meaningful strides towards improving the mental health of its population. Whether it’s developing stronger mental health policies and laws, covering mental health in insurance systems, developing or strengthening community mental health services, or integrating mental health into universal health care, schools and prisons, the many examples in this report show that strategic changes possible are a big difference.”

The report calls on all countries to accelerate their implementation of the Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2030. There are several recommendations for action grouped into three “pathways to transformation” that focus on changing mental health attitudes, addressing mental health risks, and strengthening mental health care systems. They are:

1. Deepen the value and commitment we place on mental health. For example:

Intensifying investment in mental health, not only by securing adequate funds and human resources across health care and other sectors to meet mental health needs, but also through committed leadership, following evidence-based policies and practices, and establishing more robust ones information and surveillance systems.

Involving people with mental illness in all aspects of society and decision-making to overcome stigma and discrimination, reduce inequalities and promote social justice.

2. Redesign environments that affect mental health, including homes, communities, schools, workplaces, health services, and natural settings. For example:

Increasing cross-sectoral engagement, including understanding the social and structural determinants of mental health and intervening in ways that reduce risk, build resilience and break down barriers that prevent people with mental illness from participating fully in society.

To implement concrete actions to improve the mental health environment, e.g. B. stepping up action to address intimate partner violence and abuse and neglect of children and the elderly; Fostering early childhood development, supporting livelihoods for people with mental illness, introducing social and emotional learning programs while tackling bullying in schools, Changing attitudes and empowering mental health services, improving access to green spaces and banning highly hazardous pesticides linked to one in five suicides worldwide.

3. Strengthen mental health care by changing where, how and by whom mental health care is provided and received.

Building community-based networks of interconnected services that move away from incarceration care in psychiatric hospitals and provide a spectrum of care and support through a combination of psychiatric services integrated with universal health care; community mental health services; and services beyond the healthcare sector.

Diversification and expansion of care options for common mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety, which have a benefit-to-cost ratio of 5 to 1. Such an increase includes the adoption of a task-sharing approach that expands evidence-based care to also be provided by general health workers and community providers. This includes the use of digital technologies to support guided and unguided self-help and to provide remote care.

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NM Cannabis Companies Sue Medical Cannabis Patients Healthcare Providers https://open-mind.org/nm-cannabis-companies-sue-medical-cannabis-patients-healthcare-providers/ Wed, 15 Jun 2022 06:05:00 +0000 https://open-mind.org/nm-cannabis-companies-sue-medical-cannabis-patients-healthcare-providers/ The New Mexico legislature last year passed a bill aimed at eliminating out-of-pocket expenses for behavioral health. As Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the measure into law, she said in a press release that the bill “could make a real, meaningful difference” by eliminating co-payments for behavioral health services. Now a class action lawsuit filed […]]]>

The New Mexico legislature last year passed a bill aimed at eliminating out-of-pocket expenses for behavioral health. As Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the measure into law, she said in a press release that the bill “could make a real, meaningful difference” by eliminating co-payments for behavioral health services.

Now a class action lawsuit filed last week is challenging health insurance companies in New Mexico for failing to cover medical cannabis expenses. New Mexico cannabis producer Ultra Health, along with six medical cannabis patients, filed a lawsuit against seven New Mexico health insurance providers, seeking unspecified damages, reimbursement for their respective cannabis purchases since January of this year, and coverage for medical cannabis from health plans going forward. The case appears to be the first of its kind nationwide.

Representing the cannabis company and medical cannabis patients is Christopher Saucedo, who is also Regent of New Mexico State University and served on the state district committee last year.

Ultra Health has earned a reputation for filing numerous lawsuits against government agencies on various cannabis-related issues, such as: B. Raising production limits for medicinal cannabis and repealing medicinal cannabis rules and regulations. But Duke Rodriguez, president and CEO of Ultra Health and former New Mexico Secretary of Health and Human Services, said this suit makes the most sense.

“Of all the litigation we’ve had to fight over the past decade, this class action is possibly the single most important issue we’ve brought and I think it’s our strongest legal position to date,” Rodriguez said NM Political Report.

Rodriguez said if the judge in the case recognizes medical cannabis patients as a certified class, the case could include more plaintiffs and more health insurance companies named than defendants.

“Every time one of those 75,000 medical cannabis patients walks into one of our dispensaries, reaches into their pocket and buys that gram [cannabis] Flower, they avoided prescription costs for this health insurer,” Rodriguez said.

In the lawsuit, Saucedo cited a number of studies showing the effectiveness of medicinal cannabis for conditions such as stress, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. While post-traumatic stress disorder is a qualifying condition for medicinal cannabis in New Mexico, generalized stress and anxiety are not. But stress and anxiety are often cited as side effects of post-traumatic stress disorder. Saucedo also cited public comments from state senators Martin Hickey, D-Albuquerque, and Jeff Steinborn, D-Las Cruces, who sponsored the bill that became law requiring insurance providers to pay 100 percent of behavioral health treatment costs.

“In response to a media inquiry in February 2022, Senators Steinborn and Hickey said that ‘the law makes it clear that medical cannabis insurance should be offered to patients,'” Saucedo wrote.

There are two other recent cases that Saucedo says support the notion that medicinal cannabis should be treated the same as other, more traditional forms of behavioral therapy. He cited a 2014 New Mexico Court of Appeals decision that required workers’ compensation to compensate injured workers for legal purchases of medicinal cannabis.

“As New Mexico has recognized the need to exclude gross receipts from the sale of medicinal cannabis to people with debilitating conditions, the same applies to medicinal cannabis and behavioral health, and the relevant laws should be read harmoniously so that treatment through insurance coverage is more accessible,” wrote Saucedo.

Recently, the State Court of Appeals ruled that while medicinal cannabis is not prescribed in the same way as pharmaceutical drugs, a doctor’s recommendation to use medicinal cannabis is effectively equivalent to a prescription.

“The New Mexico Court of Appeals ruled that medical cannabis may be an appropriate and necessary medical care or service under workers’ compensation,” Saucedo wrote.

No cover for cannabis

Last year, the state legislature approved what was then known as Senate Bill 317, which in part required health care providers to cover all behavioral health services. Lujan Grisham said in a press release that she was “proud and grateful” to sign the “priority measure”.

“This law is an important first step in helping 23,000 uninsured New Mexicos access affordable health insurance,” the governor said.

Almost a year later, following a request from Ultra Health, the State Department, charged with overseeing insurance regulation, issued a letter to the cannabis company stating that state regulators cannot compel insurance companies to cover medical cannabis purchases.

Cassandra Brulotte, an attorney with the State Superintendent of Insurance, wrote in her letter to Ultra Health that without a clear mandate from the legislature, the department cannot mandate medical cannabis health insurance.

“Senate Bill 317 specifically prohibits cost-sharing for behavioral health services covered by a health plan,” Brulotte wrote in February of this year. “Please also note that this office does not direct insurers to register specific providers. Building a provider network for behavioral health services is the responsibility of the insurers themselves.”

Lujan Grisham’s office did not respond to questions about whether the governor views medicinal cannabis as a behavioral health treatment that should be covered by insurance or whether she could guide the Office of the Superintendent of Insurance to change its stance.

In March of this year NM Political Report asked several health insurers in New Mexico if they planned to cover the purchase of medical cannabis as a form of behavioral health care. Two providers referred the Office of the Superintendent of Insurance and another avoided fully answering the question.

Joanie Griffin, a spokeswoman for True Health New Mexico, said the decision to cover medical cannabis purchases rests with state regulators.

As a health insurance company offering group and individual insurance to New Mexicans, True Health New Mexico is regulated by the New Mexico Office of the Superintendent of Insurance,” Griffin said. “Health insurance coverage is a decision made appropriately by the OSI based on all applicable state laws.”

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico chief of staff Laurie Volkin praised Brulotte’s letter, but Volkin sidestepped the question as to why the company might not cover the cost of purchasing medicinal cannabis, or even addressed whether it would company would consider this .

“Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico appreciate and support the Office of Superintendent of Insurance’s February 24, 2022 response to Ultra’s February 18, 2022 letter regarding medical cannabis,” Volkin wrote in an email NM Political Report. “Our benefit plans are designed to facilitate members’ access to safe, appropriate and effective healthcare solutions.”

Melanie Mozes, the communications director for the Presbyterian Health Plan, in March NM Political Report in an email that the organization supported the law change but pushed it back to Superintendent of Insurance Russell Toal.

“PHP supports the intent of the new law, which focuses on ensuring New Mexico residents have access to the behavioral health services they need,” Mozes wrote. “The Superintendent of Insurance has also provided standardized guidance for health plans on behavioral health services that are not cost-sharing.”

The guide referenced by Mozes, a Toals behavioral health insurance bulletin, makes no mention of medicinal cannabis and only refers to pharmaceutical drugs.

“It is up to the airline to decide whether the drug should be treated as a bra drug for cost-sharing purposes,” Toals wrote in the June 2021 Bulletin.

Rodriguez said when his company investigated coverage of medical cannabis purchases, the superintendent’s office and vendors pointed fingers at each other and there was “a lot of foot shuffling and paper passing around.”

“It was clear that without legal action they would not be able to fulfill their obligations,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said he expects attorneys for the seven healthcare providers not only to challenge the case over procedural issues, but also alleging that the providers could run into trouble with the federal government because cannabis is still illegal at the federal level.

“The first thing they’re going to talk about is a conflict with federal law,” Rodriguez said. “We expect the usual standard objections, but I don’t think they will prevail in New Mexico.”

In the State Court of Appeals case relating to workers’ compensation and cannabis, an employer challenged a workers’ compensation judge’s decision that purchases of medicinal cannabis should be reimbursed. The employer argued in part that reimbursement for purchases of medicinal cannabis would violate federal law.

Former appellate judge James Wechsler wrote that the employer could not prove this point.

“… The employer is not relying on any federal statute that he would be compelled to break, and we will not seek any such statute,” Wechsler wrote.

For years there seemed to be a misconception that banks and other cannabis-related utilities would have trouble doing business with cannabis producers and dispensaries. But in a recent episode of the cannabis podcast Growing Forward, a collaboration between New Mexico PBS and NM Political Reportformer Bernalillo County Commissioner and cannabis banking expert, debunked this idea.

Talbert and other cannabis banking experts agree that the risk facing cannabis banks is a loss of assets, not federal criminal charges. Additionally, federal agencies have repeatedly signaled that they would not prioritize cannabis fees in states where it’s legal, with the exception of at least one case on state land.

When asked whether insurance coverage for medical cannabis purchases could drive up the cost of medical cannabis in general, Rodriguez said dispensaries would likely be bound by what state rules and regulations call usual and customary fees , meaning pharmacies would not be able to charge more than usual or customary.

Rodriguez added that full coverage for medical cannabis purchases could both save insurance providers money and save patients’ lives.

“If that avoids a hospital stay, avoids a suicide, avoids every other medical catastrophe that might be out there, without question, it’s a cost savings for insurers,” Rodriguez said.

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“It’s about being at home”: Signify moves away from telemedicine https://open-mind.org/its-about-being-at-home-signify-moves-away-from-telemedicine/ Mon, 13 Jun 2022 06:17:16 +0000 https://open-mind.org/its-about-being-at-home-signify-moves-away-from-telemedicine/ As home care providers struggle to collect high-quality, reliable data on their platforms, Signify Health (NYSE: SGFY) feels well-positioned to continue growing on the back of data-driven insights. These data points should not only help Signify grow, but also improve outcomes for its patients, said Steve Senneff, Signify’s President and CFO, at this week’s William […]]]>

As home care providers struggle to collect high-quality, reliable data on their platforms, Signify Health (NYSE: SGFY) feels well-positioned to continue growing on the back of data-driven insights.

These data points should not only help Signify grow, but also improve outcomes for its patients, said Steve Senneff, Signify’s President and CFO, at this week’s William Blair 42nd Annual Growth Stock Conference.

“At our core, we’re a data company,” said Senneff. “We take that data and drive insights and outcomes. The more we do this, the stronger we can be and the more we can learn so we can put that information back into our algorithms for better results.”

Dallas-based, technology-enabled, value-based care platform, Signify, which works with both health plans and healthcare systems to provide a variety of care services for patients at home.

About 85% of Signify’s business comes from its home and community services business, primarily through Medicare Advantage (MA). And as Medicare’s use of home health care increases, Senneff expects Signify’s investment in this payment model to increase.

“I think we’re all seeing the wave of growth in Medicare,” he said. “That’s something we’re going to be a part of at Signify Health. With Medicare growing at 8, 9, 10% annually, that’s just going to flow through ours [Profit and Loss] P&L too.”

Another benefit of Signify, according to Senneff, is the average contract length that Signify has been able to achieve.

“The other part that I think is really unique is these long-term relationships that we have not only with payers but also with providers,” said Senneff. “Our contracts tend to be very long and have high levels of satisfaction, and we’re constantly being pushed to do more and more.”

Continuing the company’s value-based mission is a priority today and for the near future, Senneff said. He highlighted the company’s recent acquisition of Caravan Health, an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) executive, as a boon to the company’s bottom line after posting six consecutive quarters of better than forecast earnings since the company went public.

Going forward, Signify is also ready to adapt to a world without an active pandemic. This transition includes moving away from a telemedicine-heavy approach to home care.

“At the height of the pandemic, we were doing almost 40% virtual,” he said. “Now it’s back in its teens and the reason is that the health plans don’t want us to do it virtually because we’re probably going to capture 60% to 70% of what we would normally capture if we do it at home would . It’s nice to be able to offer that, but in the long run it’s all about being at home.”

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SmileHealthy Dental Program Will Restart Soon | healthcare https://open-mind.org/smilehealthy-dental-program-will-restart-soon-healthcare/ Sat, 11 Jun 2022 12:00:00 +0000 https://open-mind.org/smilehealthy-dental-program-will-restart-soon-healthcare/ CHAMPAIGN — Promise Healthcare plans to relaunch its SmileHealthy dental program in July. Service has been suspended since mid-May after the last dentist left the program, but according to Shea Ward, the organization’s director of marketing, two new dentists will join SmileHealthy in July and August. Appointments can now be made for both returning and […]]]>

CHAMPAIGN — Promise Healthcare plans to relaunch its SmileHealthy dental program in July.

Service has been suspended since mid-May after the last dentist left the program, but according to Shea Ward, the organization’s director of marketing, two new dentists will join SmileHealthy in July and August.

Appointments can now be made for both returning and new dental patients, Ward said.

A new dentist, Dr. Elizabeth Brito, starting July 13 and another, Dr. Olumayomide Coker, starts in August.

Both are bilingual, with Brito speaking both English and Spanish and Coker speaking English and French.

Dental services and school dental exams will also return to the Urbana School Health Center.

Promise Healthcare medical director Melonie Richardson said patients with a toothache or other mouth pain should call now rather than wait until July.

Primary care physicians at Promise Healthcare’s Frances Nelson Health Center in Champaign are on hand to help manage the symptoms, she said.

Promise Healthcare said it accepts Medicaid and private insurance for dental services and has a sliding scale of fees for eligible patients.

Care will be provided regardless of ability to pay, the organization said.

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Fairmont State and Wheeling University Partner to Improve Health Care | News, Sports, Jobs https://open-mind.org/fairmont-state-and-wheeling-university-partner-to-improve-health-care-news-sports-jobs/ Thu, 09 Jun 2022 06:14:13 +0000 https://open-mind.org/fairmont-state-and-wheeling-university-partner-to-improve-health-care-news-sports-jobs/ WHEELING — Representatives from Wheeling University and Fairmont State University on Monday signed an articulation agreement establishing a partnership between the institutions aimed at producing more qualified health professionals to care for patients in West Virginia and across the country. “This partnership allows eligible Fairmont State University students to seamlessly transition into Wheeling […]]]>

WHEELING — Representatives from Wheeling University and Fairmont State University on Monday signed an articulation agreement establishing a partnership between the institutions aimed at producing more qualified health professionals to care for patients in West Virginia and across the country.

“This partnership allows eligible Fairmont State University students to seamlessly transition into Wheeling University’s doctoral program in physical therapy each year,” said Ginny R. Favede, President of Wheeling University. “More importantly, by training well-trained physical therapists, there will be more health professionals rooted in our mission to serve others in Appalachia and in our region.”

The agreement between the institutions provides for up to three students per year from Fairmont State’s exercise science program to be enrolled in Wheeling University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program, based on qualifications and academic requirements.

“This agreement will help bring more graduate students from West Virginia colleges and universities into the university’s DPT program,” according to Alison Kreger, director of the Physical Therapy Program at Wheeling. “Through the partnership, Wheeling and Fairmont will help both institutions facilitate the training of physical therapists who can provide quality patient care.”

Fairmont State’s Exercise Science program integrates the theories and practical aspects of exercise physiology to prepare graduates for a career in health and fitness, while providing the foundation needed for successful application in multiple career paths, including physical therapy.

“We are grateful for the efforts of both institutions that have made this partnership a reality,” said Jan Kiger, chairman of the Fairmont State Department of Health and Benefits. “We look forward to working together to engage our students in further professional studies, particularly physical therapy, which is a highly coveted degree.”

Wheeling University’s DPT program emphasizes a holistic approach to investigating clinical problems using a problem-based learning format.

“This partnership will allow Fairmont State Exercise Science majors to advance in their careers by facilitating the transition to a professional degree program.” said Amanda Metcalf, dean of Fairmont State College of Education, Health and Human Performance. “Through this partnership, we are not only building a relationship that benefits our students, but also the community and local workforce. We are excited that our students have the opportunity to continue their educational journey and make a positive impact on healthcare.”

Diana Phillips, Fairmont State’s vice president for academic affairs and provost, echoed Metcalf’s comments.

“At Fairmont State University, we put student success at the center of everything we do. By partnering with Wheeling University, we can continue to make transformative contributions to our students while strengthening healthcare in our region and beyond.” She said.



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The growing global movement of nurses and caregivers https://open-mind.org/the-growing-global-movement-of-nurses-and-caregivers/ Tue, 07 Jun 2022 04:04:33 +0000 https://open-mind.org/the-growing-global-movement-of-nurses-and-caregivers/ Around the world, nurses and other healthcare workers are taking part in a growing wave of strikes and protests against staff shortages, exhausting workloads and the erosion of living standards from soaring inflation. In Germany, more than 2,500 nurses at North Rhine-Westphalian university hospitals have been on strike for more than a month over staffing […]]]>

Around the world, nurses and other healthcare workers are taking part in a growing wave of strikes and protests against staff shortages, exhausting workloads and the erosion of living standards from soaring inflation.

In Germany, more than 2,500 nurses at North Rhine-Westphalian university hospitals have been on strike for more than a month over staffing levels and pay. “We just can’t do it anymore,” said a striking nurse in Essen. “We come home physically and mentally broken – this must finally come to an end.”

Striking nurses and medical workers around the world [Photo: WSWS]

In the UK, 40,000 Scottish nurses in public and private settings plan to leave if their demands for a 10 per cent pay rise are not met. Hundreds of thousands of National Health Service (NHS) workers in the UK are also looking to join the ‘summer of discontent’ being laid down by railway workers, teachers and other public sector workers.

In France, health workers go across the country after being denied bonuses. This follows last month’s strike by 11,000 Spanish doctors and nurses in Madrid and a nationwide strike by 20,000 doctors in Turkey demanding better wages and benefits.

In India, 20,000 nurses at government hospitals in Nagpur in western Maharashtra state are on strike. In nearby Sri Lanka, health workers have been at the forefront of strikes and mass protests demanding the resignation of the Rajapakse government and an end to price hikes and austerity calls from the IMF.

Last month, 10,000 nurses in New Zealand went on strike and suspended work to demand higher wages and safer staffing. This followed the first breaks in more than a decade by Australian nurses at public hospitals in New South Wales. They struck twice in February and March despite government bans and remain embroiled in a dispute.

In the United States, 350 nurses, respiratory therapists and radiology technicians at St. Michael’s Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey, have been on strike for more than two weeks. Another 1,300 resident doctors at Los Angeles public hospitals — who regularly work 12-hour shifts and barely make minimum wage — just voted overwhelmingly to go on strike. Last week, 15,000 nurses in Minnesota staged a day-long strike, and tens of thousands of nurses in Michigan, New York, California, Washington and other states face contract struggles in the coming weeks and months.

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Healthcare – US monkeypox cases double in a week https://open-mind.org/healthcare-us-monkeypox-cases-double-in-a-week/ Fri, 03 Jun 2022 21:47:00 +0000 https://open-mind.org/healthcare-us-monkeypox-cases-double-in-a-week/ Apparently we should all live in Peoria, Illinois, at least according to this TikTok influencer profiled by BuzzFeed. The number of probable cases of monkeypox in the US has doubled over the past week, despite expectations of a rise in cases and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention saying there are “more than enough […]]]>

Apparently we should all live in Peoria, Illinois, at least according to this TikTok influencer profiled by BuzzFeed.

The number of probable cases of monkeypox in the US has doubled over the past week, despite expectations of a rise in cases and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention saying there are “more than enough vaccines” to end the current outbreak deal with.

Welcome to overnight health care, where we follow the latest developments in policies and news affecting your health. For The Hill we are Peter Sullivan, Nathaniel Weixel and Joseph Choi. Someone forwarded this newsletter to you? Subscribe here.

CDC: 20 cases of monkeypox detected in 11 states

The number of monkeypox cases identified in the US has doubled to 20 in the past week, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the risk to the public remains low and the burden these causes cause as less version of the disease is considered serious.

During a Thursday news conference, CDC and White House officials confirmed that 20 cases had been identified in 11 states.

“The strain of monkeypox virus that is affecting patients in this outbreak is the West African strain and it is less severe than other known strains [such as] the Congo Basin group, meaning it has resulted in fewer deaths in historical outbreaks in Africa,” he said Jennifer McQuistonAssociate Director of the CDC Division of Pathogens and Pathology.

Although the strain is believed to be less severe, McQuiston stressed that it should not be minimized because the virus can still cause pain once the lesions have healed due to its characteristic rash as well as severe scarring.

Most cases of monkeypox in the US have been found in men who have sex with men, but the CDC confirmed that one case was found in a woman who had traveled to West Africa and reported having a heterosexual sex life.

The US is currently implementing a containment strategy to limit the spread of monkeypox by isolating cases, identifying people who may have been exposed and ensuring they are offered vaccines. No monkeypox-related deaths have yet been reported.

Read more here.

Progressives criticize the decision not to cut the premium in 2022

Progressives are criticizing the Biden administration’s recent announcement that Medicare premiums will not be cut for 2022 despite lower-than-expected costs for a new Alzheimer’s drug.

The cost of a reward increased by $21.60 to a minimum of $170.10 and a maximum of $578.30 in 2022, the largest increase in the program’s history.

The jump was attributed in part to a need to increase funding if Medicare covered Aduhelm, the first Alzheimer’s drug to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in nearly 20 years.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said last week that Medicare premiums will decrease in 2023 but will keep the $21.60 increase for the coming year.

Critics have branded the decision as an undue financial burden for many people living on a steady income.

Faiz Shakir, an adviser to Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), urged the Biden administration to send rebate checks to Medicare beneficiaries this year, while Warren Gunnels, a Sanders staffer, tweeted, “Imagine They could put more money in the pockets of seniors who are struggling right now to put food on the table and do nothing instead. That’s how you blow a slam dunk.”

Alex Lawson, executive director of progressive group Social Security Works, criticized the administration’s decision to wait until next year to cut premiums, calling it “wrong”.

Read more here.

CALIFORNIA COUNTY RE-INTRODUCES MASK MANDATE

A California Bay Area county is renewing its mask mandate for most indoor public spaces to limit the impact of a spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

Beginning Friday, Alameda County residents will be required to dress up in public places like grocery stores, restaurants and gyms for the first time since the winter’s Omicron wave. County officials cited rising coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, which have more than doubled in the last month.

The order does not apply to K-12 schools until the end of the 2021-22 school year, but county health officials strongly recommend mask wearing. However, masks are required in other facilities such as childcare, summer school and youth programs. The city of Berkeley is exempt from the order because it has its own health department.

Daily reported coronavirus cases in Alameda County, the San Francisco Bay Area’s second-most populous, have passed the peak of last year’s delta wave and are now approaching levels seen during the 2020-21 winter wave, health officials said.

Mask requirements are now the exception: As cases mount, Americans seem to be shaking off the risk of the virus. An Axios Ipsos poll last month found just 36 percent of Americans said there was a significant risk of returning to their “normal, pre-coronavirus life.”

Read more here.

DESANTIS TRIES TO BLOCK TRANSITIONAL THERAPY

The office of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) this week encouraged the state medical board to follow the DeSantis government’s guidance on transitional therapies for transgender minors, which would limit or eliminate various hormonal, surgical and other procedures.

State surgeon General Joseph Ladapo told the Florida Board of Medicine in a letter obtained by NBC News that his office found the science supporting these therapies “extraordinarily weak.”

“The available medical literature does not provide sufficient evidence that surgical sex reassignment surgery is a safe and effective treatment for gender dysphoria,” wrote the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration.

Ladapo urged the board to review the agency’s findings to inform them of a standard of care for transgender minors, stressing that surgical and hormonal therapies are “complex and irreversible.”

On the same day, the Agency for Health Care Administration released a report in which Medicaid denied coverage for puberty blockers, hormone therapies, or transgender-related surgeries.

The agency described these procedures as “experimental and experimental with the potential for long-term adverse effects.”

Read more here.`

Health insurers will pay $1 billion in rebates this year: analysis

According to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation, health insurers will offer rebates worth $1 billion to consumers this year.

The rebates stem from an Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirement that health insurers spend at least 80 percent of their revenue on medical care, as opposed to profits or administrative costs. If an insurer does not meet this threshold, it must pay consumers money back in the form of rebates.

The analysis estimates that 8.2 million people will receive rebates, with an average amount of $128 per person.

Most rebates are paid to people who buy health insurance themselves, including through the ACA marketplaces, as opposed to insurance through an employer.

“$1 billion: That’s enough to buy a baseball team, a superyacht or a private island,” tweeted Cynthia Cox, one of the authors of the analysis at the Kaiser Family Foundation. “It’s also how much health insurers are going to give out as rebates to individuals and businesses because of the Affordable Care Act.”

The size of the rebates is larger than in some previous years, although it has decreased from the record amounts in 2020 and 2021.

Read more here.

WHAT WE READ

  • For many low-income families, sourcing infant formula has always been a burden (Kaiser Health News)
  • Genetic data point to at least two separate monkeypox outbreaks, suggesting wider distribution (Statistics)
  • If you’re still waiting for herd immunity for COVID-19, it’s time to move on: experts (ABC News)

STATE BY STATE

  • In Florida, there’s a growing gap between what people say about abortion and what they do (Politico)
  • ‘It Certainly Wasn’t Clear’: Licensed Psychologist Confused by DOJ Inquiry into How Louisville Treats the Mentally Ill (WHAS11)
  • Will the NC Medicaid expansion ride tailwinds or lean into new headwinds? (North Carolina Health News)

OP EDS IN THE HILL

Congress should protect patients from misleading policies that increase their drug costs

That’s it for today, thanks for reading. Visit The Hill’s Health Care page for the latest news and reports. Until next week.

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LGBTQ+ healthcare, inclusion clinic https://open-mind.org/lgbtq-healthcare-inclusion-clinic/ Thu, 02 Jun 2022 05:56:53 +0000 https://open-mind.org/lgbtq-healthcare-inclusion-clinic/ There are many specialties in the field of medicine, but few providers and clinics focus on serving the LGBTQ+ community. Jessica Francis, MD, OB/GYN explains how Froedtert & MCW Inclusion Health Clinic strives to meet the needs of LGBTQ+ patients. What is the inclusion clinic and why is it so important? The Inclusion Health Clinic […]]]>

There are many specialties in the field of medicine, but few providers and clinics focus on serving the LGBTQ+ community. Jessica Francis, MD, OB/GYN explains how Froedtert & MCW Inclusion Health Clinic strives to meet the needs of LGBTQ+ patients.

What is the inclusion clinic and why is it so important?

The Inclusion Health Clinic is a unique clinic designed to meet the comprehensive health needs of the LGBTQ+ community. This is really important as members of this community often have negative interactions with healthcare providers. We felt it was important to create a clinical space where these patients can come knowing they are receiving safe and inclusive care.

What services are offered in the inclusion clinic?

We offer a very wide range of services in this clinic.

  • Comprehensive basic care
  • gynecology
  • endocrinology
  • Gastroenterology (GI) services.
  • dermatology
  • psychiatry

We also have a wonderful network of medical assistants, nurses and social workers who help our patients access care. Additionally, there are many providers throughout the healthcare network who are motivated to provide subspecialty care to this patient population, but do not necessarily treat patients at Inclusion Health Clinic sites. We also help connect our patients to these providers.

How do you think the clinic is being received by the community after almost four years?

This clinic is very well received in our community. We currently serve over 2,000 patients in Wisconsin and surrounding states. Our patients say thank you again and again for these services because the clinical environment is so unique.

Learn more about the Inclusion Health Clinic locations on the Hospital Froedtert campus and the LGBTQ+ services offered by the Froedtert & MCW health network.

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