Health Industry – Open Mind http://open-mind.org/ Wed, 23 Nov 2022 01:41:15 +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 Industry – Open Mind http://open-mind.org/ 32 32 Weber State University is considering outsourcing student health care https://open-mind.org/weber-state-university-is-considering-outsourcing-student-health-care/ Wed, 23 Nov 2022 01:41:15 +0000 https://open-mind.org/weber-state-university-is-considering-outsourcing-student-health-care/ FILE: A statue of Louis Frederick Moench, founder and first principal of Weber State University, is pictured on the campus of Weber State University in Ogden on Tuesday, November 10, 2020. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News) (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News) OGDEN, Utah — Weber State University is exploring the possibility of closing theirs Health Center on […]]]>

FILE: A statue of Louis Frederick Moench, founder and first principal of Weber State University, is pictured on the campus of Weber State University in Ogden on Tuesday, November 10, 2020. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

OGDEN, Utah — Weber State University is exploring the possibility of closing theirs Health Center on campus and outsourcing student health care to nearby providers.

The question for the administrators is whether students would be better served with a different system.

“Are we getting the best value for our students by having this model on campus?” said University President Brad Mortensen.

“Could we make better use of these resources, perhaps a use that would have a broader impact for all of our students?”

Currently, the center offers low-cost care to students and does not require any insurance. This hasn’t escaped the attention of Executive Director of Health and Wellness Diana Abel.

“We are well aware that not all of our students are insured,” she said.

Abel said access to insurance is a factor they will consider when approaching a decision about outsourcing student health care.

Administrative officials are also considering how the current health center will be funded. A portion of operating expenses comes from tuition, which would need to be reviewed and revised by a tuition recommendation committee.

“We would work very closely with this group to ensure how these fees are used,” Mortensen said.

“That would be very transparent,” he said.

Mortensen admitted the process of closing the on-campus health center is lengthy. He said it will require input from multiple parties.

If outsourced, Weber State will become the second university in Utah not to offer on-campus health care. Southern Utah University is currently the only university in Utah without a health center.

Featuring: Simone Seikaly

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UK nurses’ vote to go on strike is about ‘saving the NHS’, supporters say https://open-mind.org/uk-nurses-vote-to-go-on-strike-is-about-saving-the-nhs-supporters-say/ Sat, 19 Nov 2022 19:08:00 +0000 https://open-mind.org/uk-nurses-vote-to-go-on-strike-is-about-saving-the-nhs-supporters-say/ Comment on this story comment LONDON – Leena Myllynen struggled so often to pay her rent and other bills while working as a nurse at a British hospital that she considered giving up the job altogether. Between a pandemic that left hospitals understaffed and record inflation that took the value of her salary down, “I […]]]>

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LONDON – Leena Myllynen struggled so often to pay her rent and other bills while working as a nurse at a British hospital that she considered giving up the job altogether.

Between a pandemic that left hospitals understaffed and record inflation that took the value of her salary down, “I was exhausted and just plain demoralized,” she told the Washington Post. “I never made it to payday, even if I worked overtime,” said the 32-year-old nurse.

Because of this, she left the UK’s taxpayer-funded National Health Service – a esteemed British institution and one of the largest employers in the world. That’s why, she says, many nurses across the UK voted to strike this month for the first time in the 106-year history of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), the country’s largest nurses’ union. The strike is expected before the end of the year.

The pandemic, which has overwhelmed medical supplies worldwide, has not spared the NHS, which has a backlog of millions of patients awaiting treatment for a wide range of diseases. And the unprecedented pressure for Funding in the NHS after the pandemic has affected access to health care even for some medical staff.

When Myllynen’s partner, an NHS doctor, was suffering from severe pneumonia and blood clotting, they went from one emergency room to the next looking for a hospital bed, she said. “He ended up sleeping on the floor [of an emergency room] for 12 hours” because of the lack of beds, she recalled.

“The staff shortages that result from poor pay and working conditions affect us all,” Myllynen added. “We are patients too”

Britain is experiencing its highest rate of inflation in 41 years, squeezing healthcare funding. Forecasts of a long recession and rising energy prices have led to this warnings that people could see “the biggest drop in household incomes in generations,” said Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

The nurses’ union, which has hundreds of thousands of members, says the wage problem has exacerbated staff shortages and put patient safety at risk. After investigations commissioned by RCNthe income of an experienced nurse fell by at least 20 per cent in real terms since 2010 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Although British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak described the nurses’ demand for a nearly 17 per cent pay rise – 5 per cent above inflation He called “priceless” talks this week between the health secretary and union leaders that would help stakeholders “see how we can solve this”. Health officials are hoping for an agreement to stave off a spate of strikes this winter.

Britain frustrated by political and economic turmoil as Liz Truss resigns

British government officials say a pay offer with an average increase of 4.75 per cent for nurses in England next year in July, in line with recommendations from an independent NHS payroll agency.

The plan would increase the average base salary for nurses to almost $44,000 from around $42,000 in March 2022, according to the government, which argues that larger increases would worsen inflation and increase the country’s debt.

But as a cost of living crisis hits everyone, Paramedic, rescuers and so are cleaners Choose about the nurses joining a strike.

Leanne Patrick, a gender-based violence nurse specialist at the NHS in Scotland, said she voted for the nurses’ strike, not for themselves but for the challenges she sees in the predominantly female profession. The mother-of-two said nurses are not being paid fairly for their skills or the risk they are handling and she hoped the strike would make their voices heard.

The pandemic and cost-of-living crisis caused healthcare facilities to “bleed the staff” after years of inflation-driven pay rises and caused “kind of a tipping point,” Patrick told the Post.

The US healthcare system ranks last among 11 high-income countries, according to researchers

She said many nurses supported the strike because “we know it affects not just us, but other nurses and ultimately patient care.”

When staff shortages prevent nurses from “providing a safe level of care,” Patrick said, nurses realize “that at the end of the day, they are concerned about the patients.”

And if nurses also feel undervalued, she added, “It’s not surprising to think that after all this heartache, they’re thinking, ‘Could I do something much less stressful… for a similar amount?'”

Since leaving the NHS last year, Myllynen, who works in the northern English city of Leeds, has switched to a private sector nursing position with a charity, so she did not take part in the RCN vote. But she said she supports the decision, which she described as “the last option” and hopes it will help resolve it a problem she says has been building for years.

“This strike is not selfish; it’s about saving the NHS,” she said. “… it’s about our own healthcare of the future.”

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Home care provider DispatchHealth raises over $330 million in latest round of funding https://open-mind.org/home-care-provider-dispatchhealth-raises-over-330-million-in-latest-round-of-funding/ Tue, 15 Nov 2022 06:37:29 +0000 https://open-mind.org/home-care-provider-dispatchhealth-raises-over-330-million-in-latest-round-of-funding/ Family medicine company DispatchHealth has raised more than $330 million in another round of funding, according to the company. In total, the financing sum since its foundation in 2013 has been well over 700 million US dollars. The fundraising was led by Optum Ventures, with support from current investors Humana (NYSE: HUM), Oak HC/FT, Echo […]]]>

Family medicine company DispatchHealth has raised more than $330 million in another round of funding, according to the company. In total, the financing sum since its foundation in 2013 has been well over 700 million US dollars.

The fundraising was led by Optum Ventures, with support from current investors Humana (NYSE: HUM), Oak HC/FT, Echo Health Ventures and Questa Capital. New investors included Adams Street Partners, Olayan Group, Silicon Valley Bank, Pegasus Tech Ventures and Blue Shield of California.

The borrowing was led by both Silicon Valley Bank and K2 HealthVentures.

“We’ve raised a few flags across the country over the past few years,” Mark Prather, CEO and co-founder of DispatchHealth, told Home Health Care News. “The next few years will be about expanding our entire high acuity ecosystem in each of these markets.”

The Denver-based DispatchHealth model of in-home, high-acuity care has evolved rapidly in recent years. Once focused on home emergency care, it has greatly expanded its home-based capabilities. According to the company, its services are now available to more than 75% of Medicare Advantage (MA) members nationwide.

DispatchHealth works with healthcare systems, payers, employer organizations and other healthcare providers through its medical teams trained in emergency medicine and internal medicine. In addition to treating common injuries and illnesses to avoid emergency room visits and readmissions, the company also has scales his hospital at home model over the past two years.

In addition to the home hospital, the company also has an SNF substitution model and diagnostic platform that supports labs with moderate complexity through mobile imaging, ultrasound and echocardiography.

Not only will DispatchHealth bring its full range of capabilities to all of the 50+ markets it serves in the United States, but it will also work to build a proprietary technology platform called the Last Mile Health Care Technology Platform. One of the leaders of this initiative is Daniel Graf – the chief product officer – the former vice president of products at Uber (NYSE: UBER).

“We have invested heavily in this over the past 18 months,” said Prather. “We’re essentially building this platform that will enable us to deliver the complexity of care that we deliver – everything from logistics to clinical support to coordination with others in the ecosystem.”

Finally, the company will also look for other services to add to its platform after this latest round of funding, although Prather said those services are “to be decided.”

Napkin sketch is realized

Although the company appears to have changed course recently – strengthening its capabilities and services and evolving into a homecare and critical care powerhouse – Prather said what the company is doing is becoming what it used to be should be at the beginning.

“To be honest, what we’re doing today is the original napkin sketch,” Prather said. “Today we are where we always wanted to be. We’re looking at what we’re spending the healthcare dollar on, let’s call it $4 trillion. About a third of it is on top of the building – the emergency room, the infirmary, the post-acute care unit. And we believe that we can offer this care at a lower cost and with better clinical outcomes, and that the home is the right place to do it.”

The group of investors is impressive. Among faces new and old, there is clear support for DispatchHealth’s ethos from some of the biggest names in healthcare and private equity. But there is also a clear support and understanding of the value of home care in general.

Optum Ventures certainly comes as no surprise. It is an independent venture fund owned by Optum, which is part of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH). The latter is in the process of acquiring it Healthcare Provider LHC Group Inc. (Nasdaq: LHCG). Optum Ventures was also an investor in Contessa Health, the at-home critical care provider acquired by Amedisys Inc. (Nasdaq: AMED) last year.

All investors have backed notable healthcare disruptors. For example, Echo Health Ventures supports Cityblock Health, while Oak HC/FT has supported CareBridge, a value-based solutions platform for household and community-based services.

The new investors also reflect the level of interest in home care in the United States

“Our entire syndicate is amazing,” Prather said. “That’s a great idea. And not everyone understood. The investors you see have continued investing down this path. And they really understood what we’re building and how that can be really transformative…they’re very visionary investors and we’re thrilled to have them.”

The funding news comes just weeks after DispatchHealth announced a partnership with one of the largest providers of personal home care in Home Instead.

Going forward, Prather sees home health and home care agencies as obvious partners in his company’s journey.

“We’ve always worked with Home Health,” he said. “To us, home health care is not something we do or plan to do. So if we can support in any way at home, there is usually a way to support each other.”

Aside from the group of investors and the amount of money raised, perhaps the most impressive thing about DispatchHealth is the time it took to get this together.

Amid economic uncertainty, fundraising has dried up, prompting startups in homecare — and other sectors — to make tough decisions and, in some cases, lay people off.

Meanwhile, DispatchHealth has landed more than $330 million in its latest round.

“I’m not very good at past and present, I’m always focused on the future,” Prather said. “It’s a great validation of what we’ve built and the suitability of the product for the market. But honestly, we have a lot of work to do to continue building what we believe to be a company that is quite transformative. I’m not as good at celebrating success as I probably should be, but we’re very happy about it [round] for sure.”

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Whether for industry or healthcare, Optrel is all about protecting people https://open-mind.org/whether-for-industry-or-healthcare-optrel-is-all-about-protecting-people/ Fri, 11 Nov 2022 05:15:49 +0000 https://open-mind.org/whether-for-industry-or-healthcare-optrel-is-all-about-protecting-people/ INNOVATION LEADER: Grant Cooper, CEO of East Greenwich-based Optrel Inc., says the manufacturer’s primary focus prior to the COVID-19 pandemic was on industrial protection, such as the welding helmets seen behind it. Now Optrel has switched to products that are more health friendly. PBN PHOTO/ELIZABETH GRAHAM PBN Manufacturing Awards 2022EXCELLENCE IN PRODUCT INNOVATION & DESIGN:Optrel […]]]>
INNOVATION LEADER: Grant Cooper, CEO of East Greenwich-based Optrel Inc., says the manufacturer’s primary focus prior to the COVID-19 pandemic was on industrial protection, such as the welding helmets seen behind it. Now Optrel has switched to products that are more health friendly. PBN PHOTO/ELIZABETH GRAHAM

PBN Manufacturing Awards 2022
EXCELLENCE IN PRODUCT INNOVATION & DESIGN:
Optrel Inc.


Whether it is manufacturing products for medical professionals or for welders, Optrel Inc. is trying to create something new that is not yet available on the market.

The company’s mission is “to be the innovation leader in everything we do, it’s that simple,” said CEO Grant Cooper. “We’re just trying to find better ways to make products that make people’s lives more productive, safer and healthier.”

Optrel, which focuses on manufacturing equipment for industrial and healthcare supplies, has seen a transformation in the products it manufactures over the past few years, and understandably during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In the run-up to the pandemic, we focused primarily on occupational safety. And I always like to say that we’ve gone from talking to welders on Fridays to talking to doctors on Mondays,” Cooper said. “Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve really switched to products that are more health-friendly.”

One of the company’s biggest recent releases was the launch of a clear NIOSH-approved N95 face mask, the first of its kind in the world. The product allows the wearer’s facial expressions to be seen, which can improve accessibility and facilitate communication.

“A common complaint you get with a traditional N95, no matter what your job was or if you were just someone on the street, was that it made communication difficult,” said Jeff Morris, Optrel’s business development specialist.

Another advantage?

“It’s nice to see a smile sometimes,” Cooper said.

From ideation to submission for approval, the process of creating the N95 clear mask took about nine months, Cooper says, which is much faster than the timeline for most Optrel products. He says most take a few years to hit the market.

But breaking into the healthcare industry hasn’t been without its challenges.

“Healthcare is a challenging industry because a lot of people are locked into their habits, a lot of these products require fit testing and things like that where people don’t want to switch products,” Cooper said. “A lot of … time is spent working and trying to break into the healthcare industry.”

Optrel operates with a small team of seven in Rhode Island.

“But we want to add something,” Cooper said.

Morris, who joined the company in January, said Optrel has an “open door policy and everyone is kind of on the same level here. So everyone’s ideas are heard, no matter who you are. The culture allows everyone to speak their mind. And that plays into the innovation. Everyone is encouraged to voice their ideas.”

Optrel, which has an office in East Greenwich and a manufacturing facility in Switzerland, brings its ideas to the people of Rhode Island and strives to be more involved in the local business and technology communities.

According to Cooper, Optrel has worked with the New England Institute of Technology to donate welding products to the school and has also joined the Rhode Island Manufacturers Association.

“Even though we are headquartered in Switzerland, we are truly a Rhode Island-based company,” said Cooper. “And we’re really looking to expand our presence in Rhode Island and become a stronger member of the community than we have in the past. Our focus has always been national, but we really try to do some things locally to help the community.”

In the fall, Optrel is preparing to launch a new product at the Fabtech conference in Atlanta in November. Cooper hints that it “offers workers everything they’ve ever really asked for in a welding helmet.”

Optrel works to put new products in people’s hands.

For Morris, Optrel is about “getting out into the field and having that face-to-face time. It’s one thing to read about a product online, but it’s another to actually have it [it] in your hands.”

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Nashville Boom, Health Fuel Epstein Becker Green Growth Bet https://open-mind.org/nashville-boom-health-fuel-epstein-becker-green-growth-bet/ Fri, 04 Nov 2022 10:38:18 +0000 https://open-mind.org/nashville-boom-health-fuel-epstein-becker-green-growth-bet/ Epstein Becker Green, five years after opening an office in Nashville, Tennessee, is counting on his healthcare strength to fend off Big Law’s rivals in the now hot legal market. The office has grown to around a dozen lawyers and the law firm Nov 1 announced his hiring John Carpenterwho advises creditors and debtors in […]]]>

Epstein Becker Green, five years after opening an office in Nashville, Tennessee, is counting on his healthcare strength to fend off Big Law’s rivals in the now hot legal market.

The office has grown to around a dozen lawyers and the law firm Nov 1 announced his hiring John Carpenterwho advises creditors and debtors in healthcare bankruptcy proceedings, from local law firm Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis.

Epstein Becker is moving from his temporary location in the city new room in the South Gulch neighborhood with quick access to major healthcare systems. Doubling the company’s size in Nashville is a “very feasible proposition in the near future,” said Mark Lutes, chairman of the company’s board of directors.

He is not alone with growth ambitions. K&L Gates, Jackson Lewis and Womble Bond Dickinson have all opened offices in Nashville in the past year. According to media reports, Holland & Knight is said to be in merger talks with 260 attorney Waller Lansden.

The region’s economic growth is drawing attention. Historically known as a health hub, Nashville has hosted tech companies like Amazon.com Inc. and Oracle Corp. as well as startups such as PaintJet Robotics, legally known as Foreman Technologies Inc.

Nashville had the strongest economic growth of any major US metro area in 2021, corresponding Stessa Inc., a real estate investment company that analyzed data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Census Bureau and Redfin.

“Here in Nashville, this combination of things is happening that has created a pretty booming economy,” said Tishler, who ran Waller Lansden from 2008 to 2014.

Port of Healthcare

Nashville is hometown to more than 500 healthcare companies that operate nationally and internationally and generate more than $92 billion in annual sales. 17 public healthcare companies are headquartered in the region, which supports more than 570,000 healthcare jobs.

“It’s the Silicon Valley of for-profit healthcare,” said Christopher Dunn, head of Epstein Becker’s healthcare engineering team, who joined Epstein Becker in January from Waller Lansden.

The firm’s customers include Aetna Life Insurance Co., The New York and Presbyterian Hospitals, Quest Diagnostics Inc. and Rite Aid Corp., according to Bloomberg lawsuit data. In 2020, Epstein Becker was partner Paul Gilbert rented as General Counsel of Rite Aid Corp.

Epstein Becker is leveraging its existing healthcare clients to gain a foothold in the crowded market, said Nashville resident Barbara Mayden, a former Big Law attorney-turned-legal recruiter at Young Mayden.

“Where it would have been very difficult for them 20 years ago to find a big way into the Nashville market, suddenly they can make it,” she said.

Epstein Becker also specializes in employment law and commercial disputes.

Great law moves in

Local law firms like Bass, Berry & Sims and Waller Lansden have been the biggest players in the Nashville market for decades. A number of regional firms have entered the market in recent years, including Frost Brown Todd and Adams and Reese, said Candice Reed, executive vice president of legal recruiter Latitude.

“One of the reasons the local Nashville firm has been so successful is that they were able to serve the same demanding clients at hourly rates that have historically been lower than the big firms’ rates,” said Reed, responsible partner of Latitude Tennessee operations.

All that changed when K&L Gates moved to Nashville in 2021. The Company added more than 25 attorneys from Waller Lansden, Butler Snow, Dickinson Wright and Bass and Berry & Sims.

Remote working has allowed national firms to leverage their flexibility in hiring attorneys in and around Nashville for a firm that may be based in New York or Atlanta, Reed said.

The influx of Big Law sparked bidding wars for legal talent in the area and forced local firms to pay young workers more to prevent them from fleeing, she said.

“Now that the big boys are coming, a lot of people are going to want to be one of the big boys,” Mayden said.

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Addus aligns M&A strategy away from hospice towards home health and personal care https://open-mind.org/addus-aligns-ma-strategy-away-from-hospice-towards-home-health-and-personal-care/ Tue, 01 Nov 2022 22:00:42 +0000 https://open-mind.org/addus-aligns-ma-strategy-away-from-hospice-towards-home-health-and-personal-care/ Addus HomeCare Corporation (NASDAQ: ADUS) is shifting its M&A strategy away from hospice businesses and focusing on its home health and personal care businesses. Based in Texas, Addus provides personal, home health and hospice care at 207 locations in 22 states, reaching approximately 46,500 patients annually. While the hospice will still be an important part […]]]>

Addus HomeCare Corporation (NASDAQ: ADUS) is shifting its M&A strategy away from hospice businesses and focusing on its home health and personal care businesses.

Based in Texas, Addus provides personal, home health and hospice care at 207 locations in 22 states, reaching approximately 46,500 patients annually. While the hospice will still be an important part of the company’s growth strategy, Addus CEO Dirk Allison said the company will be more aggressive in acquiring home health and personal care products in the near term.

“While we will continue to explore the hospice market for small deals in markets where we already have hospice operations, over the next 12 to 24 months our primary focus will be on larger personal care or home health deals,” Allison said in an earnings call .

Reasons for this direction include the broader opportunities for value-based compensation for these two performance lines.

Hospices have taken their first steps toward value-based reimbursement over the past two years through the Medicare Advantage carve-in, which has been in its second year for about three quarters. The formal title of the program is Value-Based Insurance Design (VBID) Demonstration, and it remains to be seen whether the program will eventually become a permanent part of Medicare. Even if this were the case, it would take several years before it was introduced on a large scale.

Regardless of the outcome of VBID, many in the hospice sector anticipate a stronger move toward value-based payments. According to CFO and Executive Vice President Brian Poff, Addus sees “great opportunities in the future” for the hospice.

“There is really more attention paid to where the markets are going. What does that look like for future reimbursement support based on each segment,” Poff said during the conference call.

Acquisitions have contributed approximately $65 million to Addus’ bottom line in 2022 so far, including a significant hospice deal. The enterprise Bought Illinois-based hospice provider JourneyCare Inc. earlier this year for $85 million. last month it acquired Apple Home Health, Ltd. based in Chicago for an undisclosed sum.

Companywide revenue for the third quarter was $240.5 million, an increase of 11% compared to the same period in 2021. Hospice earned $51.4 million in the third quarter, up nearly a quarter (21, 4%) of the company’s total revenue. This was an increase of 31.4% over the same period last year.

According to Allison, this represents a “steady improvement” for Addus’ hospice business in the third quarter. Addus saw average hospice length of stay increase by 28 days in the third quarter, up from 23 days last quarter. The average daily census for hospices increased year-over-year, reaching 3,280 in the third quarter versus 2,629 in the same period last year.

First the company’s hospice growth strategy will focus on locating these operations along with its other businesses.

“[Apple Home Health’s] The acquisition advances our strategy to grow home health and hospice services in markets where we have a strong presence in the personal care space,” said Allison. “Our disciplined approach has placed us in a strong position to capitalize on future acquisition opportunities. We expect to see more assets and more of these scaling opportunities in the coming months.”

New Mexico is the company’s “seasoned market” where all three services operate, Poff said. Addus has seen success in its value-based contracting efforts across the state, as well as a surge in referrals to home health care and hospice services.

A second important market is Illinois, where the company also offers its trio of services. The Land of Lincoln represents “many opportunities to expand into value-based care markets,” he added.

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Republicans plan dangerous cuts to our health care – Daily Freeman https://open-mind.org/republicans-plan-dangerous-cuts-to-our-health-care-daily-freeman/ Sat, 29 Oct 2022 20:42:56 +0000 https://open-mind.org/republicans-plan-dangerous-cuts-to-our-health-care-daily-freeman/ Dear editor, Medication costs have gone down for me this week. I saved over $50 on one prescription alone. Credit goes to the Democrats in Congress and President Biden, who passed legislation allowing Medicare to negotiate prices with drug companies. It’s a win for Biden and a win for us. Republicans opposed this smart legislation, […]]]>

Dear editor,

Medication costs have gone down for me this week. I saved over $50 on one prescription alone. Credit goes to the Democrats in Congress and President Biden, who passed legislation allowing Medicare to negotiate prices with drug companies. It’s a win for Biden and a win for us.

Republicans opposed this smart legislation, along with other efforts to lower costs for consumers. They only endorse increased protection for their corporate donors.

Part of this year’s congressional election is about who will best preserve and expand Medicare and Social Security. The GOP’s regressive plan is to demand Social Security and Medicare cuts and threaten to hold the federal budget hostage in order to win.

Republicans know how unpopular these drastic cuts are. They didn’t dare implement them when they were in power a few years ago. Now they are plotting dangerous tactics that could cripple our government if not enforced.

For decades, these programs have helped us and protected millions of Americans. They were crucial when Democrats initiated them in the 1930s and 1960s. Now we all need to protect our Social Security and Medicare when we vote on November 8th.

Tobe Carey,

Glenford, NY

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A GP says his hands are tied when it comes to helping patients with their mental health | opinion https://open-mind.org/a-gp-says-his-hands-are-tied-when-it-comes-to-helping-patients-with-their-mental-health-opinion/ Mon, 24 Oct 2022 19:32:00 +0000 https://open-mind.org/a-gp-says-his-hands-are-tied-when-it-comes-to-helping-patients-with-their-mental-health-opinion/ By Alexander Salerno I am a primary care physician practicing in one of the most underserved areas of New Jersey with few doctors and even fewer mental health professionals. In the past month, I have seen more than 100 patients in my practice who are showing signs of mental illness. Your GP is probably the […]]]>

By Alexander Salerno

I am a primary care physician practicing in one of the most underserved areas of New Jersey with few doctors and even fewer mental health professionals. In the past month, I have seen more than 100 patients in my practice who are showing signs of mental illness.

Your GP is probably the first medical professional to notice if you have common mental health problems, such as anxiety or depression. Lately, AHIPthe country’s largest health insurance trading group, issued a statement pledged to improve access to mental health care. A recent study identified affordability—even more so than availability—as the main barrier to mental health care utilization.

To be honest, it’s long overdue for that. The hurdles the insurance industry has placed on your GP make it difficult for them to make that assessment and act on it. My hands are often tied.

In order to get paid for what we do, all doctors bill insurance companies using an extensive, complicated, and sometimes conflicting list of codes known as Current Procedural Terminology, or CPT. For this reason, many medical offices employ staff solely for medical coding and billing. If a doctor uses the wrong code, the claim will be denied.

This is a problem when it comes to behavioral health, as physician billing rules are like a maze with no easy exit. Mental health professionals typically rely on two codes for initial psychiatric diagnostic assessment. Psychiatrists, psychologists and other psychotherapists use them all the time.

However, your GP may not use these codes, even though your doctor will most likely make an initial mental health diagnosis. I have been a primary care physician at my primary care practice, Salerno Medical Associates, for more than 20 years. It has always been necessary for us to fill the hole left by a Shortage of mental health professionals. That’s more true than ever after the pandemic: The shortage is expected to grow to 15,000 mental health professionals by 2025, more than a third more than in 2013. I’m pleased that through AHIP, the insurance industry is finally coming to terms with this.

GPs are the frontline of mental health. Some studies say more than the half of people in their GP waiting rooms have some form of depression that is never identified. We also know that many common medical conditions can cause or worsen depression. These include heart disease, cancer and chronic pain.

This is important. If there’s one condition that everyone is prone to, it’s depression. It affects people of all races, religions and socioeconomic status equally. Diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer affect different population groups more than others. But depression lurks around us all, and your GP is trained to spot it. She just can’t bill her insurance company for it, but maybe AHIP’s new stance will change that.

Physicians and patients alike recognize that affordable mental health care is difficult to find. That’s partly because the insurance industry — in turn, the insurance industry — has reimbursed mental health providers less than other medical specialists. But the medical training of a psychiatrist has the same price as that of a plastic surgeon. AHIP is now committed to covering mental health on an equal footing with physical health, but mental health providers must also be fairly compensated for this.

Right now, however, the insurance industry isn’t allowing internists and other first responders to take any of the burden off mental health specialists. For example, if my primary diagnosis of a patient is depression, that insurance claim is likely to be denied. Since my pay is dependent on a primary diagnosis of something like high cholesterol, low back pain, or constipation, doctors like me have no incentive to start this conversation with the patient about their behavioral health issues. In fact, we are being punished for it. It makes easy and efficient maintenance difficult.

It is not difficult to improve the situation. A simple improvement would be to open up the use of the psychiatric diagnostic assessment billing code to frontline medical providers. If society truly believes – as it should – that there is a mental health crisis in this country, then let more professionals diagnose it. Make telemedicine therapy more accessible.

Let’s care and get paid for our work. Let patients get the care they can afford.

dr Alexander Salerno is a Physician with Salerno Medical Associates, a second generation family practice serving East Orange and Newark. He is also the founder of the Urban Healthcare Initiative Program (UHIP), a community-based health and education provider.

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Telemedicine is the new normal in the healthcare industry https://open-mind.org/telemedicine-is-the-new-normal-in-the-healthcare-industry/ Fri, 21 Oct 2022 19:30:00 +0000 https://open-mind.org/telemedicine-is-the-new-normal-in-the-healthcare-industry/ Opinions expressed by entrepreneur Contributors are their own. telemedicine is the broader definition of a practice that enables physicians to perform services health-related support of their customers with audio and video technology. We use too telemedicine and virtual care to discuss the non-clinical services offered in this area. Telemedicine is revolutionizing healthcare in the United […]]]>

Opinions expressed by entrepreneur Contributors are their own.

telemedicine is the broader definition of a practice that enables physicians to perform services -related support of their customers with audio and video technology. We use too and virtual care to discuss the non-clinical services offered in this area.

Telemedicine is revolutionizing healthcare in the United States and many industrialized nations. The convenience, economy and individuality of it option make it a viable and, in some cases, preferred choice for many patients who need medical assistance but have difficulty reaching physicians or practitioners within their geographic limits.

If supported in most healthcare Telemedicine can greatly improve access to medical care and the efficiency of doctor visits, allowing doctors and practitioners to treat more patients in need.

Related: Why telemedicine is the future of healthcare

The healthcare industry faces many harsh realities as the United States finds its way out of a global healthcare crisis. These include overwhelmed medical facilities, fewer health care staff and physicians, increased operational and benefit costs, and high risks for vulnerable populations who could be exposed to other diseases if they stay in health care facilities for long periods of time.

Recent data compiled by the US Department of Health and Human Services showed a dramatic increase in demand and use of telemedicine during and after global health crisis.

Advantages and disadvantages of telemedicine

Telemedicine and telehealth have many benefits, including the following:

  • Improved access to doctors and general practitioners
  • Reduction of the doctor Burn out
  • Reduction of on-site waiting times due to the ability to screen and pre-assess patients when a hospital visit is required.
  • Convenience of being at home (patient and provider)
  • Cost and time savings

Of course, in addition to the benefits mentioned above, telemedicine and telehealth also come with their challenges.

Some of them are:

  • Virtual consultations require access to technology, and the digital divide between those who have it and those who don’t can limit access for vulnerable members of society.
  • difficult diagnosis. Virtual diagnosis can present challenges for physicians and practitioners in providing an accurate diagnosis when they cannot make full assessments themselves and must rely on the patient to provide correct or complete information.
  • It may not be a good substitute for personal care for more serious medical conditions.
  • Lack of insurance cover for telemedicine services.
  • Policies and legal restrictions limit how care is provided and in what environments.

The benefits seem to outweigh the challenges. This could explain why the demand and use of these services has increased dramatically.

Prior to 2020, telemedicine saw a steady rise in hospital settings. according to a data sheet published by the American Hospital Association in February 2019: “76 percent of US hospitals are remotely connecting with patients and treating physicians via video and other technologies.”

Significant increase in demand for behavioral services

Since that time, current statistics from the Department of Health and Human Services show a “63x increase” in the use of telemedicine in 2020. An increase from about 840,000 patients in 2019 to almost 52.7 million in 2020.

This growth reflects increased awareness and availability of telemedicine services. While this growth has been monumental, the most notable increase has been in behavioral health services.

The data showed that telemedicine was most prevalent among behavioral health professionals.

“Visits to behavioral medicine specialists showed that biggest increase in telemedicine in 2020. Telemedicine accounted for a third of all visits to behavioral health professionals.”

With this knowledge, practitioners, insurance companies and organizations can use this data to support their customers, employees and patients by tailoring service options to their unique needs. Ensuring that policies are created or modified to meet this demand can move these stakeholders further to capitalize on this growing trend. It will further help them to create value for their patients/customers.

Expanding access for ethnic minorities and rural patients

One of the challenges in using telemedicine is the apparent digital divide, which puts some groups at a disadvantage over others. For example, a statistic from the Medicare Telehealth Report points out that black people use telemedicine services the least.

With diversity and inclusion at the forefront of many conversations in the healthcare industry and workplace, removing systemic and technological barriers could help improve the overall participation of this group.

As for rural users, limited access to broadband services and doctors hampers their ability to fully participate in telemedicine. Therefore, when creating or revising policies, insurers, corporations, Medicare and Medicaid providers should consider these limitations to improve their participation.

Related: The future of healthcare is in the cloud

The future is hybrid

The globe generated telemedicine market $40.20 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach $431.82 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 25.9% from 2021 to 2030

All stakeholders in the industry must be ready to address the challenges and opportunities for innovation and create policies, systems and processes to keep up with this demand.

The hybrid service delivery model that combines in-person delivery with digital delivery will be most effective in alleviating some challenges and maximizing benefits.

Policy changes to support telemedicine

Policy changes by Medicare, Medicaid, and insurance companies are being explored to expand access and change rules that would otherwise restrict who can participate in telemedicine.

There are many legal and political considerations Some of these include protecting the integrity of the healthcare system through monitoring and oversight of professional licensing, online prescriptions, privacy and security concerns, and combating fraud and abuse.

The global health crisis forced policymakers to abandon existing Medicare and Medicaid rules so patients could get support when and where they needed it most.

Looking ahead, the growth in the telemedicine industry is unprecedented. It has the potential to significantly improve patient care and positively change the direction of the healthcare sector, provided all stakeholders seize the opportunity.

Related: The 3 Best Telemedicine Stocks for Investors

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The global medical plastics industry expects this to be the case https://open-mind.org/the-global-medical-plastics-industry-expects-this-to-be-the-case/ Wed, 19 Oct 2022 10:18:44 +0000 https://open-mind.org/the-global-medical-plastics-industry-expects-this-to-be-the-case/ Dublin, Oct. 19, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The “Global Medical Plastics Market, by Type, Application and Region – Forecast and Analysis 2022-2028” Report has been added ResearchAndMarkets.com Offer. The size of the global medical plastics market was estimated at US$45.89 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach US$76.13 billion by 2028, growing at a […]]]>

Dublin, Oct. 19, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The “Global Medical Plastics Market, by Type, Application and Region – Forecast and Analysis 2022-2028” Report has been added ResearchAndMarkets.com Offer.

The size of the global medical plastics market was estimated at US$45.89 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach US$76.13 billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 7.50% over the forecast period (2022 – 2028).

Medical plastics are polymers that can be molded into almost any shape. Medical plastics often use thermoplastic compounds. Once heated, thermoplastics are easily shaped. Medical grade polymers are heat and chemical resistant. Some of the most commonly used medical grade plastics are polycarbonate, polypropylene, and polyethylene. It can be used to manufacture medical devices and equipment such as medical and surgical tubing.

The global medical plastics market is expected to grow due to increasing investment in healthcare and rising consumer health concerns. Furthermore, increasing disposable income and a change in consumer lifestyle will drive the market growth in the forecast time frame.

Segments covered in this report

The global Medical Plastics industry is segmented on the basis of Type, Application, and Region. Based on type, the global medical plastics market is segmented into engineering plastics, HPP, commodity plastics, silicone and others. Based on application, the global medical plastics market is segmented into medical disposables, prosthetics, medical instruments and tools, drug delivery, and others. Based on region it is categorized into: North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, South America and MEA.

driver

The significant growth of the medical companies across the world is one of the main factors behind the positive outlook of the market. As COVID-19 spreads around the world, demand for single-use medical plastics and supplies in healthcare facilities has skyrocketed. Thermal scanners, ventilators, gloves, ventilators and masks are widely used to treat patients in hospitals, diagnostic centers and clinics. Numerous product developments such as the development of medical polymers with improved biocompatibility are also growth drivers. Other factors driving industry growth include extensive improvements in healthcare infrastructure, particularly in developing countries, as well as an increasing geriatric population, which is expected to drive the market even further.

restraint

Pollution and increasing waste are the factors limiting the growth of the industry. The human population is constantly growing, which increases the demand for plastics. These products are responsible for the continued increase in plastic production and waste generation, both of which contribute to increased pollution and stifle industrial progress. These are typically non-recyclable materials that are individually treated to prevent the spread of infection. Medical waste that is improperly disposed of causes a variety of pollution, including water and soil degradation.

market trends

Price volatility for polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP) and polystyrene (PS) has been exacerbated by swings in oil (PS) prices. Price volatility in the market has also been impacted by capacity expansions and contractions. In addition, rising overproduction in the Chinese market is expected to impact commodity prices. Furthermore, the market is expected to grow during the forecast period owing to the enforcement and updating of various infection prevention regulations, as well as an increase in the number of surgical, hospital and outpatient procedures.

companies mentioned

  • SABIC (Saudi Arabia)
  • BASF SE (Germany)
  • Celanese Corporation (US)
  • Eastman Chemical Co. (USA)
  • Saint-Gobain SA (France)
  • Wacker Chemie AG (Germany)
  • Evonik AG (Germany)
  • Solvay SA (Belgium)
  • Arkema SA (France)
  • Covestro AG (Germany)
  • Ensinger Group (Germany)
  • Lubrizol Corp. (UNITED STATES)
  • Trinseo (USA)

For more information about this report, see https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/isy64p

        
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