Silicon Valley doctors decry plan to pay bonuses for seeing more patients

Local doctors are outraged over a proposal from Santa Clara County to tie some of their pay to the number of patients they see.

The physicians from three county-owned hospitals say the model will hurt patients and quality of treatment. Nine doctors from Santa Clara Valley Medical Center gathered in front of the county offices Tuesday to sound the alarm on the new pay program.

The new compensation plan, which is still short on details, is the county’s response to the physicians’ demands for higher pay to help recruit and retain doctors. Roughly 80% of physicians in Silicon Valley earn more than those working at the county hospitals, according to an analysis by the doctors’ union. This has resulted in retention issues, longer workdays, and more clerical responsibilities for doctors, union members said. read more

Roe v Wade

Federal agency can expand access to birth control under Medicaid if Roe v. Wade is overturned

In her first year as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Chiquita Brooks-Lasure has overseen the expansion of government health coverage to a record number of Americans under Medicare, Medicaid and private Affordable Care Act exchange plans.

Now, she wants to keep them insured, and expand access to services for women.

“We cover over 150 million people as a result of all of the hard work of the agency really enrolling people in coverage. So, we are a huge payer, and we help dictate coverage in this country … and have a powerful opportunity to advance health equity,” Brooks-Lasure said. read more

CEO’s Make Healthcare Worker Safety a Top Priority

A group of healthcare organization CEOs recently adopted a Declaration of Principles to improve the safety of healthcare workers. Healthcare settings pose several safety concerns for caregivers and other staff members.

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Coronavirus Patient

COVID-19 Accelerates Patient Experience Efforts, Care Coordination

COVID-19 has escalated patient experience efforts, mostly around care coordination and patient engagement, found Insights’ latest report, Overcoming Challenges to Effective Patient Experience.

A majority (69%) of survey respondents—stakeholders across provider organizations involved in patient experience—say patient experience efforts have grown amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Only seven percent of respondents say efforts have declined during the pandemic.

At the center of patient experience are two elements: care coordination and patient engagement.

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UCSD Health Nurses Demand Safe Patient Care

UC San Diego nurses demanded changes in staffing for safe patient care throughout the University of California system during a press conference on Jan. 27 at the UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest. This demand came amidst growing concerns about the state of intensive care unit capacities after the regional stay-at-home order for Southern California was lifted on Jan. 25.

As cases are expected to rise once again with COVID-19 restrictions loosening, nurses are concerned about how this will affect nurse to staffing ratios in hospital units. With the passage of A.B. 394 in 1999, California is the only state in the nation that has specific registered nurse to patient ratios by law. The law requires California’s Department of Public Health to establish specific numerical ratios for specific hospital units.

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Healthcare Business

Top Social Determinants of Health Barring Patient Care Access

 – Convenient and comprehensive patient care access is the hallmark of good patient engagement and healthcare. But far too often, key roadblocks get in the way of that seamless access, including a number of key social determinants of health.

These social determinants of health, or the social factors that influence an individual’s ability to achieve health and wellness, can make it challenging for patients to simply set foot inside a provider office. Below, PatientEngagementHIT explores the leading social determinants of health adversely affecting patient care access. This list is certainly not exhaustive, but can represent some of the biggest barriers to care.


Although access to care is instrumental to good outcomes, the reality is that healthcare is only freely accessible to those with higher incomes. Individuals earning lower incomes regularly encounter barriers to care in the United States, regardless of their employment and insurance status.

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Blurred Hospital

Rural Hospital Closures at Hit to Patient Care Access, Outcomes

 – In areas that saw rural hospital closures, the median travel distance increased by about 20 miles between 2012 and 2018, a key hit to patient care access during a period marked by rampant closures, according to a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.

Areas with high rates of rural hospital closures also saw fewer healthcare providers per 100,000, poorer health outcomes among the Medicare fee-for-service population, and more financial distress for the organizations that managed to remain open, the report added.

Over the past decade, the United States has seen high rates of both hospital consolidation and hospital closures, something that is more common in rural areas than urban ones.

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Cardiac Care

Health System Boosts Cardiac Rehab Rates, Improves Patient Care, with New Referral Process

Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) has been shown to reduce mortality, morbidity and readmissions among patients with ischemic heart disease, but it remains widely underused throughout the United States.

A key reason for this troubling trend, according to one group of researchers, is that the CR referral process is in need of a significant overhaul. The team put its theory to the test, implementing a redesigned process at a large hospital in Philadelphia, and shared the results in JAMA Network Open.

The group’s implanted changes involved developing an “opt-out CR referral decision pathway that used the EHR to automatically identify eligible patients.” Providers would be contacted when a patient was identified, and cardiologists were able to sign CR orders before the patient was sent home. Educational material focused on “the importance and relevance of CR therapy” was also provided to each patient.

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Balancing Tech And Patient Care In Telehealth: A Case Study With CallOnDoc

Telehealth took on a whole new importance in 2020, with the pandemic making virtual doctor visits an excellent alternative to spending time in a crowded clinic waiting room.

However, there’s a lot more to telehealth than screenings for Covid-19 and diagnosing simple issues like ear infections.

As the demand for telehealth services grows, certain providers are taking the lead with innovative service and more extensive service offerings. But to really succeed, telehealth providers have to go even further—balancing the convenience of their technology with exceptional patient care.

One provider that’s checked all these boxes is CallOnDoc, a telehealth provider founded in 2017. CallOnDoc has risen above its competition due to several factors, including offering psychiatric evaluations, and expanding into remote management of chronic diseases.

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Nurse with gear stressed out

Overwhelmed by COVID-19, Hospitals ‘Making Difficult Decisions’ As Patient Care Deteriorates

Conditions at Los Angeles County hospitals are worsening by the day, forcing officials to take increasingly desperate measures to prevent the healthcare system from crumbling under a crush of COVID-19 patients.

Methodist Hospital of Southern California has taken the grim step of convening a triage team that will “make the difficult, but necessary decisions about allocating limited resources” to critically ill patients “based on the best medical information available,” officials said in a statement.

As of Wednesday, that team “has yet to find the need to ration any care,” said Cliff Daniels, a senior vice president and chief strategy officer for the Arcadia-based hospital.

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