The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) has launched a free online resource to provide consumers with important background information on the more than 900,000 actively licensed physicians in the United States, including whether or not a physician has been disciplined by a state medical board.
The Docinfo physician search tool (www.docinfo.org) draws data from the FSMB’s Physician Data Center, the nation’s most comprehensive database of physician licensure and disciplinary information. Continue reading →
Women outnumber men in the nursing profession by more than 10 to 1. But men still earn more, a new study finds.
The report in this week’s Journal of the American Medical Association found that even after controlling for age, race, marital status and children in the home, males in nursing out-earned females by nearly $7,700 per year in outpatient settings and nearly $3,900 in hospitals.
Even as men flowed into nursing over the past decades, the pay gap did not narrow over the years studied: 1988 to 2013.
According to the Census Bureau, men made up about 9 percent of registered nurses in 2011, roughly a three-fold increase from 1970. And even though men were not permitted in nursing programs at some schools until the 1980s, they have overall earned more, just as in society at large.
The biggest disparity was for nurse anesthetists, with men earning $17, 290 more. Continue reading →
The Washington Center for Nursing, the statewide nonprofit nursing workforce center, has selected Sofia Aragon JD, BSN, RN to be its new executive director. Aragon, who was hired after a nationwide search, will begin at WCN on April 1.
As the executive director, Aragon will lead Centers work that focuses on promoting nursing as a desirable career; developing and managing data about the nursing workforce; identifying and disseminating information on best practices in nursing recruitment and retention; and increasing access to all levels of nursing education.
WCN collaborates with stakeholders in workforce development, education and practice in Washington and across the United States to address nursing workforce issues.
Aragon brings a background in health care policy and nursing education and practice, having earned: a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of Washington in 1994; a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Seattle University in 1997; and her Juris Doctor degree from Loyola University-Chicago School of Law in 2002. Continue reading →
It was a touching scene, meant to buck up a hospital 2013 and a community 2013 shaken when one of its own nurses was infected with the Ebola virus.
Last fall, when Dallas nurse Nina Pham was about to be transferred for treatment from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas to the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Maryland, a doctor videotaped her farewell from her hospital bed.
The hospital released the video as it fended off accusations that it did not do enough to protect its staff after a patient who had contracted Ebola in Liberia sought treatment at Texas Health Presbyterian and died.
Now, in an interview with the Dallas Morning News published over the weekend, Pham contends she didn’t give permission for the hospital to record her or to make the video public.
Pham filed a lawsuit Monday against the hospital’s parent company, Texas Health Resources (THR), claiming not only negligence related to her Ebola infection, but violations of her privacy.
A federal patient privacy law, known as HIPAA, prohibits health providers from releasing information about patients without their permission.
“Never once did THR get Nina’s permission to be used as a PR pawn like this,” the suit says. “Never once did THR discuss its purposes or motivations or tell Nina what it was going to do with the information it sought from her. Instead, THR went to this young lady who was not in the position to be making any such decisions, and used her when she was in the darkest moment of her life, all for THR’s own benefit.”
Beyond that, the lawsuit contends, “Nina’s record was grossly and inappropriately accessed by dozens of people throughout the THR system.” Continue reading →
If your infant has a high fever or you’re experiencing an unusual pain in your abdomen and you live in New Mexico, you may want to call the NurseAdvice line before you do anything else.
New Mexico is the only state with a 24/7 registered nurse call center that is free to all residents, whether insured or not. In operation since 2006, it has kept tens of thousands of New Mexicans out of emergency rooms and saved the state more than $68 million in health care expenses.
It has provided a basic form of health care to thousands of uninsured people who have no other access to care. It also has relieved demand on doctors and hospitals in a sparsely populated state where all but a few counties have a severe shortage of health care providers.
On top of that, the statewide call center has generated real-time public health data that has served as an early warning system during epidemics and natural disasters.
Some Experts Dispute Claims Of Looming Doctor Shortage
By Julie Rovner KHN
You hear it so often it’s almost a cliché: The nation is facing a serious shortage of doctors, particularly doctors who practice primary care, in the coming years.
But is that really the case?
Many medical groups, led by the Association of American Medical Colleges, say there’s little doubt. “We think the shortage is going to be close to 130,000 in the next 10 to 12 years,” says Atul Grover, the group’s chief public policy officer.
While few dispute the idea that there will be a growing need for primary care in the coming years, it is not at all clear whether all those primary care services have to be provided by doctors.
But others, particularly health care economists, are less convinced. “Concerns that the nation faces a looming physician shortage, particularly in primary care specialties, are common,” wrote an expert panel of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in a report on the financing of graduate medical education in July. “The committee did not find credible evidence to support such claims.”Continue reading →
All interested clinicians are invited to participate in the initiative.
US Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell today announced an initiative that will fund successful applicants who work directly with medical providers to rethink and redesign their practices, moving from systems driven by quantity of care to ones focused on patients’ health outcomes, and coordinated health care systems.
These applicants could include group practices, health care systems, medical provider associations and others.
This effort will help clinicians develop strategies to share, adapt and further improve the quality of care they provide, while holding down costs.
Strategies could include:
Giving doctors better access to patient information, such as information on prescription drug use to help patients take their medications properly;
Expanding the number of ways patients are able communicate with the team of clinicians taking care of them;
One of the hopes embedded in the health law was to expand the role of nurse practitioners and physician assistants in addressing the nation’s shortage of primary care providers. But a new study questions whether that’s actually happening in doctors’ offices.
Mid-level providers – PAs and NPs – “are doing invasive procedures and surgery. I’m not sure they were trained to do that.”
Of the more than 4 million procedures office-based nurse practitioners and physician assistants independently billed more than 5,000 times in a year to Medicare – a list including radiological exams, setting casts and injecting anesthetic agents – more than half were for dermatological surgeries.Continue reading →
ANN ARBOR, MI — Health care gained a modest 7,000 jobs in July, bringing the 2014 year-to-date monthly average down to 18,000, very close to the monthly average for all of 2013. This low net figure masks above-average growth in ambulatory care and job losses in hospitals. The health share of total employment fell from 10.61% to 10.60%, down from the high of 10.66% last seen in December 2012, and the lowest figure since October 2010.
A high-level report recommending sweeping changes in how the government distributes $15 billion annually to subsidize the training of doctors has brought out the sharp scalpels of those who would be most immediately affected.
The reaction also raises questions about the sensitive politics involved in redistributing a large pot of money that now goes disproportionately to teaching hospitals in the Northeast U.S. All of the changes recommended would have to be made by Congress.Continue reading →
An expert panel recommended Tuesday completely overhauling the way government pays for the training of doctors, saying the current $15 billion system is failing to produce the medical workforce the nation needs.
“We recognize we are recommending substantial change,” said health economist and former Medicare Administrator Gail Wilensky, co-chairwoman of the nonpartisanInstitute of Medicine panel that produced the report. “We think it’s key to justifying the continued use of public funds.”Continue reading →
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The health care community is not doing enough to track and prevent widespread harm to patients, and preventable deaths and injuries in hospitals and other settings will continue unless Congress takes action, medical experts said today on Capitol Hill.
“Our collective action in patient safety pales in comparison to the magnitude of the problem,” said Dr. Peter Pronovost, senior vice president for patient safety and quality at Johns Hopkins Medicine. “We need to say that harm is preventable and not tolerable.”Continue reading →
Despite predictions of an impending nurse shortage, the current number of working registered nurses has surpassed expectations in part due to the number of baby-boomer RNs delaying retirement, a study by the RAND Corp. found.
The study, published online Wednesday by Health Affairs, notes that the RN workforce, rather than peaking in 2012 at 2.2 million – as the researchers predicted a decade ago – reached 2.7 million that year and has continued growing.
The trend of nurses delaying retirement accounted for an extra 136,000 RNs in 2012, the study suggests.Continue reading →
Periodically Washington State Department of Health issues an update on disciplinary actions taken against health care providers, including suspensions and revocations of licenses, certifications, or registrations of providers in the state.
The department also suspends the credentials of people who have been prohibited from practicing in other states.
Information about health care providers is also on the agency’s website.
To find this information click on “Provider Credential Search” on the left hand side of the Department of Health home page (www.doh.wa.gov).
The site includes information about a health care provider’s license status, the expiration and renewal date of their credential, disciplinary actions and copies of legal documents issued after July 1998.
This information is also available by calling 360-236-4700.
Consumers who think a health care provider acted unprofessionally are also encouraged to call and report their complaint.
Here is the July 16th update issued by the Washington State Department of Health: Continue reading →