Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center announced today that it has named an expert in cancer genetics and precision medicine. D. Gary Gilliland, M.D., Ph.D., a physician-scientist with a background in academic medicine and the pharmaceutical industry, as its new president and director. Gilliland will take the helm as Fred Hutch’s new leader on Jan. 2.
Although all hospitals in the state are making plans to rapidly identify, isolate and safely evaluate people with suspected Ebola, eight hospitals are preparing to care for a person with Ebola for the duration of the illness.
- CHI Franciscan Health (Harrison Medical Center – Bremerton campus),
- MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital,
- Providence Regional Medical Center Everett,
- Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center and Children’s Hospital in Spokane,
- Seattle Children’s Hospital,
- Swedish Medical Center (Issaquah),
- Virginia Mason Hospital, and
- UW Medicine (Harborview Medical Center, UW Medical Center, Valley Medical Center)
“The chance of a confirmed case of Ebola in Washington is very low, but in the event it happens we want to be sure we have the capacity to provide ongoing care to a patient,” said Dr. Kathy Lofy, state Health Officer. “Patients with Ebola can become critically ill and require intensive care therapy. Care needs to be delivered using strict infection control practices. We are working with each of the committed hospitals to ensure we are coordinated and thorough in our response.” Continue reading
From the Washington State Department of Health
The Department of Health is funding a new HIV satellite clinic in Federal Way.
It’s the fourth department-funded satellite clinic aimed at improving access to primary medical care for HIV-positive people in Puget Sound.
The satellite clinic operates through a partnership with Harborview Medical Center’s Madison Clinic.
A Harborview physician will be available every Thursday at the UW-Neighborhood Clinic in Federal Way to provide care to HIV patients living in Federal Way and nearby communities.
The department is giving Harborview $42,000 to cover the physician’s time and the costs of administering the services. The clinic opened Oct. 9, 2014.
Earlier satellite clinics opened in Everett, Bremerton and Olympia (in partnership with SeaMar Community Health Center).
The state health department estimates that there are as many as 2,365 people living with HIV in the southern King County and Pierce County areas. Continue reading
Leasing a new building will in Spokane will “help UW expand its medical school program in Spokane. The school’s plans to grow have been a point of contention over the last year as Washington State University also announced plans to start the state’s second publicly-funded medical school in Spokane.
November 4, 2014
This KHN story also ran in The Washington Post.
Two years ago, Inova Health System recruited a top executive who was not a physician, had never worked in hospital administration and barely knew the difference between Medicare and Medicaid.
What Paul Westbrook specialized in was customer service. His background is in the hotel business – Marriott and The Ritz-Carlton, to be precise.
He is one of dozens of hospital executives around the country with a new charge. Called chief patient experience officers, their focus is on the service side of hospital care: improving communication with patients and making sure staff are attentive to their needs, whether that’s more face time with nurses or quieter hallways so they can sleep.
It’s a dimension of hospital care that has long been neglected, patient advocates say, and it was put high on hospitals’ agendas only when Medicare started tracking patient satisfaction and, in late 2012, shaving payments to hospitals that fell short.
The hospitals are judged on answers to such questions as how well their doctors and nurses communicated with them, how clean and quiet the hospital was, whether they received help when they needed it and how well providers explained the drugs they were given.
Hospital routines have traditionally been designed to suit employees, not customers, she said. “The patient used to be maybe 10th on the list of a hospital’s priorities.” Continue reading
By Jim Burress, WABE
October 29, 2014
This story is part of a partnership that includes WABE, NPR and Kaiser Health News.
It was July 30th when Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital got the first call.
An American doctor who’d been treating Ebola in Liberia was now, himself, terribly sick with the virus.
Emory’s plan to treat patients who have diseases like Ebola actually began 12 years ago.
In the three months since, Emory has treated four Ebola patients. All survived. Dallas nurse Amber Vinson spent more than a week at a special treatment unit at Emory before being discharged in good health and good spirits Tuesday. Continue reading
While Ebola stokes public anxiety, more than one in six hospitals — including some top medical centers — are having trouble stamping out less exotic but sometimes deadly infections, federal records show.
Nationally, about one in every 25 hospitalized patients gets an infection, and 75,000 people die each year from them—more than from car crashes and gun shots combined.
Nationally, about one in every 25 hospitalized patients gets an infection, and 75,000 people die from them each year.
In 13 states and the District of Columbia, a quarter or more of hospitals that the government evaluated were rated worse than national benchmarks the CDC set in at least one infection category, the KHN analysis found.
The missteps Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital made this month in handling an Ebola patient echo mistakes hospitals across the nation have made in dealing with homegrown infections. Continue reading
The Patient Cost Estimator is available to Virginia Mason patients as well as others who are just shopping around to find out where to find the most affordable medical procedures. Some health care facilities might provide estimated prices or charges for a procedure, but those can be a much different amount than the cost the patient actually ends up with because there are a variety of bills that might come from hospitals, labs, physicians and elsewhere.
Q: What brought about the decision to split up?
A: It was the view of the UW that in order to continue our participation in the WWAMI program we had to be “100 percent in,” and that was the term that was used by UW. And by that they meant we could not continue in the WWAMI program while pursuing aspirations to have a second medical school in the state.
From Washington State Department of Health
Harborview Medical Center has volunteered to become one of the hospitals willing to consider receiving U.S. patients evacuated from Western Africa for treatment of Ebola.
The decision follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s request last week to find hospitals around the country that could treat citizens who have been on the frontlines of the international crisis.
“Consistent with Harborview Medical Center’s mission and role of serving the public in Seattle, King County and our region, we’re willing to consider accepting U.S. residents who may be infected with Ebola,” said Dr. Timothy Dellit, associate medical director of the Seattle hospital. “It will depend on the hospital’s current capacity and our ability to maintain our critical functions.”
There are no patients with Ebola in Washington, and there are no plans to evacuate patients to the region in the near future.
Medicare is fining a record number of hospitals – 2,610 – for having too many patients return within a month for additional treatments, federal records released Wednesday show.
Even though the nation’s readmission rate is dropping, Medicare’s average fines will be higher, with 39 hospitals receiving the largest penalty allowed, including the nation’s oldest hospital, Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia.
The federal government’s penalties, which begin their third year this month, are intended to jolt hospitals to pay attention to what happens to their patients after they leave.
Last year, nearly 18 percent of Medicare patients who had been hospitalized were readmitted within a month.
Others are still struggling to meet the new expectations. Before the program, some hospitals resisted such efforts because they weren’t paid for the services, and, in fact, benefited financially when a patient returned. Continue reading
With more people obtaining health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, places like Harborview Medical Center are providing much less “charity” (uncompensated) care. The Emergency Department there is as busy as ever, though.
Neglected to pick up your prescription? Now, there’s a good chance your doctor will know and do something about it, thanks to a slew of new partnerships between CVS Health and various health systems.
One of the most recent, which is slated to begin by early next year, will integrate the electronic medical records from MedStar Health’s 10 hospitals and 4,000 doctors – located in Washington, D.C. and Maryland — with CVS pharmacies as well as the chain’s 900 Minute Clinics located across the country.
It makes coordination easier, said Bob Gilbert, MedStar’s president of ambulatory services. When someone gets care at a pharmacy or retail clinic, it will be entered in the patient’s MedStar records for the doctor to see.
If a MedStar patient receives CVS service in another state, practitioners there will still be able to see the patient’s records.
Counting the MedStar partnership, CVS now has 41 such health-system agreements in place, with the last nine encompassing the retailers’ pharmacies. CVS hopes the other existing arrangements – which linked the systems with the Minute Clinics — will follow this course. Continue reading
A report released today by the Department of Health and Human Services projects that hospitals will save $5.7 billion this year in uncompensated care costs because of the Affordable Care Act, with states that have expanded Medicaid seeing about 74 percent of the total savings nationally compared to states that have not expanded Medicaid.