Healthcare Industry News

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Med clinics replace banks as retail anchors
The number of urgent-care centers is exploding in New York City. id-inews-40
American physicians are increasingly unhappy
"How can we reverse the disillusionment that is so widespread in the medical profession?." id-inews-39
Integrating telemedicine into a practice
"Once patients get used to telemedicine, they won't go back to the old way of sitting in a waiting room for an hour for a routine problem." id-inews-tel-38
Large Employers Encouraging Telemedicine
A Mercer report indicates that 18% of large employers include telemedicine in their coverage, a 3% increase from 2012. id-inews-tel-37
More insurers offering online care
Bloomberg News reports that, "to cut medical costs and diagnose minor ailments some health insurers are letting millions of patients get seen online first." The article says WellPoint "this month started offering 4 million patients the ability to have e-visits with doctors, while Aetna says it will boost online access to 8 million people next year ...

The Los Angeles Times reports on the proliferation of "online medical exams and retail clinics," which "offer a convenient, low-cost alternative to long waits at primary-care office." id-inews-tel36

Rise of Urgent Care
"Urgent care has mushroomed into an estimated $14.5 billion business..." id-inews35
Proposal allows eligible physicians to get expedited licenses in multiple states
"A proposed interstate medical licensure compact would make it easier for physicians to become licensed in multiple states, a move many experts believe can pave the way for greater telemedicine use and ease the physician shortage." id-inews34
A doctor's complaints
An un-named doctor lists his complaints about the ACA electronic records requirement, Medicaid patient increase, shrinking supply of referring doctors, busier Emergency Rooms, private schools not accepting his 5 year old, increase in Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants, and California's proposed law raising the cap on Malpractice cases. id-inews33
Private payer telehealth reimbursement
Study found that providers are often unsure about how to bill for telemedicine and that Government payers set precedent for payment policies for some private payers. id-inews32-tel
Physicians weigh ways to thrive economically
Many doctors become employees of hospitals, as physicians find it increasingly expensive to set up a solo practice. id-inews31-tel
Uptick In Emergency Department Use
Since the ACA took effect, 50% of emergency rooms report an increase in visits. id-inews30-tel
Columnist takes issue with facility fees
"If a hospital feels entitled to attach extra charges to people's bills, it should at least...clearly explain..." id-inews29-tel
Hospitals look to urgent care ventures to boost presence, referrals
"Hospitals now own about a quarter of the country's 9,000 urgent-care clinics..." id-inews28-tel
Telemedicine Policy Opposed by Patient Advocates
"New guidelines issued by the Federation of State Medical Boards could have a chilling effect on the growth of telemedicine ..." id-inews27-tel
Telemedicine: Doctor Visits via Video Calls
"Within the next few years, no consumer will even remember not being able to connect to their providers through telehealth." id-inews26-tel
Study: Telehealth Expands Access to Health Care
A RAND study shows that TeleHealth services expand access to health care and provide cost savings. id-inews25-tel
Telemedicine used at nursing homes is a viable way to reduce avoidable hospitalizations
"Telemedicine used at nursing homes during hours when doctors are not typically present is a viable way to reduce avoidable hospitalizations, according to research published in February's issue of Health Affairs." id-inews24-tel
Use of Telemedicine Can Reduce Hospitalizations of Nursing Home Residents and Generate Savings for Medicare
"Nursing homes that used telemedicine to provide after-hours care significantly reduced hospitalization rates for their residents, compared with facilities not using this service." id-inews23-tel
CBO: ACA Will Cause 2.5 Million To Leave The Workforce Over Ten Years.
A Congressional Budget Office report predicts two million fewer people may choose to work full-time due to their ability to acquire health insurance without a full-time job. id-inews22
Former Apple CEO backs virtual doctor's office
"The rise of a field investors perceive as one of the hottest opportunities in health care." id-inews21-tel
Telemedicine Emerging as Rural ICU Solution
Data suggests telemedicine programs contribute to lower costs and mortality rates. id-inews20-tel
Group Issues Report Card On US Emergency Departments
The American College of Emergency Physicians issued an urgent warning about hospital emergency rooms in this country.
Ten Predictions for Medical Practices in 2014
Predictions regarding Cash Practices, The Cloud, Outsourcing, Social Media, etc.
Telemedicine keeps seniors out of nursing homes
"If you can do remote monitoring of patients...certainly that is better for everyone."
New bill breaks down telehealth barriers
"The benefits of telemedicine are limited by an antiquated system of licensure laws."
A Quicker Trip to the Doctor, for Minor Ailments
"Urgent care clinics are a growing option..."
Telemedicine Market Tops $14 Billion in 2012
"The shortage of physicians in rural and remote areas is providing the opportunity for telemedicine to increase its services..."
As Hospital Prices Soar, a Stitch Tops $500
"Hospitals are the most powerful players in a health care system that has little or no price regulation in the private market."
Two articles on TeleMedicine
Physicians Convert to Cash Only
Some physicians have began rejecting insurance, opting instead for cash-based practices, as a means of decreasing the cost of health care.
Could a smartphone be the future of medicine?
Dr. Eric Topol has a prescription that could improve your family's health and make medical care cheaper.
HIPAA gets tougher on physicians
A revised set of federal privacy rules is expected to have a significant impact on the way physicians run their practices.
Telehealth: Two articles on the future of medical care
When done right, telehealth programs work. says a 10-page report, "Scaling Telehealth Programs: Lessons from Early Adopters," by the Commonwealth Fund.

Regulatory reforms allowing greater use of telemedicine will reduce the cost of certain types of care, according to, "CMS to Cut Regs on Hospitals, Health Centers."

Hospitals Try House Calls to Cut Costs, Admissions, Wall Street Journal
To keep patients out of the hospital, health-care providers are bringing back revamped versions of a time-honored practice: the house call.
Is Concierge Medicine Finally Ready for Takeoff?
For years observers have been predicting the impending migration of physicians into direct pay or concierge medicine.... Has that time finally arrived?
Walk-in clinics
The popularity of "walk-in" medical clinics located in pharmacies, superstores and workplaces nationwide is increasing rapidly, according to a new Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll.
12/18/2012: Doctors Move to Webcams
Virtual doctor visit services--which connect patients from their homes with physicians whom they meet via online video or phone--are moving into the mainstream, as insurers and employers are increasingly willing to pay for them.

In the latest sign, WellPoint Inc., the nation's second-biggest health insurer, plans to offer a new service in all of its employer and individual plans that will allow people to consult with physicians on-demand, using laptop webcams or video-enabled tablets and smartphones. The insurer says the video consults will appeal to clients looking for "convenience and accessibility of care," said Ken Goulet, executive vice president. —BY ANNA WILDE MATHEWS

12/18/2012: Gallup Poll: 32% of Americans Postpone Care Because of Cost.
Medscape reports that "the percentage of Americans who postponed care during the previous 12 months because of cost is at an all-time high - 32% - since 2001, when Gallup began tracking this statistic, the polling company announced last week." The article notes that "in 2001, just 22% of Americans put cost before care." Citing data from Gallup, Medscape says that "30% percent of the privately insured are care postponers compared with 21% of Americans receiving Medicare or Medicaid and 55% of the uninsured."
12/14/2012: Where ER Doctors Work Entirely Via Webcam
Every day -- and through the night -- in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, doctors report to work in a hospital where there are no patients.

And in over 70 rural communities in four states, patients stricken by heart attacks, or injured in car accidents, or facing other urgent health issues are rushed to an E.R. where there are no doctors. Or, more precisely, there's one doctor. More often than not, he or she is trained in family practice, not emergency care. And if the call's coming in the middle of the night, he legally has a half-hour to get out of bed and report in.

10/02/2012: More Physicians Choosing Not To Accept Insurance
In its "Well" blog, the New York Times (10/2, Rabin) reports that an increasing number of physicians are no longer accepting insurance and requiring upfront payments.