Cancer Care Twice as Costly in U.S. Versus Canada – US World And News

Why does this not surprise me….we are fighting against the medical/industrial complex. If you want a change, read the text of I-1600. It gets to the core of the issue. Will it make it to the ballot? Very uncertain. But something has to change in this country if we want to lower costs and bring about a positive change to patients and providers.

What a difference a border makes, when it comes to the cost of cancer care. Common chemotherapy for advanced colorectal cancer costs twice as much in Washington state as it does a short walk across the Canadian border into British Columbia, researchers report.

340B is a well-intentioned drug discount program gone awry -Stat Magazine

There have been questions raised here in Jefferson County about the issues that are covered in this article. A good example is the following statement:

A study in the journal Health Services Research examined the impact of the 340B program on the cost of cancer care. It found that hospital participation in the program is associated with a shift of patients’ care from more affordable physician offices to more expensive hospital outpatient care centers, contributing to market-wide increases in per-patient spending.

https://www.statnews.com/2018/03/22/340b-drug-discount-program-gone-awry/

A new kind of doctor’s office that doesn’t take insurance and charges a monthly fee is ‘popping up everywhere’ — and that could change how we think about healthcare – Business Insider

Interesting article after the previous post.

Direct primary care is a small but fast-growing movement of doctors who don’t accept insurance and instead charges a monthly membership fee.

http://www.businessinsider.com/direct-primary-care-no-insurance-healthcare-2018-3

In Rural Washington, Pediatricians A Scarce Commodity -KUOW

More on the slow motion collapse of our health care system. The problem, across the board is that medical professionals are getting squeezed by both State healthcare systems and large insurance companies. If you aren’t willing to raise your taxes to cover your physicians costs, you won’t have one. Here’s a case study right here in our state.

For the past 16 years, Jill Hutton has been managing a pediatric clinic in Aberdeen that once treated 70 to 100 children a day. But now it’s empty. She’s working on shutting it down

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http://kuow.org/post/low-medicaid-reimbursement-rates-made-rural-pediatric-clinics-scarce

Hospitals eye concierge medicine to lure patients, boost revenue – Healthcare DIVE

The unfortunate future of healthcare in this country. The rich and middle class get to pay extra to see a doctor the same day and also get  “better care coordination”. Funny, I thought that was the promise of the billions of dollars spent in putting electronic records in place, which forced many smaller practitioners (who incidentally often offered the same services as concierge are claiming) into either closing their offices or joining hospitals such as Jefferson Healthcare.

Perks such as same-day appointments and longer doctors visits are part of the offerings.

Read it and weep.

https://www.healthcaredive.com/news/hospitals-eye-concierge-medicine-to-lure-patients-boost-revenue/517970/

PT Leader highlights CEO Glenn in special section

In a unique new section in the Port Townsend Leader, reporter Allison Arthur interviewed the CEO of Jefferson Health Care, Mike Glenn. Mr. Glenn answered questions about changes over the years to JHC, the addition of much needed physicians to the mix, employee new hires, the creation of the women’s clinic, and financial viability of the hospital district among other topics.

Missing from the interview was any mention of the community actions behind JHC successes. Glenn states, “Our Women’s Clinic was the result of Jane Albee and several primary care providers who identified the need.” While I’m sure that Ms. Albee (ARNP) helped identify the need, there has been an active group of mainly women in this community that has had to push JHC to make this clinic a reality. The Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) and Community Health Assessment (CHA) that was done in the last 10 years, included over 100 community members (including Mr. Glenn and many employees of JHC). The CHA identified women’s health needs in their assessment, as Mr. Glenn knows. Also, the latest sliding scale pricing that the hospital put into practice, which is very commendable, came about from a committee composed of both hospital staff and community members and was formed in reaction to outside public pressure on JHC to change their charity care process.

Speaking of the CHIP and the CHA, Mr. Glenn did not mention that there is a newly hired person to run the next CHA and update the CHIP. Ms. Ewers-Garcia, who was hired jointly by the city, public health and JHC is just now starting up another community health assessment. Mr. Glenn might have mentioned that in the article as it was an opportunity to get the community involved again.

Mr. Glenn mentioned that since 2015 they have added 29 providers, yet failed to mention that in public meetings this reporter has attended, Mr. Glenn identified turnover as the biggest single problem in the hospital.  It’s hard to understand whether this number  was actually net new hires, or simply replacing outgoing staff. Certainly we are seeing a few new providers in the new walk in clinic, and that’s commendable.

This hospital district is somewhat unique, in that it’s a public hospital, owned by the community. The community is very much involved in guiding (and sometimes pushing) the hospital district and it’s commissioners in a direction that answers needs. It’s worth remembering that Mr. Glenn’s salary is about $60,000 more than the governor of the state, and while we are happy overall with his performance, seeing improvements to the hospital facility, a dedication to opening new clinics and the like, it’s important to note that JHC is often pricing these services at much higher rates than competing facilities in Silverdale and Seattle, and as such, if you need services, have a high deductible and are not in an emergency situation, you should shop around.

 

 

 

Bad bedside manner: Bank loans signed in the hospital leave patients vulnerable – Seattle Times/Kaiser Health News

Just when we think the American healthcare system can’t get any worse, hospitals and banks figure out a way to take us further into debt. Just what a person who is brought into the ER wants to see, a banker show up. It’s like a sick joke.

Here’s a very telling stat from this article: In 2016, the federal government estimates, consumers spent $352.5 billion out-of-pocket on health care.

We *think* we have it good. We could have paid for universal healthcare with that amount.  You are essentially being taxed on that money, but it accrues to the sickest of us and the bulk of that money is spent in the last 6 months of life. To put it in perspective the US spent $584 B on defense, $588B on Medicare and $368B on Medicaid.

https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/bad-bedside-manner-bank-loans-signed-in-the-hospital-leave-patients-vulnerable/