"By mid-November, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) must respond to the legal complaint filed in a Maryland federal court by six Augusta, Georgia family physicians."
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"As of June last year, Americans now owe more in student debt than they do in credit card debt. Student borrowers are winning the dangerous debt race as both amounts hurtle toward the $1 trillion marker, student debt rose by over 500% since 1999."
"The number of applicants applying for the first time to U.S. medical schools reached an all-time high this year, according to data released Monday by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)."
"People with Medicare will be able to benefit from a new program designed to encourage primary care doctors, specialists, hospitals, and other health care providers to coordinate their care under a final regulation issued today by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Created by the Affordable Care Act, these final rules on Accountable Care Organizations add to the menu of options for providers looking to better coordinate care for patients and will make it easier for providers to deliver high quality care and use health care dollars more wisely."
"People with Medicare will be able to benefit from a new program designed to encourage primary care doctors, specialists, hospitals, and other care providers to coordinate their care under a final regulation on Accountable Care Organizations issued today by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)."
"A document recently released by the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation reinforces the AAFP's long-held views on needed reforms in graduate medical education, or GME. The report, which was released by a GME workgroup convened by the Macy Foundation in May, calls for major reforms in the content and format of GME education in the United States."
"The Senate Special Committee on Aging Oct. 12 held a hearing to explore the future of Medicare and some of the potential reforms being considered. The hearing, titled “A Time for Solutions: Finding Consensus in the Medicare Reform Debate,” looked at reforms such as negotiating Medicare’s drug pricing, Medicare Part Brebates, repealing the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) and means testing for Medicare beneficiaries. Witnesses also discussed a number of the possible proposals that may be considered by the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, or 'Supercommittee,' including a reduction in Medicare’s graduate medical education funding (GME)."
"In the second edition of his Achieving Excellence in Medical Education, author Richard Gunderman tells readers that the purpose of the new edition is to serve as the catalyst for reflection on excellence in medical education."
"According to its website, hosa.org, the national organization's mission is 'to enhance the delivery of compassionate, quality health care by providing opportunities for knowledge, skill and leadership development of all health science technology education students, therefore helping students to meet the needs of the health care community.' HOSA boasts upwards of 120,000 members in its more than 3,200 high school, postsecondary and collegiate chapters throughout the country. Nevada is home to 29 chapters, 10 of them in Clark County."
"The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) voted Thursday to approve the sustainable growth rate (SGR) proposal it issued last month. Medical groups are already expressing their displeasure. MedPAC’s approved recommendation repeals the SGR for an estimated cost of $200 billion. To cover that cost MedPAC suggests a 10-year Medicare payment rate freeze for primary care physicians and cuts to payments for specialists by 5.9 percent each year for three years followed by a seven-year payment freeze. Some of the other offsets come from durable medical equipment, hospitals and Medicare benefits to seniors."
"Rather than handing out $250 million to establish new patient-care sites to serve more than 2 million additional people, as originally expected, the Obama administration gave $29 million to 67 nonprofit organizations that will serve an additional 286,000 patients. The funding cut was a result of a federal budget compromise in March to keep the government running. That agreement reduced federal spending by nearly $80 billion, including a $600 million trim in funding for ongoing operations at existing health centers."
"The expansion of the University of South Carolina School of Medicine in Greenville has gotten preliminary accreditation, enabling officials to proceed with their plans to open next fall."
"Officials broke ground Wednesday on a new medical school building at Washington State University's Spokane campus. The $70 million building is intended to produce more doctors for Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho will also be the new home of a consolidated Washington State University College of Pharmacy."
"With a shortage of doctors looming that may damage patient care in the U.S., teaching hospitals say President Barack Obama’s deficit-reduction plan could make things worse. After doctors graduate from medical school they must train at teaching hospitals, which get some of their funding through Medicare, the health program for the elderly and disabled. Obama’s proposal to cut $248 billion from Medicare over 10 years includes $1 billion in trims to teaching hospitals, which could lead to fewer residency slots for doctor training programs."
"A bill introduced recently in the U.S. Senate would increase the number of Medicare-supported training positions for medical residents by 15 percent—about 15,000 slots—over five years."
"With the current focus on reducing the federal budget deficit, funding for graduate medical education (GME) has come under scrutiny, particularly those monies labeled as indirect medical education payments; these are intended to cover ill-defined costs inherent to training programs, such as increased lengths of stay, additional testing, and patients with more complex conditions."
"Working with partner hospitals University Medical Center of Southern Nevada and Renown Health, the University of Nevada School of Medicine will be increasing its physician training program capacity by 25 percent beginning in 2012, thanks to a reallocation of residency positions by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services."
"Teaching hospitals and medical specialties sent the deficit-cutting supercommittee a joint letter Monday urging the panel not to cut Medicare payments for residency training. The letter, signed by 40 of the nation's most prominent medical associations, warns that payment cuts to residency programs would 'exacerbate the physician shortage' just as baby boomers are becoming eligible for Medicare."
"For decades, training for medical students has revolved around a large academic institution and a central university hospital, but that model might give way to different ways of doing things in California, as new medical schools look to trim costs and diversify student experiences."
"Recently, I listened to a Sound Medicine broadcast where the discussion was a plan for making primary care more attractive to medical students by eliminating medical school tuition. There was a similar article in the New York Times appearing on May 29th where Drs. Bach and Kocher lay out a plan for making primary care more attractive."
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