Why Virtual Health Care is Exploding in Popularity

Why Virtual Health Care is Exploding in Popularity

Healthcare Blog
For most people in the modern, digital world, it seems only natural that medicine would incorporate virtual tools like video calls and remote data collection to improve patient outcomes. So it should hardly come as a surprise that a recent survey by Accenture found 78 percent of respondents eager to try virtual medicine. As the public learns more about this technology-based care delivery system and more providers implement it, there will undoubtedly be an enormous surge in utilization. Gaining Popularity Through Word of Mouth At the moment, there are some obstacles to widespread implementation. Only a small percentage of the public knows what virtual health care is; in the Accenture survey, 27 percent had never been exposed to the concept and another 36 percent had heard of the term but knew nothing…
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Trump’s Health Care Reform: What to Expect if it Passes?

Trump’s Health Care Reform: What to Expect if it Passes?

Medical-Legal Blog
President Donald Trump and his Republican colleagues in the Congress are furiously working to pass some form of health care reform. Since the 2010 passage of the Affordable Care Act, the GOP’s mantra has been “repeal and replace,” and with all three branches of the federal government in their hands, it appears the moment to fulfill their promise has arrived. In May, the House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA).  This initial salvo in the war on the ACA could cause almost 24 million Americans to lose their health insurance while saving almost $337 billion over ten years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The U.S. Senate is currently in the midst of drafting its own version the Better Health Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA).  Both bills would…
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When Should Doctors Retire?

When Should Doctors Retire?

Healthcare Blog
Competency is the foundation of sound clinical practice and is essential to preserving the lives of patients.  However, unlike many other critical professions like airline pilots, air traffic controllers and law enforcement officials, the medical profession does not mandate that physicians of a certain age retire. Competency Concerns with Aging Doctors There is considerable evidence that physician fitness does degrade following age 65; a 2005 report by Khaliq, et al, found that physicians who have served for forty years or more had a 6.6% likelihood of receiving some form of disciplinary action as opposed to the 1.3% rate among those with only ten years of service. With the wellbeing of patients at stake, many within the healthcare community have argued that there should be a mandatory retirement age for physicians.…
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Making Healthcare More Accessible: The Intersection of Locum Tenens and Telemedicine

Making Healthcare More Accessible: The Intersection of Locum Tenens and Telemedicine

Healthcare Blog
One of the most exciting developments in modern healthcare is telemedicine which enables providers to effectively engage and monitor patients through telephone and video conferencing. Telemedicine promises to revolutionize much of the healthcare industry in the coming years, but could be especially important for specialists in the locum tenens field. A burgeoning field that is quickly penetrating much of the healthcare sector, telehealth is rapidly becoming a fixture in physician-patient interactions.  Major organizations like Kaiser Permanente now visit more patients via telehealth platforms than in-office visits. According to the American Telemedicine Association, telehealth is expected to grow at an annual rate of 27.5 percent and reach a market value of $9.35 billion by 2021. The Physician Shortage This important technology is maturing at a critical point in modern healthcare.  There…
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The Booming Locum Tenens Industry

The Booming Locum Tenens Industry

Healthcare Blog
For decades, health care organizations have relied on locum tenens physicians and medical professionals to satisfy staffing shortages.  In more recent years, as the physician shortage has worsened, this reliance on temporary replacements has become a common practice throughout the industry.  More physicians are also using locum tenens assignments as a portal into the industry, a way to explore professional options, and a means to taper off responsibilities at the end of a long career. In 2016, almost 48,000 physicians took on locum tenens assignments.  This is a substantial increase from the 44,000 in 2014, and 26,000 in 2002, suggesting that more medical professionals view temporary placements as a normal part of the health care landscape. The widespread utilization of temporary professionals by provider organizations has also nurtured this acceptance.…
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The Shortage of Anesthesiologists is Quickly Approaching a Crisis

The Shortage of Anesthesiologists is Quickly Approaching a Crisis

Healthcare Blog
Much of the public and, of course, the medical community are aware that the physician shortage is worsening, but within the ongoing shortage is a brewing crisis that even many medical professionals and administrators may not recognize.  This crisis centers on the dwindling number of anesthesia providers that has been exacerbated by many internal industry factors like high retirement numbers as well as external circumstances including a rapidly aging population and the recent travel ban. Many providers are aware of the chronic shortage of anesthesia providers.  There are currently about 30,000 anesthesiologists practicing in the United States, down from 35,000 in 2011. There was an estimated shortage of 3,800 anesthesiologists in 2011, and trends suggest that this shortage will only grow in the coming years.  By 2020, the shortage of anesthesiologists is expected…
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As Demands Skyrocket Hospitalists Turn to Locum Tenens

As Demands Skyrocket Hospitalists Turn to Locum Tenens

Healthcare Blog
It is a wonderful time to be a hospitalist. MGMA DataDive Provider Compensation reports that the median compensation for the 44,000 hospitalists working in 2016 was $278,471 annually. Hospitalists also saw an 18.78 percent increase in compensation since 2011, one of the highest increases in pay of all specialties. This trend will likely continue as the industry moves toward value-based payments because hospitalists have a proven ability to curtail hospital re-admissions. This meteoric rise in pay has a lot to do with skyrocketing demand. This demand is rooted in the amount of time and money a hospitalist can save a provider group.  These hospital-based physicians oversee patients at the hospital, saving other physicians a time-consuming trip. Their specialized knowledge of in-patient care also optimizes resource application and improves patient outcomes. This ability to stretch…
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Top 5 States with the Highest Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

Top 5 States with the Highest Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

Medical-Legal Blog
Malpractice claims have long been a serious problem for the medical industry.  The public and litigious legal professionals have long considered physicians and their employers lucrative targets when serious health events occur.  Despite the fact that almost half of all malpractice claims are dismissed, and only about 5 percent result in a trial judgment, many people are hoping for a big payout at the expense of a medical professional. However, where you practice can put you at a higher risk of being sued. If you are about to establish your practice or take up a new position, it is important to understand the legal environment of your new state.  Almost half of all states have passed laws that limit compensation for economic or non-economic damages—i.e. pain and suffering—which has helped…
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Healthcare Consolidation on the Rise:  What Does This Mean for Malpractice Claims?

Healthcare Consolidation on the Rise: What Does This Mean for Malpractice Claims?

Medical-Legal Blog
One of the most predominant trends of the last few years in the health care industry has been the merger of organizations, from major health insurers to regional hospitals, the enthusiasm for acquiring competitors has never been higher.  While healthcare consolidation hasn’t always benefited the consumer, it has often put provider organizations in a more secure position.  This is especially true with regards to malpractice claims. From 2005 to 2015, there were 409,088 medical malpractice claims filed in the United States, resulting in 148,909 payments. Almost all of these payments were the result of out-of-court settlements, as only about 0.33 percent of malpractice cases end in a trial. The average malpractice compensation for inpatient cases was $363,000, and $290,000 for outpatient cases. While malpractice litigation has had a chilling effect…
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California Could Adopt a Single Payer System for Healthcare

California Could Adopt a Single Payer System for Healthcare

Healthcare Blog
For many years, one of the leading and most divisive political issues has been health care. Almost everyone agrees that the American health care system is too overpriced with far too little efficacy.  While various reform efforts like the Affordable Care Act have had middling results, some governing entities like the state of California are considering a single payer system to rein in costs and grant coverage to all state residents. California attempted to pass a single payer bill in the legislature in 2006 and 2008, but the bills were vetoed by Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who argued that “socialized medicine” was not the solution. Much of the public used this designation to infer that the government would take over provider organizations, when in actuality, the proposed system would merely…
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