Barry Meisenberg, MD, chair for quality improvement and healthcare systems research, recently submitted a letter to the editor to the New York Times regarding “Treatment Cost Could Influence Doctors’ Advice” article (April 18, 2014). His letter was published in the April 27, 2014 New York Times–continuing the dialogue on Choosing Wisely. Read his letter here.
As of October 1, Maryland Health Connection, the state’s new health insurance marketplace, opened, making it simpler and more affordable for an estimated 250,000 uninsured Marylanders to purchase health insurance.
AAMC is working to raise public awareness of these new health insurance options by offering guidance through our patient financial services department and making sure hospital staff are aware of where patients and their families can go to find out if they are eligible and submit an application. One of our greatest resources is our team of assisters. Based in our financial assistance office (in the Hospital Pavilion North near the first floor lobby) and our
community clinics, they will help individuals understand their insurance options. Anyone who needs assistance understanding the new exchanges and options available to them can contact the assisters and set up an appointment to discuss their options. They can be reached by calling x1782.
Click here for resources to use with patients to help them understand their options.
By working together to get our community members the proper health insurance they need and deserve, our neighbors and our hospital can be healthier—and that helps everyone.
Medical staff member Paul W. Davies, MD, was sworn in on September 18 as Maryland’s first Chairman of the Medical Marijuana Commission. This marks a historic development in Maryland’s journey toward legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes. Gov. Martin O’Malley named 11 people, including health professionals, lawyers, a police chief, and a prosecutor to a commission to oversee Maryland’s new law legalizing marijuana use for medical reasons.
The law limits distribution of cannabis to a small number of academic medical centers. The commission has the authority to permit the centers to design and implement programs that make marijuana available to defined groups of patients. The marijuana commission is scheduled to have its first meeting in Baltimore on September 24.
Dr. Davies is the founder and CEO of Kure Pain Management, is board-certified in both anesthesia and pain management. Dr. Davies was a post-doctoral fellow in pain management at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He earned his medical degree from the University of Manchester, England. He has trained at the University of Pittsburgh, Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia and at the Johns Hopkins University Medical Center in Baltimore.
Almost as soon as it was signed into law in 2010, the Affordable Health Care Act began changing the way health services are provided. This year many new changes will begin to ease in including an increase in Medicare taxes and an increase in primary care reimbursements in Medicaid to match those of Medicare. All leading up to January 1, 2014 when health insurance exchanges are implemented, and bundled payment demonstrations, accountable care organizations and consolidation will occur.
To keep our Medical Staff informed of the hospital’s strategies for meeting the challenges and risks of this massive transformation, Ken Gummerson, MD, and Mitch Schwartz, MD, will host a monthly information exchange. We invite you to be a part of the discussion as we address the issues and share the implications for infrastructure, technology, clinical integration, transition from fee-for-service payment models, and, how all of the change will affect you, your practice and the medical system.
Join us for the first in the monthly series:
Friday, May 24 from Noon to 2pm
Medical Staff Lounge
1st Floor, Hsopital Pavilion South
For more information, call the Medical Staff Office at 443.481.4150.
Join in the conversation: Introducing a place to discuss hot topics in medicine with your AAMC colleaguesby Mitchell Schwartz MD on April 9, 2013
Take a look at any newspaper, magazine or web-based headline and you’re bound to see references to changes affecting the world of medicine. The information comes in multiple forms. It can be in a blog, such as Wachter’s World, or a documentary, Escape Fire, on CNN. From Obamacare to Medicaid, the rapid evolution of the expectations of our health system is on display. Somehow, I sense there are more negative messages than positive. And, in many ways, the criticism is justified. The costs do not appear to deliver measurable value, such as in mortality rates, harm and patient satisfaction.
There are few venues at AAMC to discuss these challenging topics that directly affect our professional careers. The quick hallway conversations don’t do justice to the complexity of the problems. There is little evidence of a two-way dialogue to spark frank discussion on these topics. The lack of appropriate discourse only generates more assumptions, second-guessing and misunderstandings within our own medical community.
For example, a Washington Post article regarding cancer clinics recently garnered more than 5,000 comments.
I’m sure that most physicians will be affected directly by the cuts. And if there is little in the way of response, I believe it opens the door to further reimbursement changes either through the SGR formula, bundling of payments or other obligations that will put a price on the value of care.
Do you believe your practice will be affected? Will you continue to see new Medicare patients? What are your thoughts about bundling of payments? Please send in your comments. They will be available for viewing and further responses.