Healthcare provider stories you may have missed – 06/25/20

Healthcare provider stories you may have missed – 06/25/20

Pandemic Update

More than three months into the battle against COVID-19, some states are starting to think twice about re-openings as the virus spreads. Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Robert Redfield are warning lawmakers of the potential for a “tremendous burden” on hospitals as the country prepares for a second wave.

For continuous, real-time updates, follow The New York Times:


Primary Care in Crisis

Primary care practices were already struggling before Coronavirus hit. “It is not hyperbolic to say that the pandemic could be an extinction-level event for primary care,” says Rebecca Etz of VCU School of Medicine.

Etz and her team at the Larry A. Green Center have been conducting weekly physician surveys exploring their challenges, fears and hopes.  

Read more in Medical Economics to see how general practices can be saved and the trends we could see later this year:


10 Most In-Demand Medical Specialties

Family medicine is the most desired physician specialty in the U.S. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, orthopedics was the specialty with the highest annual compensation. With elective surgeries just starting to resume and primary care practices struggling to remain solvent, it will be interesting to see how these rankings change post COVID-19.

Dive deeper with Becker’s ASC Review:


Shortcomings at the CDC

The New York Times writes “The flawed effort was an early revelation for some health departments, whose confidence in the CDC was shaken as it confronted the most urgent public health emergency in its 74-year history….” From outdated technology, to poor data to confusion and disagreement within the administration, see what went wrong at the world’s premier health agency as America’s pandemic response struggled.

Get the full story in the New York Times:

Healthcare provider stories you may have missed – 02/27/20

Healthcare provider stories you may have missed – 02/27/20

CDC: Start Prepping for a Coronavirus Outbreak

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised that it expects the coronavirus to begin spreading at a community level in the United States. There have been 14 cases of the virus diagnosed in the U.S., all in people who traveled recently to China or their close contacts. But as the virus spreads to other countries like Iran, South Korea and Italy, we could see a bigger outbreak within our borders.

Check out the CDC’s recommendations for American businesses and families in Stat. 


Insurer-owned Clinics Threaten Hospitals and Physician Practices

Large health insurers like UnitedHealthcare and Aetna are capitalizing on recent mergers and acquisitions by steering patients toward clinics they now own, controlling both delivery and payment for healthcare. But according to Chas Roades, a consultant at Gist Healthcare, “It’s very worrisome for hospitals. Suddenly, the plan you’re relying on for payment is also competing with you at the front end of the delivery system.”

Read more in the Wall Street Journal


Beneath the Hospital Gown

In stark contrast to the meaning and feelings conveyed by the doctor’s white coat, hospital gowns make patients feel exposed, vulnerable and stripped of their identity. In this op-ed, Dr. Ersilia M. DeFilippis writes, “It’s as if the concept of the hospital gown is so irrevocably tied to what it means to be a patient that we haven’t considered the patient experience without it. We could empower patients and family members to bring in their own clothes, in the same way that we encourage them to bring in pictures or other mementos. This small act can go a long way with respect to physical and emotional healing.”

Dive deeper in The New York Times.


What’s Behind America’s High Maternal Mortality Rate?

The maternal death rate and heart disease are inextricably linked, but according to Nandita Scott, at Massachusetts General Hospital it’s not standard for cardiologists to be trained on pregnant women. Why not? And what’s being doing to combat this alarming trend?

Learn more in Bloomberg

Healthcare provider stories you may have missed – 06/25/20

Healthcare provider stories you may have missed – 01/30/20

Coronavirus Outbreak Worsens

Chinese officials confirmed more than 7,000 cases of the mysterious illness and the death toll continues to climb. Foreign governments are airlifting citizens out the hot zone and international airlines cancelled flights to China. This week the World Health Organization will again consider whether to declare the Wuhan outbreak a public health emergency as the virus show signs of spreading overseas.

For live updates on the outbreak, check out The New York Times


Does Care Improve Post-Merger?

Hospital consolidation continues to surge and executives leading the merger-and-acquisition activity often make the case that greater size will boost quality of care. But new research, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that’s not the case. In fact, patient-satisfaction scores worsened at acquired hospitals, on average.

Dive deeper into the data with the Wall Street Journal


Can I Get a Lyft to the Hospital?

The ride-sharing company Lyft and Northern California hospital giant Sutter Health recently announced a new partnership to customize “individual transportation programs” for the hospital’s patients and health system employees. During a “test run” of the program, patients discharged from Sutter’s California Pacific Medical Center Pacific campus emergency department were offered rides “to a location of their choice,” and the program cut wait times from 23 minutes to just three minutes.

Check out the full story in Forbes


The Next Phase of Value-Based Care

We’re a full decade into the value-based care transition and progress is still slow. One in three healthcare payments flow through an APM, according to the Health Care Payment Learning & Action Network (LAN). But fee-for-service still dominates, so what does the next-phase of value-based care look like?

Experts explore what the future holds for alternative payment models in RevCycle Intelligence

Healthcare provider stories you may have missed – 06/25/20

Healthcare provider stories you may have missed – 12/18/19

Providers Say Price Transparency Rule Violates First Amendment

Earlier this month, hospital groups gave a glimpse into their legal strategy as they fight back against the Trump administration’s new price transparency rule. In the lawsuit, providers argue that the disclosure would be compelled speech in violation of the First Amendment and that the order goes beyond the statutory intent of the Affordable Care Act. The groups are also asking for an expedited decision, saying hospitals could otherwise spend needless time and resources preparing for a rule that may be invalidated by the court.

Check out the Wall Street Journal to learn more about what’s at stake


A Sobering Look at the Hospital E.R.

Yale New Haven Hospital E.R. doctor Gina Siddiqui offers an unfiltered view of the challenges facing emergency physicians and the patients they treat. In this New York Times piece, she writes: “We tell ourselves the E.R. is meant only to stabilize patients, that someone else will handle the rest. But the problems I punt in the E.R. are also punted by the hospital’s doctors upstairs and by primary care doctors outside. No matter where I send patients, these gaping holes in care fester, like bed sores tunneling to bone.”

Read the full story at The New York Times


Cost vs. Care

Interesting new insights from Gallup show that Americans are putting off medical treatment in record numbers because of cost. Highlights from the study include:

  • A third of U.S. adults say their family couldn’t afford care in past year
  • One in four say care was deferred for a serious medical condition
  • Lower-income adults and Democrats most likely to report delayed care

Dive deeper into the data with The Washington Post


Predictions for the Future of Healthcare

What can we expect to see next year in healthcare? As this decade winds down, two healthcare investors from Venrock discuss how the election will influence policy, the future of primary care in hospitals and why they think big tech (Google, Amazon and Apple) will deprioritize healthcare disruption to deal with other more pressing issues.

Check out all the predictions in Fortune




Healthcare provider stories you may have missed – 06/25/20

Recent healthcare provider news you may have missed

From Christine Williamson, Vice President at Greenough Brand Storytellers

Sweeping Changes to Massachusetts Healthcare Laws

Governor Baker’s healthcare proposal is ambitious and all-encompassing. The Boston Globe writes: “It takes the unusual step of requiring hospitals and insurers to increase their spending on primary care and behavioral health care by 30 percent over three years. In order to do this and meet existing requirements to control health spending, they will need to scale back in other areas — such as expensive hospital services.”

For more information, check out The Boston Globe


States Prepare Health Insurance Contingency Plans

A federal appeals court decision that could strike down the Affordable Care Act could come as soon as this month! See how lawmakers in states including Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico and California are pursuing legislation to preserve some healthcare coverage if the ACA is overturned.

Read story in The Wall Street Journal to learn more about what’s at stake


Is a Harsh Flu Season a Boom or a Bust for Providers?

A severe flu season can impact providers’ bottom lines in many ways. According to Healthcare Dive, large, publicly traded health systems can see a slight boost to margins despite the additional staffing needed to combat flu, but smaller and nonprofit organizations are more strained and have less ability to capitalize on increased visits. Read on to see the impact to community hospitals, telehealth companies, urgent care and skilled nursing facilities.

Get the full story at Healthcare Dive


Health Insurers Tackle Social Determinants of Health

Jeffrey Brenner, a physician turned health insurance executive, aims to reduce healthcare expenses not by denying care, but by spending more on social interventions, starting with housing. But how to do it is still largely uncharted.

Dive deeper with Bloomberg

Healthcare provider stories you may have missed – 06/25/20

Recent healthcare provider news you may have missed

From Christine Williamson, Vice President at Greenough Brand Storytellers

A New Way of Paying for Maternity Care

Doctors and insurers see bundled payments, or episodes of care, as a possible way to improve health outcomes and lower costs of maternity care, including driving down the number of unnecessary c-sections nationwide. But, as reporter Carmen Heredia Rodriguez points out, payment models like this are relatively new and their structure can differ by insurer. For models like this to succeed, supporters will need to show consistency, capture quality patient data and increase payer/provider collaboration.

For more information, check out


Hospitals Enter the Housing Business

Homelessness is one of the biggest social determinants of health, and now hospitals from Baltimore to St. Louis to Sacramento are taking action. According to Kaiser Health News, “With recent federal policy changes that encourage hospitals to allocate charity dollars for housing, many hospitals realize it’s cheaper to provide a month of housing than to keep patients for a single night.”

In addition to exploring innovative new programs like providing housing, more work must be done. This includes putting screening systems in place so that clinicians can ask important questions about food insecurity, housing instability, utility needs, transportation and interpersonal violence.

Dive deeper with Kaiser Health News


Cartoons Help this Pediatrician Reach Young Patients

As seen in the Boston Globe: “Dr. John Maypole, a pediatrician at Boston Medical Center, creates whimsical drawings while caring for some of the most vulnerable children. He gets down on the floor and crawls under tables, if that’s what it takes — with pen and paper in hand — to distract and soothe scared youngsters.”

An amazing article from reporter Kay Lazar that shows the human side of healthcare and people who are making a difference! Exactly the type of story we like to tell at Greenough.

Get the full story at The Boston Globe


Mass. Hospitals Face Strict Surgery Regulations

New regulations, which medical experts describe as among the most far-reaching in the country, require that doctors provide more information to patients who are considering surgery and document each time a lead surgeon enters and leaves the operating room. The regulations also take a hard line on doctors who come to work impaired by alcohol or drugs and who delegate duties to unlicensed practitioners.

Read story in The Boston Globe to learn more about what’s at stake: