Concierge Medicine Buys Patients More Of Doctors’ Time And Attention
The Los Angeles Times reports that a growing number of California physicians are turning toward this type of practice.
Los Angeles Times: Annual Retainer Fee Buys Patients More Time With Their Doctors
Frustrated with a changing health care system that has resulted in longer work days and less time with patients, a growing number of doctors in California and across the nation are turning to a new type of practice -- concierge medicine (Gorman, 7/29).
Meanwhile, other news outlets report on various workforce issues, including the physician shortage; nurse burnout; and the possibility that the health law may trigger a boom in health jobs.
The New York Times: Doctor Shortage Likely To Worsen With Health Law
The Association of American Medical Colleges estimates that in 2015 the country will have 62,900 fewer doctors than needed. And that number will more than double by 2025, as the expansion of insurance coverage and the aging of baby boomers drive up demand for care. Even without the health care law, the shortfall of doctors in 2025 would still exceed 100,000. Health experts, including many who support the law, say there is little that the government or the medical profession will be able to do to close the gap by 2014, when the law begins extending coverage to about 30 million Americans. It typically takes a decade to train a doctor (Lowrey and Pear, 7/28).
Philadelphia Inquirer: Penn Study Examines Link Between Nurse Burnout, Care
For years, as hospitals cut costs to survive ever-increasing financial pressures, nurses argued that inadequate staffing harms patients. California's controversial and, so far, unique response was to mandate minimum nurse-to-patient ratios, which, if applied locally, would prevent 222 surgical deaths annually in New Jersey and 264 in Pennsylvania, researchers here calculated in 2010. Now members of that same University of Pennsylvania team say they have figured out a key reason for that. Though it might seem clear-cut -- fewer caregivers provide poorer care -- they maintain the issue is not simply numbers but a bad work environment. And that leads to burnout (Sapatkin, 7/30).
Houston Chronicle: Texas Far Behind In Recruiting Nurses, Doctors
Inside her office at San Antonio's University of Texas Health Science Center, Julie Novak's phone keeps ringing. Health care providers scrambling to find more nurses are calling Novak, a vice dean at the School of Nursing, asking to hire recent graduates or even partner with current students so they can work part-time while finishing their classes. "We could probably double or triple our size and still not meet the demand," Novak said (Brown, 7/29).
Sacramento Bee: Sacramento Medical Jobs To Boom As Health Care Law Takes Effect
From hospitals to home health services, Sacramento's medical industry has become an economic powerhouse. It surged when practically every other sector of the economy stalled, and now employs more people here than state government. And it's poised for an even greater expansion. President Barack Obama's overhaul of national health care, having survived a challenge in the U.S. Supreme Court, is expected to usher in a fresh demand for health care workers (Kasler, 7/29).