KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Whom Do Americans Want Care From? Doctors Or Other Practitioners?

Doctors who provide personalized care get organized into a new group, while a new survey seems to suggest Americans prefer getting their care from a doctor instead of nurse practitioners or physician assistants.

Medpage Today: AAFP Throws PAs Under The Bus?
The AAFP survey in question polled more than 1,000 adults on who they would like to receive their medical care from. Not surprisingly, 72 percent said they would like to receive care from a physician, compared with 7 percent who said they want it to be from an NP. Roughly a fifth (21 percent) had no preference and 16 percent don't know. It's the premise of the survey -- conducted by Ipsos but commissioned by AAFP -- and not the findings that irked PA groups. They said asking the question inherently assumes that PAs and NPs are inferior to physicians, their work isn't valued, and makes them seem less of a team (Pittman, 12/22).

Medpage Today: Concierge Docs Get Organized
Several medical societies and groups are developing around the practice of concierge medicine as the rapidly growing field tries to sort itself out. One group of doctors is working to start the American College of Private Physicians (ACPP) to help the fiercely independent doctors coalesce around each other, network, foster research, and share best practices to help grow concierge medicine even more. Organizers have applied for 501(c)3 tax exempt status, are collecting money, and are about to launch a website. They hope to send a letter next month announcing their plans to physicians known to be working in this type of practice (Pittman, 12/20). 

And one hospital reduces how many alarms it uses to cut "alarm fatigue" --

The Boston Globe: Boston Medical Center Reduces Monitor Alarms
Boston Medical Center has dramatically cut down on unneeded alarms from patient monitors, providing a national model for other hospitals as new safety rules on "alarm fatigue" take effect Jan. 1. Nurses’ desensitization to incessantly beeping alarms -- hundreds of alerts a day, many false -- is a national problem. It is blamed for dozens of deaths each year, as overwhelmed staff fail to respond with urgency, or at all (Kowalczyk, 12/23).

Finally, the L.A. fire department overhauls how its first-responders are protected at mass shooting events --

Los Angeles Times: L.A. Fire Department Dramatically Overhauls Response To Shootings
Los Angeles fire officials are dramatically changing how rescuers respond to mass shootings after a gunman with a high-powered rifle mortally wounded a federal security officer in a shooting rampage last month at LAX. The new goal is to have Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics and firefighters, protected by armed law enforcement teams, rapidly enter potentially dangerous areas during active shooting incidents to treat victims and get them en route to hospital trauma centers (Lopez and Welsh, 12/22).

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.