California Health Exchange Pulls Error-ridden Physician List–again

California exchange pulls its provider directory

Admitting it gave some consumers bad information, California’s health insurance exchange pulled its physician directory for having too many errors. Covered California made the move late Thursday amid growing frustration among both consumers and doctors over inaccurate information about insurance networks in the state marketplace. The exchange yanked its online directory of medical providers in mid-October after acknowledging there were serious problems then with the data. It published an updated list in November. Since Obamacare policies took effect Jan. 1, many enrollees have complained that doctors won’t take their insurance even though the physicians were listed as part of their network on the state website and by their health plan. The exchange said Thursday that “while the combined provider directory was a useful service for many consumers, some enrollees located physicians thought to be in their plan, and subsequently discovered they were not.” The exchange has touted the directory as an important consumer tool because some insurers have sharply limited the number of doctors and hospitals in policies being offered under the federal healthcare law. Full coverage: Obamacare rolls out The state said enrollees who are unsatisfied with their provider network still have time to cancel their coverage and sign up with a different insurer before open enrollment ends March 31. However, that may be little comfort for people who experienced computer errors and long delays to enroll the first time under the Affordable Care Act. Customer service problems continue to plague the exchange and some insurers in light of 625,000 people enrolling through mid-January. Covered California said people waited nearly 52 minutes, on average, to speak with someone at the state’s call center last week. The exchange is in the process of hiring 350 more people to answer the phones and assist people. Covered California said it will continue to include online links to insurers’ provider directories. But the exchange directory offered the advantage of enabling people to search for doctors across health plans while shopping for coverage. In an interview last week, officials at the California Medical Assn.

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Australian Medical Specialists To Visit Solomons

The visit is funded by AusAID and arranged by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. The team of Dr Brian Costello (surgeon), Dr Anthony White (anaesthetist), Mr Simon Davies (audiologist) and Denise Whelan (nurse) will provide free consultations and treatment for Solomon Islanders between 4 14 February 2013. Patients with ear and hearing problems, tonsil, throat and neck conditions, as well as nasal and sinus problems may be treated by the medical team. Australian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, Matt Anderson said the annual ENT visit gives Solomon Islanders the chance for specialist consultations and treatment not available in country. They provide specialist advice and treatment not generally available in Honiara as well as provide local staff with a great training opportunity, Mr Anderson said. They make a difference to the people they treat and operate on and they also boost the skills of the local surgeons, doctors and nurses at the hospital, Mr Anderson said. The ENT visit is one of several specialist medical visits made every year to Solomon Islands and is an important part of the Australian aid program to Solomon Islands. The Australian Government currently funds around 50 surgical team visits to Pacific Island countries every year to fill gaps in local medical services and provides on-the-job training to local medical staff. For more information about the visit and screening to see the medical team, contact the surgical department at the National Referral Hospital.

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Neonatal specialist named ACT Australian of the Year

Neonatal specialist Zsuzsoka Kecskes was named as the ACT Australian of the Year in a ceremony at the National Arboretum.

The reality is there are many Melbourne medical specialists qualified and available for appointments, but GPs and hospitals often only recommend a small proportion of specialists who already have really long waiting lists it just seems inefficient for all parties. http://www.ineedaspecialist.com.au/ When it comes to health, an area where inefficiencies could mean life or death, Darren believed something more should be done to show patients how to see a specialist faster . Thats why he created I Need A Specialist (INAS), a free website that provides a fast and easy way to search for Australias leading healthcare specialists and request an appointment online. I Need A Specialist offers full access to a community of Australias leading healthcare specialists, who can be easily found with search options such as specialty, suburb, hospital name etc. giving Aussies real choice and peace of mind when it comes to selecting the right healthcare specialist for their family. Darren says, Many of the patients that contact us looking for a medical specialist have a wait of 3-6 months for their appointments by a GP referred specialist, and since we launched the I Need A Specialist service, the wait time for appointments has only ever been between 1 day and two weeks so using this service has quite literally changed lives. http://www.ineedaspecialist.com.au/ Melissa from Doreen, Victoria was also looking for a specialist doctor online and found one at I Need A Specialist. She says, I cant tell you how thankful I am! I am crying right now! Thank you! You have saved my daughters life. Brendan Thomson from Plenty, Victoria found the Melbourne medical specialists he needed with the help of I Need A Specialist. He says, I recently needed to find two specialists for different issues. Both appointments were made very promptly and I have been booked in for procedures at a local private hospital. Thanks for making it so easy.

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Looking for a Specialist Doctor Made Easier & Faster with New Melbourne Medical Specialists Search Website

“We need to look after them and look after the families that care for them in the future and they will grow up to be the Australians that shape this nation.” Dr Kecskes’ research into babies who have suffered a loss of oxygen during birth continues to guide the treatment of newborns around the world. The Clinical Director of Neonatology also helped design and develop the recently built neonatal intensive care unit at Canberra’s new Centenary Hospital for Women and Children. Supporting servicemen and women Veterans’ campaigner Graham Walker has been awarded the ACT Senior Australian of the Year 2014 title for his work supporting returned servicemen and women. Mr Walker served for 21 years in the Army including the Indonesian Confrontation and the Vietnam War. During the 1980s, Mr Walker worked with the Vietnam Veterans Federation of Australia, to help thousands of veterans to receive their entitlements. He also advised governments, authored research and campaigned for the official history of the chemical Agent Orange to be rewritten. Now aged 74, Mr Walker hopes his support will ensure that the Vietnam veterans’ story is faithfully captured for future generations. Increased access The ACT Young Australian of the Year 2014 is a disability advocate keen to break down the barriers. Photo: ACT Young Australian of the Year winner Huy Nguyen is passionate about improving building accessibility for people in wheelchairs. (ABC News) Huy Nguyen, 29, was born in Vietnam and contracted polio when he was 18 months old. Since then he has used a wheelchair to get around and is passionate about engineering designs to assist people with disabilities to access buildings. Mr Nguyen is the founder of Enable Canberra, an online resource which helps people to plan their visits to Canberra’s national institutions. He has also taken his unique perspective overseas as the founder of Enable Development. Mr Nguyen has facilitated disability programs in the Solomon Islands and Timor Leste to help break down the barriers stopping people with physical challenges from moving about. A special mother This year’s ACT Local Hero is a woman who has adopted four children with special needs. Patricia (Trish) Mowbray, 53, originally trained as a special education teacher but gave up work to care fulltime for adopted son Luke who was born with down syndrome.

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Carilion Clinic Expanding Its Gastroenterology Department

Gastroenterology Societies issue sedation curriculum for gastrointestinal endoscopy

Marshal service. It happened in the early afternoon on Tuesday after Marshals arrested the man reportedly at gun point. After a year battling this issue, it was the last straw that brought parents in front of the school board to ask what it will take to make a … Concerns over this park and ride just feet away from Falling Branch Elementary school are re-ignited after an arrest is made during school hours by the U.S. Marshal service. It happened in the early afternoon on Tuesday after Marshals arrested the man reportedly at gun point. After a year battling this issue, it was the last straw that brought parents in front of the school board to ask what it will take to make a … Updated: Wednesday, February 5 2014 7:04 PM EST2014-02-06 00:04:39 GMT Former Virginia Tech running back 20-year-old Michael Holmes is in jail on conspiracy to commit armed burglary and rape charges.The arrest happened in Montgomery County on January 22nd. According to online court records, Holmes is still in custody of Montgomery County and remains in jail.This isnt the first time Holmes has had run-ins with police.Holmes was dismissed from the football team and expelled from the university in 2013 after he was found guilty of a reduced misdemeanor charge of a… Former Virginia Tech running back 20-year-old Michael Holmes is in jail on conspiracy to commit armed burglary and rape charges.The arrest happened in Montgomery County on January 22nd. According to online court records, Holmes is still in custody of Montgomery County and remains in jail.This isnt the first time Holmes has had run-ins with police.Holmes was dismissed from the football team and expelled from the university in 2013 after he was found guilty of a reduced misdemeanor charge of a… Updated: Wednesday, February 5 2014 7:19 PM EST2014-02-06 00:19:58 GMT Radford University is under fire for their recent decision to reconfigure the athletic program by cutting three sports to make the addition of a womens lacrosse team.

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About Endoscopy Endoscopy is performed by specially-trained physicians called endoscopists using the most current technology to diagnose and treat diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Using flexible, thin tubes called endoscopes, endoscopists are able to access the human digestive tract without incisions via natural orifices. Endoscopes are designed with high-intensity lighting and fitted with precision devices that allow viewing and treatment of the gastrointestinal system. Millions of endoscopies are performed in the U.S. each year. It is a safe, effective and well-tolerated procedure. Sedation is commonly used to make the patient comfortable throughout the exam. About the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Since its founding in 1941, the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) has been dedicated to advancing patient care and digestive health by promoting excellence and innovation in gastrointestinal endoscopy. ASGE, with more than 12,000 members worldwide, promotes the highest standards for endoscopic training and practice, fosters endoscopic research, recognizes distinguished contributions to endoscopy, and is the foremost resource for endoscopic education. Visit http://www.asge.org and http://www.screen4coloncancer.org for more information and to find a qualified doctor in your area. About the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases AASLD is the leading medical society focused solely on advancing the science and practice of hepatology and represents more than 3,300 practitioners, researchers, and allied health professionals worldwide. Founded by physicians in 1950, AASLD has upheld the standards of the profession and fostered research that generates treatment options for the millions of patients with liver diseases. http://www.aasld.org . About the American College of Gastroenterology Founded in 1932, the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) is an organization with an international membership of more than 12,000 individuals from 80 countries. The College is committed to serving the clinically oriented digestive disease specialist through its emphasis on scholarly practice, teaching and research.

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High-resolution microendoscopy effectively classified colonic polyps

Because WLE cannot distinguish between neoplastic and non-neoplastic polyps in vivo, polyp removal for biopsy is necessary, researchers said. They determined, however, that high-resolution microendoscopy (HRME) provided a higher-resolution and a lower-cost alternative compared with WLE. All polyps were analyzed with HRME and WLE using five criteria: sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV), and accuracy. When determining neoplastic colonic polyps, HRME outperformed WLE for specificity (94.7% vs. 39.2%; P<.0001); PPV (86.9% vs. 55%; P<.0001) and overall accuracy (94.1% vs. 64.8%; P<.0001). In looking at small (less than 10 mm) and diminutive (less than 5 mm) colorectal polyps, HRME continued to produce better accuracy (94.6% vs. 64.1% and 95.1% vs. 61.7%, respectively), specificity (97.7% vs. 39.6% and 97.6% vs. 41.4%) and PPV (91.5% vs. 54.8% and 92.6% vs.

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Demand High But Medical Specialists Not Finding Work In Canada

U.S., Canadian health care systems share some challenges

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In 2008, it ranked 26th of 32 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries on that front, with 2.3 physicians per 1,000 population, compared to the average of 3.2, and 2.4 in the U.S. In response to outcry over long wait lists, provinces have in recent years significantly boosted medical school enrollment and the number of on-the-job training positions: two-year family-medicine residencies and five-year residencies in a specialty. Once trained, family doctors and many other primary-care physicians, like pediatricians or psychiatrists, can simply hang out a shingle and start billing for their services. Surgeons and others who require expensive infrastructure like operating rooms to do their jobs, are often hired by hospitals or health regions. A cardiac surgeon, for instance, costs a hospital $1.5 million a year, though the doctors income is only part of that, said Ms. Frechette. Physicians say the job market has been tightened in part because the expected wave of retirements has yet to materialize, with many older doctors deciding to keep working after investment losses. Sometimes, as well, the jobs are out there, but might require a new specialist to relocate across the country, not always easy if they have working spouses and children, said Mr. MacLean. Yet in areas where demand for doctors is still high, budget-constrained health institutions are often not hiring the additional specialists recently churned out, medical leaders say. I dont think there was downstream planning as to How do we accommodate them once theyre finished? said Dr. Johnson The problems can also be traced back to medical schools, where there is scant science behind deciding how many positions to allot to each field, said Dr. John Haggie, president of the Canadian Medical Association. We dont know as a nation or a province or a jurisdiction what kind of physician population we actually need going forward, he said. As a result, people often take a fairly opportunistic, almost random career path, and end up with skills that are fairly focused and difficult to accommodate where they want to be. Successfully predicting needs is not necessarily easy, given the five-year lag before a medical-school graduate finishes specialty training. Ms.

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Thirty-nine years later the U.S. was spending 50 percent more of its national income on health care, leaving its patients with the highest out-of-pocket expenses in the world. When I explained the high out-of-pocket expenses to Canadians, that notion simply did not compute. There is some talk about imposing copays for some services as a way to help both the federal and provincial governments save money. But the idea of making people pay 50 percent of a bill or a family paying $13,000 out of pocket before insurance benefits kick in is wildly unpopular. As in the U.S., there’s much soul searching about whether the country is getting as much bang for the bucks it spends. Does the quality of care match the country’s outlay? A number of studies, including the latest international comparison from The Commonwealth Fund , show that Canada and the U.S both fall down on several dimensions of care. Both Canadians and Americans were more likely to report long waits for primary care and high use of emergency rooms compared to other countries such as Germany, France and the United Kingdom. I asked Jeffrey Turnbull , M.D., F.R.C.P.C., chief of staff at Ottawa General Hospital, about criticisms of the quality of Canadian health care. He said that, when it comes to treating heart attacks, stroke, heart failure and pneumonia “we do relatively well.” But when you look at the broader indices that measure the inequities, the picture is very different. “Our vulnerable populations have rates like the developing world.” We can say the same for groups in the U.S. Our two countries also share the increasing burden of providing care for their aging populations . Indeed, lack of community support is one reason why waiting lists develop at Canadian hospitals. Seniors who are admitted to acute care hospitals sometimes stay much longer than what’s medically necessary because they have no place to go.

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Scrap Plan For Physicians Assistants: Amaq

The Qld Government says it will not roll out the new position until it has been discussed with other states and territories.

The Queensland Government brought in five from the United States last year as part of a 12 month trial. They worked in Queensland in Cooktown, Mount Isa and Brisbane to see if patient care improved. A report into the trial says there was some positive feedback from doctors and nurses, but “infrastructure, staffing and financial limitations” restricted the physicians assistants in some cases. The report says it was clear that clinical staff “felt more evidence is needed” before the position is rolled out. The AMAQ says the trial wrapped up months ago and Queensland Health still had not confirmed if the positions will be rolled out across the state. AMAQ president-elect Dr Richard Kidd says the Queensland Government should abandon the idea of physicians assistants, because it takes training places and jobs from junior doctors and nurses. “Why on Earth start looking at another part of the workforce that they’re not going to employ properly either?” he said. He says there is no room for physicians assistants in a health system already crowded with medical graduates. “The need for physicians assistants – if there ever was truly a need – is going to be eclipsed by the number of young doctors that are going to be out there,” he said. “Why have a physicians assistant when you’re actually producing enough physicians?” Dr Kidd says doctor assistants are not covered under the new national registration system. The AMAQ also says the report into the trial should be made public. Plan ‘on hold’ But Health Minister Paul Lucas has rejected the trial was a waste of time and money and it was a worthwhile exercise. “The evaluation noted that physicians assistants have performed an important role,” he said.

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Global Association of Physicians of Indian Origin Meets in Kolkata

Ramesh Mehta from U.K. as vice president, Dr. Anupam Sibal as secretary-general, Dr. Nandakumar Jairam as joint secretary and New Jersey-based allergy specialist Dr. Sudhir Parikh as treasurer. More than 300 delegates were present. Dr. Sandip Mukerjee and Dr. Sudhir Parikh were honored with the GAPIO Lifetime Achievement Awards. The GAPIO Service Excellence Awards were given to 14 members. Dr. Prathap C. Reddy, chairman of Apollo Hospitals Group and founder-president of GAPIO, who has played a significant role as the architect of modern healthcare in India, chose the theme The Non-Communicable Diseases Epidemic Meeting the Challenges for this conference. Amit Mitra, minister of finance, commerce and industries for the government of West Bengal, was the chief guest at this conference. Renowned national and international faculty spoke at seven clinical sessions comprising of Cardiac Sciences, Neurosciences, Diabetes, Gastroenterology and Liver Transplantation, Robotics, Nephrology/Kidney Transplantation and Oncology.

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Parents Unclear About Process For Specialist Care For Kids

Most children get their health care from a primary care provider, known as a PCP, but when there are signs or symptoms of a more serious illness, the PCP often refer kids to a specialist. According to this month’s poll, it’s a common occurrence. Among the 1,232 parents surveyed in this poll, 46 percent report that at least one of their children has been referred to a specialist. But when asked about the process of getting specialist care for their child, parents had a wide range of views, says Sarah J. Clark, M.P.H. , associate director of the National Poll on Children’s Health and associate research scientist in the University of Michigan Department of Pediatrics. Parents are divided over who is responsible for choosing the specialist: 52 percent say the PCP and 48 percent say the parent. They also differed in who should verify insurance coverage: 55 percent say the PCP and 45 percent say the parent. Forty percent of parents say the PCP should make sure the wait time isn’t too long for a specialist appointment, but 60 percent say that’s the parents’ responsibility. “This poll shows a wide range of views about who is supposed to do what, so it’s not unexpected that sometimes the process doesn’t work well,” says Clark. “If a referral is delayed or it doesn’t happen at all, a child’s health can be put at risk.” The poll also found that parents of children with Medicaid insurance coverage are more likely than parents of privately-insured children to say PCPs should be responsible for choosing the specialist, calling to set up the appointment, and verifying that insurance will cover the specialist care . Clark says this indicates that PCPs should understand that their Medicaid patients may have different expectations about their roles. Parents also were asked to rank the importance of different characteristics of specialists, and rated the following as very important: knowing how to take care of the child’s specific condition (89%) having training in pediatrics (80%) being affiliated with a highly-rated hospital (62%) being involved in research so child has access to latest treatment (50%) appointment time convenient for the family schedule (43%) drive time to the specialist (38%) other parents recommending the specialist (38%) “For a parent, hearing that a child needs to see a specialist is often cause for concern.

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The paradox of the unemployed medical specialist

He says the Royal College survey has a significant bearing on wait times, and acknowledges that many people will compare their own life experiences to the survey results, and find the whole thing absurd. aWhat a lot of people will say is awhat are you talking about?a My father has waited two years for his knee replacement, so how can you possibly have unemployed orthopedic surgeons?a Simpson says. aIt ties the wait times problem with the health human resources problem and the resources issue.a Simpson, who is also the president-elect of the Canadian Medical Association, says the Royal College study reveals the conundrum at the heart of the wait times problem. People wait a long time for treatment not only because there are often few specialists to go around, but more crucially because the resources the specialists need to complete the treatment cycle are not available. For surgeons in particular, the problem is operating room time. Simpson says a careful examination of the study shows that most of the new specialists who canat find work are in fields where hospital resources are needed but not available. The budget squeeze hospitals now operate under has forced them to cut back significantly, and now there is a cap on operating room time. The lifeblood of a surgeon is operating room time, but once what is available is taken up by the senior neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons or other such specialists, there is nothing left for new ones coming into the field, and they are left out in the cold. aEven though we have the physician resources to take care of the need, the physical resources and operating budgets to do the cases isnat there any more. The result is that wait times go up or fail to improve,a Simpson says. Dr. Sudhir Sundaresan, chief of The Ottawa Hospitalas surgery department, acknowledges whatas happening in the medical field today, and says dealing with wait times is not just about hiring more surgeons. The key to reducing wait times is to combine new hirings with more hospital resources so the specialists can work to their potential. aItas not as easy as hiring more neurosurgeons or orthopedic surgeons,a he says.

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Zo Skin Health, Inc. Launches New Physician Retail Website As Part Of Protecting Physicians & Consumers From Internet Piracy

1 hour ago 0 shares Content preferences Done IRVINE, Calif., Jan. 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — ZO Skin Health, Inc., purveyor of innovative skincare solutions and brainchild of renowned dermatologist Zein Obagi, MD, is proud to announce the launch of its new physician retail website http://shop.zoskinhealth.com . (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140121/LA49259LOGO ) ZO does not authorize any other website to sell ZO products, including Amazon and eBay. The new website allows for greater quality control to protect patients and make certain that they are getting the best possible results from their physician recommended, physician guided programs. ZO no longer sells its skin health products directly to consumers online. Products are now exclusively available to consumers by selecting a physician online store nearest them on the ZO website. Likewise, patients have an opportunity to search for physicians who dispense ZO Medical for their therapeutic skin care needs. All ZO Medical systems require physician supervision for safe, effective and long lasting results. “Our first concern is the patient and keeping the patient connected with their physician,” states James Headley, CEO and President of ZO Skin Health, Inc. “We’ve changed the sales paradigm not only to better support our physician partners, but to also add an extra level of patient care.” The new website provides a secure forum for consumers to connect with physician providers where they can purchase their desired ZO products. Exclusively available through reputable physicians, ZO Skin Health, Inc. upholds a strict zero-tolerance policy on product diversion and unauthorized Internet sales. Visit the new website at: http://shop.zoskinhealth.com At the same time, ZO has added other new features to its site. The brand recognizes that consumers have questions about their skin that deserve accurate and helpful answers. Dr.

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Hagel ‘deeply concerned’ about health of U.S. nuclear forces

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel (L) and French Minister of Defense Jean-Yves Le Drian conduct a joint news conference after their meeting at the Pentagon in Washington, January 24, 2014. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

nuclear forces after the drug and cheating scandals this month, and that some nuclear officers felt their mission was taken for granted during 13 years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq. Hagel, who ordered a high-level review of nuclear forces on Thursday, told a news conference that the problems affecting missile launch officers were caused by a range of factors. “There’s no one issue here … this is cultural,” Hagel told reporters, pointing to the physical isolation of the force, the pressure to meet exacting standards through regular testing and an incentive structure that may need improvement. Over the past three weeks, an investigation has uncovered illegal drug possession among some missile launch officers as well as cheating on a proficiency exam that resulted in the suspension of 34 people and the retesting of the entire force. The investigation came just months after the head of the intercontinental ballistic missile force was fired for drunkenness and other inappropriate behavior during an official nuclear security visit to Moscow. Hagel, in a swearing-in ceremony for Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James, insisted that U.S. nuclear arms are safe. But he added, “I am deeply concerned … about the overall health, professionalism and discipline of our strategic forces.” “Recent allegations regarding our ICBM force raise legitimate questions about this department’s stewardship of one of our most sensitive and important missions,” he added. Missile launch officers work out of remote bases, are tested frequently and expected to meet extremely high standards of performance while being offered few of the benefits received by troops who served in Iraq or Afghanistan.

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