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American Medical Students Less Likely to Choose to Become Primary Care Doctors Print E-mail
Written by Victoria Knight | KHN via Health News Florida   
Friday, 05 July 2019 10:26

Despite hospital systems and health officials calling out the need for more primary care doctors, graduates of U.S. medical schools are becoming less likely to choose to specialize in one of those fields.

A record-high number of primary care positions was offered in the 2019 National Resident Matching Program - known to doctors as "the Match." It determines where a medical student will study in their chosen specialty after graduation. But this year, the percentage of primary care positions filled by fourth-year medical students was the lowest on record.

"I think part of it has to do with income," said Mona Signer, the CEO of the Match. "Primary care specialties are not the highest paying." She suggested that where a student gets a degree also influences the choice. "Many medical schools are part of academic medical centers where research and specialization is a priority," she said.

Last Updated on Friday, 05 July 2019 10:29
 
Executive Order on Hospital Price Transparency May Prompt Disclosure of Negotiated Prices Print E-mail
Written by FHI's Week in Review   
Monday, 01 July 2019 12:50

Emily J. Cook, Michael B. Kimberly, Paul W. Hughes
and Steven J. Schnelle offer an inside look at the recent White House order in a June 28 MWE.com  post:  
 
President Trump has issued an Executive Order instructing several federal agencies to begin rulemaking processes intended to increase the transparency of hospital pricing. Among other measures, the Executive Order directs the Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services to begin a rulemaking process that would require hospitals to publicly post commercially negotiated rates with third-party payors. This On the Subject provides an overview of historic developments in the regulation of hospital price transparency, summarizes key provisions of the Executive Order and analyzes various aspects of the Executive Order relevant to industry stakeholders.

Read more in the current issue of Week in Review>>

Last Updated on Monday, 05 August 2019 17:31
 
Senate moves forward with first bipartisan healthcare plan Print E-mail
Written by FHInews   
Thursday, 27 June 2019 00:00

Tami Luhby
reports for CNN on 6.26.19:

A key Senate committee passed a sweeping, bipartisan bill Wednesday, marking the chamber's first effort to address several major healthcare issues plaguing the nation. The Senate Health Committee voted 20-3 to advance the legislation, which seeks to tackle surprise medical billing, lower drug prices and increase transparency in the cost of health care. The bill was cosponsored by the committee's chair, Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, and ranking member, Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington state. Also included is a provision sponsored by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, and Sen. Tim Kaine, a Virginia Democrat, that would raise the minimum age for buying tobacco products to 21, from 18. Alexander and Murray hope the full chamber will vote on the bill before the August recess.

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See also: An examination of surprise medical bills and proposals to protect consumers from them

Last Updated on Friday, 28 June 2019 17:08
 
Senators Agree Surprise Medical Bills Must Go. But How? Print E-mail
Written by Rachel Bluth | KHN   
Tuesday, 18 June 2019 00:00

Two years, 16 hearings and one massive bipartisan package of legislation later, a key Senate committee says it is ready to start marking up a bill next week designed to contain health care costs. But it might not be easy since lawmakers and stakeholders at a final hearing Tuesday <6.18.19> showed they are still far apart on one simple aspect of the proposal. That sticking point: a formula for paying for surprise medical bills, those unexpected and often high charges patients face when they get care from a doctor or hospital that isn't in their insurance network. The wide-ranging legislative package on curbing healthcare costs is sponsored by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the chairman and ranking member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. Given the committee's influence, and because this legislation has bipartisan support in the Senate where not many bills are moving, industry observers are taking the HELP panel's proposal very seriously. Alexander and Murray's bill lays out three options for paying surprise medical bills but does not specify which path the final legislation should take. Advocates for each of the choices were among the five witnesses Tuesday.

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Last Updated on Saturday, 22 June 2019 16:00
 
New Study IDs Molecular Aging 'Midlife' Crisis Print E-mail
Written by University of Miami Miller School of Medicine   
Monday, 10 June 2019 00:00

Just as a computer requires code to work, our bodies are regulated by molecular "programs" that are written early in life and then have to do their job properly for a lifetime. But do they? It's a question that has intrigued researchers for years.
 
Claes Wahlestedt, MD, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and associate dean for therapeutic innovation at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, is senior author of a new study - "Longevity Related Molecular Pathways Are Subject to Midlife 'Switch' in Humans" - published June 6 in Aging Cell.

Working with first author Jamie Timmons, PhD, of King's College London and Stirling University Science Park, United Kingdom, and an international group of researchers on human aging, Dr. Wahlestedt made a striking observation: Key molecular programs known to promote longevity do not last beyond midlife.
 
The study provides a possible new reason why the human disease burden increases so sharply from the sixth decade of life onward as health-protective mechanisms disappear. Which raises the question: If one wishes to boost these established "anti-aging" programs with drugs, nutrients, or lifestyle choices, is it too late to start by the time you reach your 60s? Possibly, said Dr. Wahlestedt - at least if you hope to benefit fully from such interventions.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 June 2019 12:15
 
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