Chicago Tribune Examines Use Of Urgent Care Centers

May 19, 2009

More people have begun using urgent care centers as a means of avoiding waiting for care in emergency departments or for a doctor’s appointment, the Chicago Tribune reports. Urgent care centers provide medical services with no appointment and offer extended hours to customers seeking care for a wide range of non-life-threatening issues. Staff physicians, assisted by nurses, administer the care and generally have access to X-ray and laboratory services. Most services provided at the centers are covered by insurance, the Tribune reports.
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Primer Examines Health Care Delivery Payment Incentives; Statehealthfacts.org Updates Data

April 21, 2009

“Health Quality, Delivery Improvements Will Lower Spiraling Costs,” U.S. Federation of State Public Interest Research Groups: The brief argues that skewed payment incentives, which increase costs and diminish the quality of care, are the core problem in the U.S. health care delivery system. The document also finds more than $299 billion in health care spending that could be saved each year if the coordinated approach used by Utah’s Intermountain Health System were implemented nationwide. The primer also includes a detailed list of policy recommendations for health care delivery problems (U.S. PIRG release, 4/16).
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Primer Examines Health Care Delivery Payment Incentives; Statehealthfacts.org Updates Data

April 21, 2009

“Health Quality, Delivery Improvements Will Lower Spiraling Costs,” U.S. Federation of State Public Interest Research Groups: The brief argues that skewed payment incentives, which increase costs and diminish the quality of care, are the core problem in the U.S. health care delivery system. The document also finds more than $299 billion in health care spending that could be saved each year if the coordinated approach used by Utah’s Intermountain Health System were implemented nationwide. The primer also includes a detailed list of policy recommendations for health care delivery problems (U.S. PIRG release, 4/16).
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AP/Washington Times Examines Factors Behind High Maternal Mortality In Haiti

March 20, 2009

The AP/Washington Times on Tuesday examined the high maternal mortality rate in Haiti and the efforts of international not-for-profits, including the Clinton Global Initiative and Doctors Without Borders, to address the issue. According to a 2008 UNICEF report, 670 women died from pregnancy-related factors for every 100,000 live births in Haiti in 2006. By contrast, in the U.S. that year, 11 women died for every 100,000 live births. Haiti’s maternal mortality rate is more than five times the Latin American and Caribbean average, and it is higher than any South Asian or Middle Eastern country except Afghanistan and Nepal. Wendy Lai of Doctors Without Borders Holland called the situation “embarrassing to the Western world.” She added, “[T]hese are preventable deaths.”
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New York Times Examines New York City Bill To Protect Patients, Staff At Abortion Clinics

January 16, 2009

The New York Times on Sunday examined a bill introduced by New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn that aims to protect patients and staff at local health clinics that provide abortion services. The bill, introduced by Quinn in September, would protect patients and staff from “harassment by antiabortion activists who gather outside the clinics’ doors,” according to the Times. “You ask a lot of New Yorkers, they would say, ‘This doesn’t go on in our city, in New York,'” Quinn said, adding, “The truth is, it does.”
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Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Examines Challenges Facing Independent Pharmacies

January 10, 2009

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on Monday examined some of the challenges facing independent pharmacies nationwide, such as growing competition from large chain and mail-order pharmacies, decreased reimbursement rates, and increased state and federal regulations. Such challenges are “especially tough in rural states such as Arkansas, where pharmacists may be the only health care professionals in small towns that don’t have a large enough population to attract chain stores,” the Democrat-Gazette reports.
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New York Times Examines California HIV Testing Bill

January 7, 2009

The New York Timeson Thursday examined a California bill (AB 1894) that requires health care plans operating in the state to pay for routine HIV testing. The bill was signed into law on Tuesday by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) (Cathcart, New York Times, 10/2). According to the California Office of AIDS, about 40,000 Californians are HIV-positive but are not aware of their status. CDC figures show that about 40% of the U.S. population has ever received an HIV test (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 10/1). The law will provide coverage for routine HIV testing for 22.19 million people, according to the California Health Benefits Review Program.
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