Encompassing roughly one in five dollars in the US, healthcare spending remains at an all-time high. For many in Western Pennsylvania, access to healthcare is a challenge. Through a variety of reforms in the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act of 2010, individuals can more easily access healthcare coverage and care in our local communities. Nevertheless, these reforms have faced a notable amount of skepticism, ridicule, and even obstruction. Despite the fact that ACA remains the law of the land, this continued instability has and will continue to have big impacts on local healthcare.
As it turns out, these impacts affect everything from overall coverage to primary care access and the status of rural hospitals in Pennsylvania.
Rural Hospital Insolvency
The situation of rural hospitals in Pennsylvania was dire before the Affordable Care Act. With the passage of Medicaid expansion in the state, many of the most financially-dire hospitals were brought back from the brink. Despite this progress, potential risks remain. [Read more…]
Medical marijuana is a trending term in 2017 with many states legalizing the plant for recreational and medical purposes, it wasn’t long ago that even the thought of a marijuana user carried connotations of drug abuse and addiction. Now we’re starting to understand the many benefits of this wonderful plant and integrate it into our established medical fields. Marijuana has proven benefits such as pain relief, decreased anxiety, and the ability to stop epileptic seizures and enhance appetite. It’s even been proven to stop the spread of cancers! This is just a short list on the many uses of marijuana. Let’s take a look at some of the studies that have been going on in 2017.
Legalizing Medical Marijuana Reduced Opioid Related Hospitalizations
In a study done at the University of California, researchers concluded that the introduction of medical marijuana related policies had a direct impact on the number of opioid related hospitalizations seen. The reason for this correlation wasn’t expressed specifically, but could be due to giving the patients an alternative to their opioid based medication. [Read more…]
For many patients needing traditional medical implants like stents, tubing, and catheters, there is an increased risk for infection and blood clotting. This issue has perpetuated for decades, and engineers are beginning to develop other medical technologies that may provide a working solution. Specifically, engineers have offered the potential solution of using technologies with titanium surfaces that are repellent to blood for the benefit of the body’s response to receiving surgical and other medical implants.
Titanium is a well-known element used in medical technologies; titanium tubing and alloys present a reliable performance in many surgical procedures due to its strength, low weight, and resistance to corrosion. Since the use of titanium in surgical procedures is oftentimes successful, it makes sense that engineers are now beginning to test the substance to improve other medical technologies. In the future, using titanium may reduce the risk of blood clotting and infection after implanting certain medical devices.
Recent Study with a Potential Solution
Engineers at Colorado State University are currently at work on a solution to the problematic implications of certain medical implants, like catheters and stents, for patients. By growing a “superhemophobic” titanium surface, the engineers may have found a material that can be used to build future surgical implants that the body is less likely to reject. [Read more…]
By Jason Shelton
Healthcare providers have a new option for gauging the state of their patients’ health: measuring the length of their telomeres. These structures—regions of genetic material located on the ends of a cell’s chromosomes—shorten every time cells divide.
Telomere testing can benefit patients seeking medical care across a wide range of disciplines—including cardiovascular, neuroscience, sleep and stress management—because telomere length is not static: just as blood pressure and cholesterol level can be improved by having patients make positive lifestyle changes, so can telomeres be lengthened with similar positive changes. Testing telomere length may inspire patients to take the necessary steps to improve their health.
More than 20,000 published peer-reviewed papers over decades of research support the link between short telomere length and a variety of age-related diseases, along with overall general mortality. Some highlights are below: [Read more…]
Monongahela Valley Hospital recently added Anthony Cuneo, M.D., Ph.D., to The Orthopedic Group.
Dr. Cuneo received his medical degree as well as his doctorate degree in Cellular and Molecular Physiology from the Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia. Dr. Cuneo completed an internship in Internal Medicine at St. Vincent’s Charity Medical Center in Cleveland and residency training in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Temple University. During his final year at Moss Rehabilitation in Philadelphia, he served as chief resident and was named the Resident Educator of the Year.
Dr. Cuneo completed an advanced-care interventional spine and sports medicine fellowship program at OSS Health. He has a special interest in interventional spine care, musculoskeletal medicine, musculoskeletal ultrasound, electrodiagnostics and sports medicine.
Monongahela Valley Hospital also added Eric Nabors, M.D., orthopedic surgeon, to The Orthopedic Group.
Dr. Nabors is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon. He received his undergraduate degree in Biology at Haverford College and his medical degree at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Following medical school, he completed his residency in Orthopedic Surgery at Tufts University in Boston. Dr. Nabors received his fellowship training in spinal surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). He was born in Indiana, Pa., and has been practicing in the greater Pittsburgh area for more than 20 years. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and is certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery.
Dr. Nabors received the Mortimer Cohen Award for top score in Pathology from UPMC and is a member of the American Medical Association, Pennsylvania Medical Society, North American Spine Society, the Pennsylvania Orthopaedic Society and has multiple published works.
By Kim Bassett
“The whole is better than the sum of its parts.” Aristotle said this an eon ago and it still holds true today. This is particularly important when putting together a high functioning leadership team.
There is no such thing as the perfect team and some of the best teams are not made up of “superstars.” The true power of a high performing team lies in how well each member clicks together. A team is better as the whole, not any one individual.
As the leader of such a team, you have to be on alert, tending the team, and assuring that everyone is in sync. Here are five key ways to build and keep a high performing leadership team. [Read more…]
Cole Memorial observed its 50th Anniversary during the corporation’s Annual Meeting at the Coudersport Consistory. Presentations included an “Honoring Charles Cole” video. Close to 150 Board Members, Community Benefit Advisors and hospital leaders attended.
Cole Memorial’s Chief of Medical Staff Brenda Wahlers, MD, reviewed progress made by the health systems’ providers and medical programs in fiscal year 2017, prior to a “Report to the Community” shared by President and CEO Ed Pitchford. In addition, a special proclamation was delivered by Suzan Paisley from Representative Martin Causer’s office.
The results of the 2017 election for the Board of Directors were announced. Michael Callahan, D.O., Dave Crandall, Alanna Huck and Betty Wallace were elected to the Board for three-year terms.
The 2017-2018 Board of Directors will be comprised of the following individuals: Chair Charles Updegraff; Vice Chair Thomas Shaffer; Treasurer Jeanne Miglicio; Secretary Alanna Huck; David Buckler; Melynda Budd; Michael Callahan, D.O.; Christan Caramia, M.D.; David Crandall; John Leete; Robert Smith; Jason Tronetti, D.O. and Betty Wallace.
Cole Memorial’s Chief Nurse Executive and Senior Director of Acute Care Services Emily Bunnell and retired Chief Nurse Executive Cindy Hardesty presented Honorary Director plaques to Netra Baker, RN, photo on the left, and Ann Slotta, RN, on the right
Gartner data indicates typical cost savings of 3% – 8%
By Greg Anderson
Healthcare M&A activity remains high in 2017 as providers consolidate to achieve greater economies of scale in the face of declining patient revenues. Margins are under pressure and consolidation is a popular strategy to increase bargaining power and manage costs more efficiently.
Recent findings indicate a real, but frequently untapped, cost improvement opportunity in provider supply chain integration. Successful integrations typically yield 3% – 8% cost savings per Eric O’Daffer, Research Vice President in the Gartner Healthcare Supply Chain group. These savings are achieved through purchasing contract consolidation, product standardization, workforce streamlining, and information systems rationalization.
However, this savings opportunity is often overlooked because supply chain’s role and impact in M&A is not well understood in many IDNs. Given their episodic nature, integrations are not a core competency for most provider supply chain teams and maturity in managing M&A varies greatly between healthcare systems. This capability gap causes valuable M&A synergies to be delayed or go unrealized altogether.
Pensiamo, a Pittsburgh-based supply chain firm serving healthcare providers, is staffing up to meet the growing need for M&A integration services. “We’ve been rapidly expanding our team to meet the market demand,” said Jim Szilagy, President and CEO of Pensiamo, “and the demand grows as industry consolidation continues.” [Read more…]