Mount Sinai Expands Center for Post-COVID Care to Serve Patients in East Harlem and South Bronx

$5 million grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality will enhance long COVID care for underserved minority groups, community outreach, and research

ASTRO applauds new bipartisan legislation to reform prior authorization for Medicare Advantage patients

The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) applauded today’s introduction of bipartisan federal legislation to address critical flaws in the prior authorization process. “The prior authorization system in its current form is ineffective and harmful to patients, creating unnecessary delays to lifesaving cancer treatments and distress for the people who need them,” said Jeff M. Michalski, MD, MBA, FASTRO, Chair of the ASTRO Board of Directors.

Grants Available to Support Initiatives Addressing Nursing Work Environments and Health Equity

AACN, AARP, and the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action partner to offer the 2024 Health Equity and Nursing Innovations Project Grants: Nursing Workforce and Healthy Work Environments. Awards of up to $25,000 will be given for projects that will be completed in one year. Projects require 1:1 matching funds. Proposals due by April 5.

National Breast Cancer Foundation Gives Grant to Help Breast Care Center Patients at Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso

In addition to assisting with access to care, such as transportation and general needs like groceries, the grant will allow the Breast Care Center to screen for mental and emotional distress using tablets. Currently, patients participate in an online distress screening survey that prompts questions about financial and psychosocial stressors in a patient’s life.

New proposed rule continues cuts to Medicare reimbursement; Legislative remedies needed to protect patients’ access to care

The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) issued the following statement from Geraldine M. Jacobson, MD, MBA, MPH, FASTRO, Chair of the ASTRO Board of Directors, in response to the proposed 2024 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) released today: “Another year brings another round of cuts to radiation therapy services for people with cancer under the proposed Medicare fee schedule.”

RUSH, Franciscan to Partner on Clinical Services for Cancer, Neurosciences

Chicago-based Rush University System for Health and Franciscan Alliance, Inc., are partnering to jointly develop and provide clinical services to improve the availability of health care to patients in Northwest Indiana, giving patients streamlined access to subspecialty care in their own communities.

Dr. Chandra Ford – Founding Director, Center for the Study of Racism, Social Justice & Health, Professor of Community Health Sciences, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, available as expert on health equity

Dr. Chandra Ford, founding director of the Center for the Study of Racism, Social Justice & Health and professor of Community Health Sciences, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, is available as expert on health equity. Prof. Ford’s expertise includes:…

New benefit increases Veterans’ access to urgent care in the community

Two years ago, the Veterans Affairs healthcare system (VA) began rolling out a new benefit, enabling Veterans to receive urgent care from a network of community providers – rather than visiting a VA emergency department or clinic. Progress toward expanding community care services for Veterans is the focus of a special supplement to the May issue of Medical Care. The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.

45% of adults over 65 lack online medical accounts that could help them sign up for COVID-19 vaccinations

As the vaccination of older adults against COVID-19 begins across the country, new poll data suggests that many of them don’t yet have access to the “patient portal” online systems that could make it much easier for them to schedule a vaccination appointment. In all, 45% of adults aged 65 to 80 had not set up an account with their health provider’s portal system.

Declines in patient visits during COVID-19 shutdowns projected to cost U.S. primary care $15 billion in revenue by year’s end, study shows

• On average, a full-time primary care physician in the U.S. will lose more than $65,000 in revenue in 2020.
• Overall, the U.S. primary care sector will lose nearly $15 billion.
• Losses stem from drastic reductions in office visits and fees for services during COVID-19 shutdowns from March to May.
• Losses threaten practice viability, reducing further an already insufficient number of primary care providers in the United States.
• Findings underscore the need for a plan that provides support for independent primary care doctors, small independent practices.

ACR Releases Position Statement on Prior Authorization

The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) has released an official position statement concerning prior authorization for the approval of prescription medications, highlighting the significant burdens it creates for patients and rheumatology professionals. This process can result in a significant delay of care or treatments, treatment abandonment and potential harm to patients.

Adding mental health specialists to primary care clinics boosts vets’ access to outpatient services

A Veterans Health Administration program that added mental health specialists, care managers or both in primary care clinics significantly improved access to mental health and primary care services to veterans with behavioral health needs. The practice also resulted in 9% higher average annual costs for each patient.