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.