Virtual “urgent care” may lead to higher rates of downstream follow-up care, study suggests

Even before the pandemic made telehealth a hot topic, people with minor urgent health needs had started to turn to companies that offer on-demand video chats. Some insurers and employers support this, hoping it might reduce in-person care, including emergency department visits. But a new study casts some doubt on whether that will actually happen.

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How long do doctor visits last? Electronic health records provide new data on time with patients

How much time do primary care physicians actually spend one-on-one with patients? Analysis of timestamp data from electronic health records (EHRs) provides useful insights on exam length and other factors related to doctors’ use of time, reports a study in the January issue of Medical Care. The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.

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Primary Care in a Pandemic: Spotting Mental Health Needs and More

The number of people dealing with mental distress caused by enduring months of pandemic, economic disruption and political turmoil is rising fast. And America’s primary care clinics are the front line for many of those mental health concerns. A new online toolkit aims to help primary care clinics cope with this influx, and draw from the expertise of mental health specialists and researchers.

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Student Medical Records at UC San Diego Make Epic Change and a California First

UC San Diego was the first university in California to connect 40,000 student health records to the electronic health record platform of its top-ranked academic medical center, UC San Diego Health. The experience has created a model for other colleges.

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Safety Considerations for Visiting Primary Care Doctors

The COVID-19 pandemic has left many people with chronic health conditions relying on telemedicine rather than seeing their doctor in person when necessary or putting off important visits entirely because they fear being infected.

Ann M. Nguyen, an assistant research professor at Rutgers Center for State Health Policy at the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research, who recently published a paper on safety measures at physician offices, discusses what people should know about visiting their doctor and why putting off appointments that need to be done in person could lead to other health problems.

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Doctors Get Plenty of Advice on Starting Treatment. This Could Help Them Know When to Stop.

Decades of effort have improved the chances that patients will get the scans, routine tests and medicines that can do them the most good – and avoid the ones that won’t help them at all.
But in the push toward evidence-based medicine, a new study says, a key step has mostly gotten overlooked: helping doctors stop or scale back – or deintensify – treatment once it has started.

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UC San Diego Health Ranked #1 by U.S. News & World Report

UC San Diego Health is ranked first in San Diego and sixth in California, placing it among the nation’s best hospitals, according to the 2020-2021 U.S. News & World Report. Eight common procedures and conditions were also rated “high performing.”

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Nearly One-Third of Primary Care Providers Do Not View Medication Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder as Effective

A new survey of U.S. primary care physicians from researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that nearly one-third, 32.9 percent, do not think treating opioid use disorder with medication is any more effective than treatment without medication.

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COVID-19 Concerns? FAU Medicine Now Offers Telehealth

FAU Medicine, a primary care practice in Boca Raton is now offering “virtual visits” (telehealth) with its physicians. These virtual visits can be related to preventive care, check-ups, follow-ups or acute illnesses, including supporting patients who are concerned about the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

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Most internists-in-training feel ill-equipped to treat obesity

Most resident physicians training in internal medicine do not feel adequately prepared to manage obesity in their patients, a new survey from a California residency program finds. The results were accepted for presentation at ENDO 2020, the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting, and will be published in a special supplemental section of the Journal of the Endocrine Society.

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UNC School of Medicine Ranked First for Primary Care for Third Straight Year

For the third year in a row, the University of North Carolina School of Medicine was ranked first in the country for primary care education as a part of U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 edition of “America’s Best Graduate Schools.”

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Researchers Challenge New Guidelines on Aspirin in Primary Prevention

New guidelines recommend aspirin use in primary prevention for people ages 40 to 70 years old who are at higher risk of a first cardiovascular event, but not for those over 70. Yet, people over 70 are at higher risks of cardiovascular events than those under 70. As a result, health care providers are understandably confused about whether or not to prescribe aspirin for primary prevention of heart attacks or strokes, and if so, to whom.

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Baylor Scott & White Health Opens Hospital in Austin

Baylor Scott & White Health, the largest not-for-profit health system in Texas, opened its newest full-service hospital today in Austin. Austin, located at 5251 W. U.S. Highway 290, Austin, TX 78735, becomes the System’s first hospital within Austin city limits. In addition to the hospital, a multi-specialty medical clinic will be located on the same campus as part of a comprehensive model of care.

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Medicaid expansion doubled access to primary care, increased attention to health risks in Michigan enrollees

When Michigan expanded its Medicaid program to cover more low-income residents, its leaders built in special features to encourage enrollees to understand their health risks, and incentivize them to prevent future health problems, or find them early. According to two new studies, that effort has paid off.

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Cleveland Clinic Study Finds Functional Medicine Model is Associated with Improvements in Health-Related Quality of Life

In the first retrospective cohort study of the functional medicine model, Cleveland Clinic researchers found that functional medicine was associated with improvements in health-related quality of life. The study was published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association Network Open.

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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.

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