As its formal session barreled toward a close early Wednesday, the Massachusetts Legislature passed broad changes to how the state targets the opioid epidemic, but it failed to reach deals on major legislation addressing health care and the state’s school funding formula.
The success — and death — of several closely watched pieces of legislation buffeted state lawmakers’ dash to wrap any remaining formal business from the past 19 months.
The Legislature brushed aside its own rules to cast votes more than an hour past its midnight deadline to finish off several measures, including passing a sprawling economic development bond bill with language limiting noncompete agreements.
But while the chambers pecked away at scores of lesser legislation, negotiators conceded they couldn’t agree on how to reconcile two disparate health care bills passed by the House and Senate, ending talks around 11 p.m. Legislators also fell short of consensus on how to overhaul the state’s formula for doling out funds to schools after meeting for the last week behind closed doors.
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House-Senate negotiators were unable to reach consensus on a major overhaul of the health care system, dooming the issue until next year. "Unfortunately, we couldn't come to an agreement," said Sen. Jim Welch, D-West Springfield, chairman of the Committee on Health Care Financing and one of the lead negotiators on the bill. "It became very clear unfortunately that the large dominant players in the industry just had too much influence over the negotiations, and we weren't able to get past it."
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The New York Times (7/22, Pear) reports, “The Trump administration is proposing huge changes in the way Medicare pays doctors for the most common of all medical services, the office visit, offering physicians basically the same amount, regardless of a patient’s condition or the complexity of the services provided.” The Times says that under the proposal, payments for office visits for cancer and the “sniffles” would be the same. CMS Administrator Seema Verma said, “Time spent on paperwork is time away from patients,” and estimated the change would save 51 hours of clinic time per doctor per year. Critics say the proposal “would underpay doctors who care for patients with the greatest medical needs and the most complicated ailments – and could discourage some physicians from taking Medicare patients.” CMS said the proposal would “radically reduce paperwork burdens.”
By Zoe Greenberg
The New York Times
July 17, 2018
One person has died in connection with a cluster of Legionnaires’ disease cases in Upper Manhattan, city health officials said on Tuesday.
The city declined to release the name of the person who died, but said he or she was over 50 years old and had risk factors for Legionnaires’ disease. Common risk factors include heavy cigarette smoking, chronic lung disease and a weakened immune system.
“This case was not caught early,” said Mark Levine, a City Council member who represents the area and who had been briefed by the city. He added that the person had died in the last week.
In total, 18 people have been sickened in the area. City officials said the cluster of cases was found between 145th and 165th streets.
The fourth annual urgent care conference, hosted by the North East Regional Urgent Care Association (NERUCA), will bring together urgent care owners, providers and staff members to learn more about the current state of the industry, specifically in the northeastern region.
(July 16, 2018) - The North East Regional Urgent Care Association (NERUCA) announced this week that registration is now open for the fourth annual urgent care conference, which will will be held at the Hilton Hotel in Albany, New York on October 29-30. This year's conference presentations will be centered around The Urgent Care Landscape: Stepping Into a New Generation.
The conference is expected to have up to 150 attendees and host vendors from the urgent care industry. Planned speakers are David Stern, CEO of Practice Velocity, Alan Ayers, CEO of Velocity Urgent Care, and many more. Topics being covered include integrating world class service into your culture and care model, payor negotiations, compliance, marketing, provider compensation, advocacy strategy, on-demand services, and much more! The conference includes a leadership and provider track in which providers will be able to earn CME credits.
Todd Martin, NERUCA’s vice president, expects NERUCA members to gain more insight into the future of the urgent care industry at this year's conference.
“We hope to create an environment that is conducive to urgent care owners, providers, and staff members,” says Todd Martin. “We want to help generate learning and networking opportunities for NERUCA members that will help them navigate the ever-changing urgent care industry and prepare for what lies ahead.”
To register or learn more, go to www.neruca.org/nerucaconference.
North East Regional Urgent Care Association
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Contact us at: NERUCA 1395 Rt 539, Little Egg Harbor, NJ 08087