This Week's Healthcare Online News
After Obamacare: a debate over primary care doctors
The 48 million Americans currently lacking health insurance will have a chance to sign up for medical coverage once Obamacare goes into effect. But will there be enough doctors to care for them? One study predicts a shortage of 45,000 primary care physicians in just seven years. And at least three medical schools are shaving off a full-year of their degree programs to get primary care physicians into the workforce sooner.
Med City News
Hey doc, the insurance company pays that doctor double what you get
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Private insurance companies across the U.S. pay doctors dramatically different amounts for the same routine office visits and services, according to a new study. Physicians at the high end of the reimbursement spectrum get more than twice as much as those at the low end for the same service, with little apparent reason for the difference, researchers say.
Fierce Health IT
Med board punishes doc for treating patients via Skype
While tele-medicine may hold a lot of promise for improving patient care, one doctor in Eastern Oklahoma was disciplined for treating his patients over video conferencing platform Skype for mental health issues, NewsOK reported.
Thomas Trow, M.D., used Skype, claiming he thought it to be suitable for communicating with his rural patients, and prescribing patients Xanax and other powerful narcotics. However, the Medical Board of Oklahoma doesn't approve of Skype as a tele-medicine communication system, according to NewsOK. One patient was treated for three drug overdoses in less than six months, and later died, while two others also died while under Trow's care, although investigators said it wasn't attributable to the doctor.
Patient Portal Market Expected To Grow by 221% by 2017
The U.S. patient portal market is expected to reach $898.4 million by 2017, up from $279.8 million last year, according to a new analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Healthcare IT News reports. Such growth represents a 221% increase. According to the report, the majority of revenue will result from:
Greater consumer interest in health IT
Increased demand to meet Stage 2 meaningful use requirements
The industry transitioning to clinical integration and accountable care.
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