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National Athletic Training Month Highlights Need For Funding to Continue Specialized Service

Throughout the United States, athletic trainers save countless lives each year through emergency care and mostly through prevention. Athletic trainers are licensed healthcare professionals. They are critically important members of a medical team and often work closely with physicians to provide an array of services, including injury prevention, emergency care, clinical diagnosis and injury rehabilitation. Their role has increased significantly in recent years and is only expected to rise dramatically in the coming years. Indeed, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that in the 10-year span from 2014-2024, employment of athletic trainers will grow by 21 percent, higher than the… Full Story

Texas Should Continue State Funding for Trauma Centers

Every year, nearly 130,000 Texans experience a traumatic injury. These are potentially life-threatening injuries stemming from motor vehicle crashes, falls, industrial events, gunshot wounds, and assaults. On July 7, 2016, the North Texas community was the epicenter of a high-profile, mass-shooting trauma incident when a heavily armed sniper opened fire on Dallas police officers, ultimately killing five and wounding nine other officers and two civilians. In the days and weeks that followed that July night, the life stories of the trauma victims who survived and those who perished were in the national spotlight. None of us who responded to this… Full Story

Investing in Healthcare Businesses: The Metrics that Matter Most

For companies providing healthcare services, the landscape is crowded, fragmented and messy. The financial data often hides more pertinent information than it reveals, rendering a rather murky due diligence process. The path to profitability can be distorted and volatile. Nonetheless, healthcare businesses, large and small, continue to be attractive targets for investors as the demand for healthcare services grows with the demographics. Whether a healthcare company is being considered for an acquisition or simply under review by industry analysts or potential shareholders, financial metrics (those found in income statements, balance sheets, cash flow reports, etc.) are undisputedly accepted as a… Full Story

President Trump’s Speech to Congress: We Should Strive for Public Health Policy, Not Political Policy

President Trump certainly made a very good presentation last week to members of Congress. Regarding his comments on healthcare, here are some thoughts: His opening remarks regarding expanding coverage and access while reducing costs are certainly goals and objectives everyone can embrace. Also, his statements about reducing pharmaceutical costs would certainly benefit consumers, providers, and the overall healthcare delivery system. His remaining remarks mirrored House Speaker Paul Ryan’s policy paper announced on June 22, 2016 entitled “A Better Way: Our Vision for a Confident America.” This policy paper called for repealing the Affordable Care Act including the health insurance market… Full Story

Medical Community Must Improve Care Delivery to Patients ‘When and Where They Want’

The U.S. healthcare network for acute unscheduled care (government lingo for “I need to see a doctor now”) has become increasingly complex. While policymakers stress the importance of patient-centered medical homes and primary care access, patients frequently choose the accessibility, expediency, and comprehensive services of the emergency department. EDs are the hub for medical issues that come up suddenly; always open, they provide 30 percent of the nation’s acute-care visits and more than two-thirds of all care for the uninsured. However, there are important repercussions for patient safety, care quality, and service satisfaction when these sudden medical encounters are provided… Full Story

Kaiser Poll Findings Emphasize Need for Collaborative Approach on ACA Changes

The latest Kaiser Family Foundation Health Tracking Poll conducted Feb. 13-19 has some fascinating key findings. They include: Attitudes towards the Affordable Care Act have shifted, with a larger share (48 percent) of Americans reporting a favorable opinion towards the law than reporting an unfavorable one (42 percent). This is the highest level of favorability in more than 60 Kaiser Health Tracking Polls since 2010, and is largely driven by a change in the views of independents, among whom 50 percent now view the law favorably. Despite the shift, the public remains divided on what they want lawmakers to do.… Full Story

The Real Financial ROI on Wellness Is Not Important; Disease Is

I’ve been sitting on this topic for quite some time now, but not because I know it’s a heated and controversial topic. I’ve been sitting on this because I’m so incredibly passionate about what I’m going to say, that I wanted it to be just right. As a former financial officer for both a hospital system and an insurance company, I can talk all day about ROI. Here’s the thing–there’s a pattern by some in our industry for committing “math crimes” over the last two decades. I’m not sure if I coined this two-word phrase on accident or if I… Full Story

Guiding Principles for a Bipartisan Bill

We continue to hear sporadic news from Washington, D.C. regarding the Affordable Care Act. “Repeal and Replace,” “Repeal and Restore,” “Repeal and Repair,” “Don’t End but Mend”–the slogans are many. Hopefully, our country’s leadership will garner bipartisan support to craft a fair and equitable bill to help all American residents. As we continue our commitment to patients, hospitals suggest some guiding principles for that bipartisan bill. They include: • We must maintain coverage for all individuals currently receiving benefits; • The ACA should not be repealed without a simultaneous replacement guaranteeing adequate coverage. If that doesn’t occur, then the hospital… Full Story