healthcare

A hospital in Western Massachusetts is making employee layoffs as other health care providers in the region are trying to find solutions to challenges in recruiting and retaining physicians.

The Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield this week informed the Massachusetts Nurses Association union that the hospital will cut up to 9 positions among its medical-surgical nursing staff. It will also redesign up to 4 other various positions to accommodate the changes in personnel.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Wednesday at Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, Berkshire Health Systems announced a new partnership with the Canyon Ranch Institute that will bring the Institute’s nationally recognized Life Enhancement Program to medically underserved and low-income individuals.

Dr. Richard Carmona, President of the Canyon Ranch Institute Board of Directors and the 17th Surgeon General of the United States, said prevention needs to be the new focus of healthcare providers.

Photo depicting health care costs
401(K) 2013/Creative Commons

In an article recently published by the Wall Street Journal, Massachusetts is the state with  the highest per-capita expenditure on healthcare, with the average individual paying more than $9,200 a year on health care costs. Expenses taken into account include emergency care, physician visits, nursing home care, prescription drugs, dental care, and other categories.

Leon Brooks

Massachusetts ,which pioneered universal access to health insurance, is now beginning the next phase of healthcare reform: reining in the run-away costs.  The executive director of the new agency responsible for implementing the state’s cost containment law was in Springfield on Thursday.

A new survey of medical specialists by researchers in Springfield Massachusetts found many could not accommodate patients who use a wheelchair.   The 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act  mandates that all medical practitioners must provide full and equal access. 

Mass. to revamp retiree health care

Jan 10, 2013
Dwight Sipler

BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Deval Patrick plans to recommend sweeping reforms in health care benefits for retired state and municipal employees, changes that are estimated to save up to $20 billion over the next 30 years.

The recommendations stem from a report due to be released Friday by a special commission that studied the soaring costs of retiree health care.

An administration official familiar with the report said it calls for raising the minimum years of service an employee must have before being vested in the retiree health care system from the current 10 years to 20 years.

WAMC

A new $45 million dollar emergency and trauma center opened at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield this morning.  The state of the art facility will treat critically injured and ill people from throughout western Massachusetts.  WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

The new emergency department at Baystate Medical Center’s main campus in Springfield’s North End was opened to receive patients beginning at 7:30  Monday morning. The new facility is 72,000 square feet, 55,000 square feet larger than the old emergency room.

A Purple Heart recipient from Connecticut who was wounded in the Vietnam War is suing the Army, claiming he's wrongly being denied health care benefits.

William Dolphin of West Haven filed the federal lawsuit Thursday in New Haven in an attempt to upgrade his discharge status and get benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The lawsuit says Dolphin suffered head, knee and back injuries in an explosion during combat in 1968 and was left with post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain.

A recent audit of the MassHealth system has found the system open to fraud with thousands ineligible individuals receiving healthcare benefits from Massachusetts. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports…

Massachusetts State Auditor Suzanne Bump released a report yesterday that pointed out shortcomings in the MassHealth system, which included failures of the state office of Medicaid to verify the incomes and residency of individuals who received tax-payer funded health care benefits.

A recent report released by the Massachusetts Medical Society highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the physician workforce in the Commonwealth, which includes a lack of trained specialists and primary care physicians.

The Massachusetts Medical Society’s annual Physician Workforce Study takes a comprehensive look at the working doctors in the state, physician recruitment rates, profession satisfaction, and more. One of the key observations in the report is a lack of primary care doctors and specialists across Massachusetts.

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