The concept of a patient-centered medical home — which combines the modern-day advantages of computerized medical data with the old-time convenience of having a familiar doctor — is catching on across the country. More primary care practices have started to provide team care, and almost 7,000 have already been recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance as patient-centered medical homes. In Georgia, health insurers such as Aetna, Blue Cross, Kaiser Permanente and WellCare have launched medical home-style programs.
A study in the current issue of the Journal of Patient Safety looks at people who receive some type of preventable harm when they go to a hospital to receive care. The new study estimates that each year, 210,000 to 440,000 such people are harmed sufficiently that it contributes to their deaths. That's why reducing fatal blunders is a prime goal of medical educators.
Doctors’ career choices affect many people. Despite a nationwide demand for more family medicine doctors, medical students in Georgia and around the country still pursue specialties and subspecialties for their careers. The number of medical students considering primary care training, including family medicine, general pediatrics and general internal medicine, is falling. But at the same time, the need for such physicians is growing.
An online website exclusively for physicians offers a different type twist on fantasy football this season. Sermo, which has more than 100,000 doctor members, is offering prizes in its “Pro Football Injury Challenge.” One of the questions is for doctors to guess how many concussions will occur in the NFL this season.
Officials with the Georgia Drugs and Narcotics Agency say a new database is expected to help doctors and law enforcement keep tabs on prescription drug abuse. Agency director Rick Allen said the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program has been available to pharmacists and physicians for less than a month, but already, 2,000 medical professionals have submitted prescriptions.
The passage of a controversial abortion bill in the House Wednesday puts it on the fast-track to the Senate floor for a vote. But the bill is fueling concern that fear of criminal penalties might dissuade doctors from coming to Georgia.
Some Georgia doctors are girding themselves for another reduction in the Medicaid reimbursement rate. Lawmakers proposed the cut as part of the 2012 budget. Doctors worry it may further drive down their numbers from rural areas.