Here are some other local, state or national stories we are reading that may impact you, your practice or your patients.
Thinking about joining an ACO? What your practice needs to know | Accountable care organizations (ACOs) can be an attractive option for physicians looking to retain their independence while benefiting from collaboration with others delivering patient care. Finding success in ACOs requires careful planning and substantial knowledge about current realities of ACOs, which have rapidly matured since their debut less than 10 years ago. Three important topics physicians should consider when evaluating an ACO include risk, data access and physician obligations under the agreement. These topics and other considerations are covered in the AMA's 17-page guide, “Accountable Care Organizations: How to Perform Due Diligence and Evaluate Contractual Agreements.” The guide includes model contract language that physicians can use to strategically evaluate opportunities and negotiate important contract terms.
California Assembly advances crackdown on vaccine exemptions, but governor wants to change the bill | The California Assembly passed contentious vaccine legislation on Tuesday [Sept. 3], a vote immediately met with an announcement from the office of Gov. Gavin Newsom that changes to the legislation would be required before it reaches his desk. Newsom’s office said in a message posted on Twitter that the governor wants a few “technical — but important” revisions to state Senate Bill 276, which would tighten the state’s school immunization law. However, a brief description of the requested changes — which would be added to a separate bill — provided by the governor’s office indicates they would be fairly significant. Tuesday marked the second time Newsom has asked for the legislation to be watered down after he raised concerns in June that SB 276 would create an immunization bureaucracy that could interfere with doctor-patient relationships. Those concerns led the bill’s author, Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), to focus oversight efforts on doctors who write five or more exemptions and schools with lower immunization rates, instead of a statewide review. After those changes, Newsom pledged to sign the bill.
Real-Time Data Use Cuts Hospitalizations, Improves Population Health | Real-time data found in the EHR helped researchers identify and target neighborhoods where there were high rates of pediatric hospitalizations, enabling them to apply population health interventions that significantly cut hospitalization rates, according to a study published in Health Affairs. While care disparities exist at all levels of the healthcare system, gaps in pediatric care can be especially detrimental to health outcomes, researchers noted. “Equity gaps are ever present in pediatrics, with neighborhood-to-neighborhood variation in child morbidity paralleling differences in underlying rates of poverty,” the team stated. “These challenges affect one’s ability to access preventive services, adhere to care recommendations, and trust that the healthcare system has one’s interests at heart.”