doctors

The Pulse
4:09 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

To Find Health Care Cost Savings, Follow The Money. Or Rather, The Data.

It's pretty basic: in order to save a little money, most people have to stick to a budget. But before you can sketch out that spending plan, you need to know where your money's been going and how much you've been spending on everything. Then you can look for places to trim and skimp.

So too goes the theory with health care spending. Or at least, that's the idea behind several new efforts:

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Health Care
2:48 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Medicare Advantage Plan Members Can Opt Out If Plans Drop Doctors Without Cause

Seniors with Medicare Advantage have more flexibility to opt out of plans, thanks to new rules.
Credit Aaron Read / RIPR

New rules for Medicare Advantage plan members give seniors more flexibility to opt out of plans that drop their doctors from the network.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has announced that Medicare Advantage plan members will be able to switch plans if those plans drop doctors mid-year without cause. These are Medicare plans offered by private insurance companies and often operate like HMOs.

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The Pulse
1:06 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

CT Docs Vs. United Healthcare: Will RI Docs Follow Suit?

Connecticut doctors sued United Healthcare for dropping them from their Medicare Advantage network. Will Rhode Island follow suit?

Probably not, says Steven DeToy with the Rhode Island Medical Society. He told me he thinks it's unlikely the doctors will have any luck in court because United had the right to drop doctors - it's in their contract. And if they did, it could get expensive and messy: doctors could be responsible for half the cost of mediation if it comes to that.

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Health Care
3:37 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Federal Judge in CT Blocks United From Dropping Docs

A federal judge in Connecticut is blocking United Healthcare’s move to drop hundreds of doctors from its Medicare Advantage network.

The Hartford Courant reports that the Fairfield and Hartford County Medical Associations convinced the court that removing the more than 2-thousand doctors in Connecticut from the health insurance network would be too damaging. And that the insurer plans to appeal the decision.

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Health Care
5:00 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

United's Medicare Move: More Limited Choice Ahead?

United Healthcare is dropping hundreds of doctors in Rhode Island

RIPR health care reporter Kristin Gourlay joined host Dave Fallon in the studio to talk about what United Healthcare's recent decision to drop several hundred doctors from its Medicare Advantage plan means for the 36,0000 or so Rhode Islanders in that plan. Following is a transcript of their conversation, and a link to listen.

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Health Care
4:13 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Kilmartin, Fine Urge United Healthcare To Reinstate Doctors

Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin and Health Department director Michael Fine have sent a letter to the CEO of United Healthcare New England expressing their concern over the insurer’s dropping of dozens of doctors from its managed Medicare plan in the state. They want United to reinstate doctors until they submit a plan to handle the transition.

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The Pulse
4:34 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

New Data on RI's Doctor Supply

Percent of residents and fellows retained after graduation, by state. (Click to enlarge.)
Credit Association of American Medical Colleges

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has released state-by-state profiles of the physician workforce for 2012. And in Rhode Island, here are the highlights (see the full profile here):

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The Pulse
11:06 am
Fri October 25, 2013

The Waiting Room: A System Broken In So Many Places

Production still of an ER resident and director of the film "The Waiting Room."
Credit The Waiting Room project

Last night I watched the beautifully crafted documentary "The Waiting Room." It captures 24 hours in a single hospital's waiting room, following the stories of a diverse cast of patients and staff. There's no narration except how the characters tell their own stories and how those weave into the larger story this documentary tells.

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Health Care
5:03 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Doctors Dropped From Medicare Ask State Leaders For Help

Credit Wikimedia Commons

United Healthcare has notified an unknown number of Rhode Island doctors that they’re being cut from its Medicare Advantage plan network. The news comes during Medicare’s open enrollment period and could affect thousands of senior citizens in the Ocean State.

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The Pulse
2:35 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

United And Medicare: When Insurers Drop Your Doctor

You may have heard about United Healthcare's decision to cut a number of doctors from its Medicare Advantage plan in Rhode Island and some surrounding states. That means that, for some seniors, their doctor may no longer be considered "in network" - and, therefore, no longer affordable for some, since "out of network" doctor visits cost more.

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