December 10, 2018

Around the nation: Lisa Schwartz, prominent critic of medical excess, dies

Daily Briefing

    Schwartz spent her career training journalists to accurately report on claims of medical breakthroughs and cures and warned against the risks of medical overtreatment, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from California, Maryland, and New Hampshire.

    • California: The California Department of Public Health in January 2019 is expected to announce whether any skilled nursing facilities will be exempt from new regulations that would require them to provide residents with 3.5 hours of direct care each day. The regulations took effect in July, but have not yet been enforced. More than half of nursing homes in the state have submitted requests to be exempt (Feder Ostrov, Kaiser Health News/Los Angeles Times, 12/6).
    • Maryland: ChoiceOne on Friday will open a new urgent care center with St. Joseph Medical Center in Belvedere Square. The new center will treat some pediatric patients from University of Maryland Medical System as well as pediatric outpatients from St. Joe's medical group. The new urgent care center has private exam rooms and an X-ray facility (Eichensehr, Baltimore Business Journal, 12/6).
    • New Hampshire: Lisa Schwartz, a director of the Center for Medicine and Media at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, died after a battle with cancer at age 55. Schwartz along with her husband, Steven Woloshin, spent her career training journalists to accurately report on claims of medical breakthroughs and cures and warned against the risks of medical overtreatment to ensure providers, the public, and policymakers can make educated decisions. Schwartz and Woloshin last year received an award from the American Medical Writers Association for consistently highlighting the "trade-offs between too little diagnosis and overdiagnosis" in medicine (Roberts, New York Times, 12/6).

    Next, get URMC's end-of-life conversation prompts

    When it comes to end-of-life care, most organizations struggle to meet patients' needs. In a recent poll, 87% of Americans age 65 and older said that they believe their doctor should discuss end-of-life issues with their patients; however, only 27% of those polled had actually discussed these issues with their doctor.

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