In the News

Lohud

Sandra Eaton, a 66-year-old with complex medical needs, described the prospect of leaving her apartment in a rural upstate New York village for a nursing home as a death sentence…

…The health care dilemma is acutely felt in rural communities across upstate, where nearly one in five people are 65 and over, according to a study last year by the Empire Center. By contrast, about 15% of the New York City area is 65 and over.

Further, those rural areas tend to be poorer and have fewer doctors. It all comes together to widen medical deserts where thousands of New Yorkers receive limited health care in comparison to more affluent suburbs and cities.

While Long Island had about 148 primary-care physicians for every 100,000 people, the comparable number was 89 in the Southern Tier, 83 in the Mohawk Valley and 78 in the North Country, according to a 2018 report from the University at Albany-based Center for Health Workforce Studies.

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ADA

Everyone loves a success story.

How about 25 success stories?

That’s exactly what readers will find in a new compilation that details best practices in innovative oral health service delivery programs drawn from over 40 case studies conducted by the Oral Health Workforce Research Center, part of the Center for Health Workforce Studies. The latter is an academic research center based at the School of Public Health on the Health Sciences Campus at the University at Albany, State University of New York.

Titled “Compendium of Innovations in Oral Health Service Delivery,” the 64-page digital booklet features organizations from across the country that have found success through varied measures in expanding oral care to underserved populations

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Becker’s Hospital Review

To modernize healthcare practices, regulations limiting nurses and physician assistants should be revised, according to a perspective piece published Feb. 12 in The New England Journal of Medicine. 

Authored by eight directors of health workforce research centers, the commentary suggested states implement the same scope-of-practice laws and regulations across health professions.

The authors’ collective research hasn’t found anything to support claims that relaxing scope of practice for nurses harms patients, Bianca Frogner, PhD, director of the Center for Health Workforce Studies and an associate professor at Seattle-based University of Washington School of Medicine, said in a news release. She said most studies find that relaxing scope of practice expands access and the quality of care is the same as that delivered by physicians.

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Managed Healthcare Executive

Scope of practice laws, long the province of the states and the subject of fierce lobbying, should be standardized across the country, argue healthcare workforce experts in an opinion piece published in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine. This could be more than wishful thinking because the authors may have an ally in the Trump administration.

“Greater uniformity would support health professionals’ ability to practice to the full extent of their education and training and enhance opportunities for efficient and effective health service delivery that better meets patients’ needs,” wrote Bianca Frogner, PhD, the director of Center for Health Workforce Studies at the University of Washington, and her seven colleagues…

…The other authors of the Perspective piece, titled “Modernizing Scope-of-Practice Regulations—Time to Prioritize Patients” are Erin Fraher, Joanne Spetz, Patricia Pittman, Jean Moore, Angela Beck, David Armstrong, and Peter Buerhaus.

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Advisory Board

Female physicians on average are paid $37,000 less than male physicians in their first job after finishing their residencies or fellowships—and the gap cannot be fully explained by seemingly obvious causes, such as practice area and a desire to have greater control over work-life balance, according to a study published last week in Health Affairs.

For the study, researchers examined the unconditional mean starting compensation of more than 16,000 individuals who finished their residency training or fellowships from 1999 through 2017. The researchers reviewed data from the University at Albany, State University of New York‘s Center for Health Workforce Studies’ New York Survey of Residents Completing Training.

The researchers in the study wrote that they focused on “information about new physicians accepting their first non-training position” because it “minimizes unobserved differences in productivity and work experience that may confound analyses of a wider range of physician seniority.”

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Health Exec

Male physicians starting out make more than $36,000 than their female counterparts on average, according to a new study in Health Affairs that compared starting compensation.

From 1999 to 2017, the average starting compensation for men was $235,044 and $198,426 for women. In more recent years, the gap actually widened compared to the earlier years…

…Researchers collected data of graduating residents from the New York Survey of Residents Completing Training from the Center for Health Workforce Studies of the University of Albany, State University, between 1999 and 2017. Since 2014, questions about work-life balance were added to the survey, such as asking respondents how to rate the importance of control over some job characteristics

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Crain’s New York Business

Male physicians earned about 17% more than their female peers upon completing medical residencies in New York, and the difference in pay persisted even when adjusting for differences in specialty and work-life balance preferences, according to a study published Wednesday in Health Affairs.

The analysis of physicians completing residencies here between 1999 and 2017 showed that men starting their career in medicine earned an average of $235,044, compared with 198,426 for women…

…The paper analyzed responses from 16,407 people–9,042 men and 7,005 women. The data come from the annual New York Survey of Residents Completing Training, which is conducted each year by the University at Albany’s Center for Health Workforce Studies. The researchers noted that New York trains more resident physicians that any other state.

The study found about 60% of the difference in pay between men and women could be explained by what specialty they chose to pursue, with men more likely to practice in lucrative surgical specialties and women more often choosing primary care. But even when adjusting for specialty and demographic differences, the analysis showed about a $20,000 gap between men and women.

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Becker’s Hospital Review

New research documents an unexplained, growing disparity in pay between male and female physicians at the outset of their careers…

…”Our analysis showed that physician-stated preferences for controlling work-life balance, including having predictable hours, the length of the work day, the frequency of being on call overnight, and the frequency of weekend duty, had virtually no effect on the starting salary differential between men and women,” the researchers concluded.

The study is based on data from the “New York Survey of Residents Completing Training” conducted annually by the Center for Health Workforce Studies of the University at Albany, State University New York. Results from 1999 to 2017 were included in the study. Work-life balance preference data was from 2014-17.

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Utica Observer-Dispatch

Primary care doctors are in short supply in parts of Upstate New York, a problem state Sen. Joseph Griffo and Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon are trying to address…

…The distribution of primary care doctors does vary greatly between regions and counties in the state. There are 81 primary care doctors per 100,000 residents in rural areas compared to 120 in urban areas, according to 2014 data from the Center for Health Workforce Studies at the University at Albany.

That data also shows 98 doctors upstate per 100,000 residents compared to 123 downstate. In the Mohawk Valley, there are 90 primary care doctors per 100,000 residents, according to the center. In Herkimer County, there are 45 primary care doctors per 100,000 residents, compared to 96 in Oneida County.

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Dimensions of Dental Health Hygiene

Over the past decade, legislatures across the United States have grappled with scope of practice issues for health professions, including dental hygiene. Almost every state has provided new permissions or enabled conditions for broader practice in response to new technology, improved science, novel dental materials, or alternative methods for delivery of care. Downstream effects of these changes include opportunities for innovative dental hygiene practice. In addition, the fundamental shift in health care delivery away from the medical paradigm of identifying and treating existing disease toward early intervention in prevention of disease processes has had collateral effects on dentistry and dental hygiene. Dental hygienists’ competencies are grounded in patient education, motivational interviewing, and preventive and prophylactic clinical services. This expertise has positioned the profession to play a pivotal role in efforts to improve the oral health of the US population. Dental hygienists are now more commonly viewed as primary preventive oral health specialists with separate and critical responsibilities in the oral health care continuum of care.

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