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Regence Foundation Awards Nearly $250,000 in Grants to Northwest Nonprofits

The Regence Foundation announced today
$246,500 in grants for four Northwest nonprofits: HealthMatters of Central
Oregon, WithinReach, Critical Access Hospital Network and Northwest
Organization of Nurse Executives. The grants all support nonprofit programs
with innovative plans to improve quality of care and increase access to care.

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posted in: Idaho, news, Oregon, Utah, Washington
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Health exchange ‘open for business’

There was a celebratory air in the Utah Capitol’s extravagant Gold Room on Wednesday as Gov. Gary Herbert declared the Utah Health Exchange “open for business.”

The state-run Web site will permit participating small businesses to offer employees a health care stipend, which workers can use to shop on the site and select the health insurance plans that best fits their lives.

Herbert called the site “a model” for private-sector health insurance solutions. But, he added, the state is “still far from finished with reform.”

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posted in: news, Utah
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Health care reform: Influx of newly insured may overwhelm Utah docs

Health care reform, if it succeeds, may result in thousands more Utahns getting health insurance.

But in a state already strapped for doctors, it doesn’t mean they will get to see a physician right away. A sudden influx of the newly insured, experts warn, could overwhelm a system already stretched too thin.

By one consumer health advocacy group’s estimate, an additional 195,000 state residents could be insured by 2013 if the America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 is signed into law. Six years later, that number could be as high as 313,000.

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posted in: news, Utah
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Utah hospitals ratings may aid patient choices

Rather than simply relying on advice from family and friends, Utahns can now examine overall patient satisfaction ratings for local hospitals before choosing where to spend their health-care dollars.

While Utah hospitals overall rated higher than the national average on seven of 10 reported measures, statistics provided by the 2009 Hospital Consumer Satisfaction Report show wide discrepancies among hospitals in how patients viewed their experiences with communication, cleanliness and other factors.

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posted in: news, Utah
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Nearly 90 major medical mistakes logged at Utah hospitals in 2008

One full-term infant died. Four healthy patients passed away unexpectedly after surgery. Another patient committed suicide. And dozens more left hospitals sick not from their illness but from their stay: They fell down, were given the wrong drug, became infected from surgical equipment left inside their bodies.

There were at least 89 of these most serious medical errors last year in Utah hospitals and surgical centers, up 56 percent from the 57 logged in 2007, according to a Utah Department of Health report requested by The Salt Lake Tribune.

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posted in: news, Utah
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A role in trauma care for advanced practice clinicians

Advanced practice clinicians (APCs), a term used by the trauma team at LDS Hospital (LDSH) in Salt Lake City, Utah, to include physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs), are increasingly being utilized to care for patients on trauma services.1-6 Traditionally, the extensive 24-hours-a day coverage needed to provide quality trauma care has been provided by surgical residents. In 2003, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education significantly reduced the number of hours that resident physicians are permitted to work in a week.7 This has forced many trauma programs to develop alternate traumacare delivery models. The quality of care provided by these alternate-care delivery models has been questioned.1 With the reduced availability of surgical residents, we hypothesized that APCs could safely provide trauma care that had traditionally been provided by those residents. This paper describes the APC trauma-care delivery model at a level I trauma hospital following the loss of surgical residents and compares patient outcomes from this new model with those in the National Trauma Data Bank (NTDB).

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posted in: news, Utah
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Nursing Programs Earn Recommendation for Accreditation

ST. GEORGE, Utah - Dixie State College of Utah’s nursing program recently received a shot in the arm as the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) recommended that DSC’s Practical Nursing (PN) and Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) programs continue with full accreditation.

NLNAC made the determination during its site visit to the DSC campus in February. The site team, consisting of five nurse educator peer evaluators, recommended the continuing accreditation of both programs for eight years, the maximum possible. The site team’s recommendation will be evaluated by an NLNAC peer review committee and the Commission, with official notification of continuing accreditation status to occur in July.

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posted in: news, Utah
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Health reform bills given favorable recommendation

Utah health care may be in for some changes if five bills are passed by legislature, leaving Congress with a favorable recommendation.

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee heard five bills Wednesday regarding Utah health care, including three bills which make up the Health System Reform Taskforce, House Bills 165, 188 and 331.

HB 165 modifies the Health Code and the Insurance Code to provide standards for the exchange of medical information between health care providers, insurers and patients regarding payment for services, making the process faster.

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posted in: Utah
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House approves Utah health reform bill

House lawmakers approved a bill Thursday they hope will allow more Utahns and their employers to afford health insurance.

More than 300,000 Utahns don’t have coverage, and Utah employers are dropping their health plans faster than the national average.

To start to fix the problem, HB188 creates plans called NetCare, which must be offered starting in January to small employers, individuals and employees who have lost their jobs. The plans can be free of some specific mandates, such as diabetes management, and have higher deductibles than the current average large group plan policy.

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posted in: Utah
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Universty of Utah opens Dixie graduate facility

The University of Utah is increasing its course offerings at Dixie State College and opening a new facility in light of further talks to combine the efforts of the two institutions.

“We’re very proud of the new graduate center and the possibilities it brings,” said Chuck Wight, associate vice president for academic affairs and undergraduate studies at the U. “We’re working with state-of-the-art distance education technology to bring a new level of professional development opportunities to St. George. This site will open new doors for southern Utah.”

University Plaza, as it is called, added four classrooms on the northeast corner of the Dixie campus. The additional courses that can now be offered are “part of an ongoing partnership exploration,” Wight said.

In addition to several degree programs already offered at Dixie State through U. Continuing Education, students can now earn master’s degrees in special education, pre-K-12 administration and educational psychology. The David Eccles School of Business is sponsoring an “MBA essentials” program, which includes a mini-MBA certificate, and the U. College of Nursing will be offering degrees for nurse practitioners and master’s degrees in nursing teaching, clinical nurse leadership and gerontology.

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posted in: Utah
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