American Telemedicine Association Supports Medical Licensure Reform

On Tuesday, January 31 the American Telemedicine Association will host an important Capitol Hill briefing entitled, “Physician Licensure Barriers to 21st Century Healthcare.”  This public briefing is designed to inform Congressional offices, national organizations and other key stakeholders about how the current U.S. state-based systems to license and regulate physicians unduly restrict quality modern healthcare. Speakers will share constructive ideas for medical licensure reform.

The briefing will be held in the Russell Senate Office Building Caucus Room (SR-325) on Tuesday, January 31, 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

This event is free and open to the public. To attend, please RSVP at http://www.americantelemed.org/briefing.

The briefing is part of ATA’s larger effort to promote the deployment of interstate telemedicine, by reforming the U.S. medical licensure system.  For more information about ATA’s activities in this area, please visit www.fixlicensure.org.

ATA Policy on State Medical Licensure

Aging Physicians – A Valuable Asset

manAging physicians on your medical staff are a cause for concern.  Not just concerns regarding their ability to continue to safely care for patients, but concerns for them as valued friends and colleagues, for their dignity and self-esteem.

Medical staff leaders struggle with what, if anything, to do when faced with this dilemma.  Should the clinical privileges of older staff members be limited?  Should they be forced to retire?  Many leaders choose to look the other way, especially when the practitioner is well-loved in the community and no patients have come forward to complain.  That philosophy, however, comes at a price; a high one if a patient ends up being harmed and an older, well-respected, physician’s mistake is the cause. 

Although there are no “one-size-fits-all” answers, Dr. Kenneth Cohn brings the discussion to the fore with a post on Hospital Impact. 

“The CEO and I brainstormed together when I asked him, “How does this physician want to be remembered?” Legacy becomes increasingly important when the marginal value of seeing one more patient diminishes.”

“Then his eyes brightened when I asked, “Does he have a special healthcare cause that he wants to support? Maybe, he could solicit contributions from grateful patients and their families.”

Seeing “one more patient” may not be in the best interest of anyone in this scenario, but older physicians have much to offer.  Their wealth of experience and tenure are valuable assets to the hospital and community.  They are often in an excellent position to act as advisers, or even take the lead, on medical staff projects and committees, especially those dealing with today’s complex issues.

The skill sets of older physicians may be changing, but they remain valuable.  It may simply be a matter of finding the right match of skill and need.

New Hospital, New Hope for Joplin, MO

St. John’s Hospital in Joplin was destroyed by a tornado in May 2011.  The damage was so severe that the remaining structure is about to be demolished.

There is good news for Joplin and St. John’s however, ground will be broken at the end of this month on a new hospital.

Best wishes Joplin, for a speedy recovery.