The Rundown | Week of 9.11.2017

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Privia has compiled a list of stories to keep you up to date on all things healthcare:

Medicare for All?

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has introduced a new single-payer healthcare plan, the Medicare for All bill, that promises to provide healthcare (and no out-of-pocket costs for patients) for all Americans. According to Vox, this plan is more generous than what other single-payer countries are currently offering. Missing from Senator Sanders’ plan is the means of funding. Almost half of the countries that attempt to set up a single-payer plan fail, and the aspect that often hurts these efforts is determining who pays for it. The Hill reports that 10 Democratic senators have thrown their support behind this bill, including Senator Kamala Harris (Calif.), Al Franken (Minn.) and Tom Udall (N.M.).
>>Read more: Bernie Sanders’s new Medicare-for-all plan, explained and Where Dems stand on Sanders’s single-payer bill

Senate Dems Pressure Trump on Opioid Crisis

The Trump administration announced their intention to declare a national emergency to address the opioid crisis on August 10th. This declaration has yet to be officially instated. According to USA Today, 10 Senate Democrats wrote to Trump asking about the delay of this declaration, while the White House maintains that they are still working through the details and conducting a legal review. The initial push for this declaration came from the Trump administration’s opioid crisis commission that detailed a grim outlook on opioid use in the United States. This commission urged the president to declare a national emergency as it would require the executive branch to expand power to address this situation.
>>Read more: Trump hasn’t formally declared the opioid epidemic a national emergency, and lawmakers want to know why

Why Physicians Overtreat

A new study by PLOS One, by way of the New York Times, found that on average, 2,106 doctors believe that 20.6 percent of all medical care is unnecessary. That includes 22 percent of prescriptions, 24.9 percent of tests and 11.1 percent of procedures. The three biggest factors contributing to overtreatment are fear of malpractice, patient pressure and difficulty assessing past medical records. Surveyed physicians feel that de-emphasizing fee-for-service payments would lead to a reduction in overtreatment.
>>Read more: “Overtreatment Is Common, Doctors Say”

More Nurses = Less Pain?

A recent study, published in the journal Pain Management Nursing, shows that patient perceptions of pain management are better with higher nurse and hospitalist staffing than with resident staffing. Lower satisfaction scores are also prevalent, stemming from patients not receiving care as soon as they needed. This is due to poor nursing communication, poor medication education or care received in a teaching hospital.
>>Read more: “Beyond the Pain Scale: Provider Communication and Staffing Predictive of Patients’ Satisfaction with Pain Control”

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