Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican Neighborhood Hospitals Celebrate One-Year Milestone

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Four New Hospitals Added in Southern Nevada in 2017

This summer, Dignity Health – St. Rose Dominican Neighborhood Hospitals are celebrating their first year of delivering high-quality, compassionate care to the Las Vegas Valley.

“We are so pleased to provide the Las Vegas community with much-needed and improved access to the very best emergency and inpatient care available,” said Laura Hennum, Market CEO for Dignity Health – St. Rose Dominican Neighborhood Hospitals. “We’re proud the community has embraced us as a trusted care provider, and we’re thrilled to celebrate our one-year anniversary with the residents and patients we serve.”

Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican opened four new hospitals in 2017 in the Las Vegas Valley:

  • North Las Vegas Campus: 1550 W. Craig Road
  • Blue Diamond Campus: 4855 Blue Diamond Road
  • Sahara Campus: 4980 W. Sahara Ave.
  • West Flamingo Campus: 9880 W. Flamingo Road

As part of this expansion in locations and services, St. Rose Dominican entered into an agreement with Emerus, a nationally recognized innovator in the delivery of efficient medical care, to build and manage these sites.

In less than a year, more than 50,000 patients received treatment in emergency rooms and inpatient units of these Neighborhood Hospitals, where they can see an ER physician within 15 minutes or less and complete their ER visit within 90 minutes or less. As they continue to grow, Dignity Health – St. Rose Dominican Neighborhood Hospitals remain committed to providing world-class health care services that put the needs of patients and their families at the forefront.

These Neighborhood Hospitals are providing vital, high-quality health care to underserved parts of the Las Vegas Valley. Among the features that set these Neighborhood Hospitals apart: They are fully accredited, independently licensed hospitals, open 24/7, and they treat all patients – regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay.
Four New Hospitals Opened in 2017

The hospitals are staffed with board-certified ER physicians and hospitalists; maintain transfer agreements with partner hospitals; offer on-site X-ray, CT scans, ultrasound and lab services; and will soon become a hospital and “healthplex” – providing ancillary services, such as physical therapy, primary care, wellness programs and more, depending on community needs.

These hospitals play a key role in the economic revitalization of the areas where they’re located. The Sahara Campus is a key redevelopment initiative, contributing to renewal efforts at Sahara and Decatur. The Sahara Campus replaced an abandoned car lot, and in addition to the hospital, new retail space is going in adjacent to the hospital at Sahara and Decatur.

ABOUT DIGNITY HEALTH-ST. ROSE DOMINICAN
As the community’s only not-for-profit, faith-based health system, Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican has been guided by the vision and core values of the Adrian Dominican Sisters for more than 70 years. As the Henderson and Las Vegas communities grow, the St. Rose Dominican health system and its nearly 4,000 employees will continue the Sisters’ mission of serving people in need. St. Rose Dominican is a member of the 22-state Dignity Health network of nearly 9,000 physicians, 62,000 employees, and 400 care centers, including hospitals, urgent and occupational care, imaging centers, home health and primary care clinics. For more information, visit their website at www.strosehospitals.org or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or their Blog.

ABOUT EMERUS
Emerus is the nation’s first and largest operator of micro-hospitals. Emerus partners with leading health systems to provide excellence, empathy and innovation in health care delivery through a network of efficient, value-based micro-hospitals. The Emerus network brings high-quality, patient-centric acute episodic and ambulatory clinical services to communities across a given market. This helps patients by positioning best-in-class provider services in the communities where they work, live and play. Emerus’ distinctive level of care earned the Guardian of Excellence Award for Superior Patient Experience in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. More information is available at www.emerus.com.

Compounding Workshop Comes to Vegas Aug 10-12

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Discounts Available for Las Vegas HEALS Members

Looking to create unique dosage forms designed for specific problems? Interested in a more cost effective therapy? Seeking medications that avoid side effects and improve patient compliance? Curious to learn about administrable dosage forms?

Taking place from August 10-12 in Las Vegas, the A4M/MMI Compounding Workshop is led by a team of expert clinicians & specialists in pharmaceutical compounding and medication dosing: a critical skill for clinicians in terms of individualizing patient care & improving therapeutic outcomes.

This recently redesigned workshop is back by popular demand, and participants of the three-day symposium will learn advanced prescription writing skills for compounded medications–with a survey of many different areas of compounding including sports medicine, pain control, weight loss, aesthetic skin care, hair restoration, gynecological issues, and several others.

This is a workshop that no practicing clinician or pharmacist should miss, as it is specifically tailored to help customize and personalize your patient care, and elevate your practice’s wellness.​

Members of Las Vegas Heals will receive an exclusive $750 savings on the Compounding Workshop. Insert coupon code HEALS750 at checkout!

REGISTER NOW

UMP Growing and Adding New Team Members

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UMP is Growing

United Medical Providers (UMP) welcome Betty Driver, MHA and Jamie Melton, RN, BSN, Patient Care Coordinators, to its patient care team, as the company continues to grow its business

United Medical Providers has been serving the medical supply and equipment needs for thousands of clients in the United States since 1996. UMP carries thousands of products from top manufacturers like Bard, Coloplast (formerly Mentor), Hollister, Rochester Medical, Cure, hi-slip, and LoFric.

Betty Driver, MHA

Betty Driver, MHA is caring for the clinicians and patients in the Houston, Texas area. Betty is a native of Chicago, Illinois but found herself relocating to the Houston area in 2000.

Betty has 19 years of experience in the medical sales industry. Specifically, with Coloplast Medical, Abbott Lab, and Addiction Labs.

Betty came to UMP with a Masters of Healthcare Administration from University Phoenix and is using her education to reach more patients with urological needs.

Jamie Melton, RN, BSN

Jamie Melton, RN, BSN is caring for our urology patients in North and South Carolina. She is a lifetime resident of North Carolina and graduate of Lees- McRae College in Banner Elk, NC with her Bachelors of Science- Nursing.

Jamie is a Registered Nurse in North Carolina and has 5 years of experience in the ICU/PCU. With her clinical experience, Jamie understands the needs and necessities of patients, physicians and support staff. She can’t wait to meet and assist everyone in the Carolinas with their urological needs.

United Medical Providers is a national, HIPAA accredited urological supply provider that puts patient needs first. UMP’s representatives work with Medicare and Medicaid in most states and handle the paperwork for clients. The company takes care of patients with personal attention, education and respect, and in full compliance with the care guidelines that medical practices’ prescribe.

When patient needs catheters or other urological supplies, UMP delivers them directly to a patient’s door – quickly, correctly, and without the hassles of billing or insurance paperwork. When medical practices recommend UMP, patients receive an extraordinary level of care and service that is defined by personal experience and commitment, corporate character and industry knowledge.

Las Vegas HEALS to Host 7th Annual ‘Inspired Excellence in Healthcare Awards’

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Community Leaders in Healthcare Honored on October 25 at Four Seasons

Las Vegas HEALS (Health, Education, Advocacy and Leadership of Southern Nevada), a nonprofit membership-based healthcare association, will recognize a group of deserving honorees as part of the 7th Annual “Inspired Excellence in Healthcare Awards” for their outstanding contributions to the Southern Nevada community.

Inspired by the pioneer exploits of Dr. Royce W. Martin, Las Vegas’ first chief surgeon, circa 1905, the award will recognize physicians of good standing in their professional and personal life, who have demonstrated achievements of exceptional leadership, and management proficiency to enhance strategic and operational effectiveness of healthcare delivery in their practice/community. The candidates sought should be worthy of recognition from colleagues as the best in their field, individuals who ignite and inspire continued possibilities for healthcare excellence. The candidates can be physicians and non-physicians.

Nominations are open now through Friday, July 27, and can be emailed to: nominate@lasvegasheals.org. Entries submitted on behalf of a healthcare group will be limited to one recipient per organization.

Past recipients have included the following healthcare leaders: Dr. Joseph Adashek, Dr. Chowdhury Ahsan, Dr. Mary Ann Allison, Dr. Howard Baron, Ms. Shelley Berkley, Dr. Charles Bernick, Dr. Joel Bower, Dr. Dale Carrison, Dr. Jim Christensen, Dr. Michael Ciccolo, Mr. Bob Cooper, Dr. Michael Crovetti, Dr. Jeff Cummings, Dr. Rutu Ezhuthachan, Dr. Mitchell Forman, Dr. Oscar Goodman, Jr., Dr. Joe Hardy, Dr. Don Havins, Dr. Florence Jameson, Dr. Yevgeniy Khavkin, Dr. Edwin Kingsley, Dr. J.D. McCourt, Dr. Russ Nevins, Dr. Ben Rodriguez, Dr. Anashu Shah, Dr. David Steinberg, Dr. Steven Thomas, Dr. Nick Vogelzang, Dr. Troy Watson, Dr. Dyland Wint, and Dr. Carolyn Yucha.

“This annual gala will be a very special event this year as Las Vegas HEALS celebrates its 15-year anniversary,” said Doug Geinzer, CEO of Las Vegas HEALS. “We are looking forward to honoring a group of individuals who set a higher standard for the healthcare community in Southern Nevada. Their contributions to our community are well deserving of recognition.”

The 7th annual gala will take place from 5:30 – 9 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 25 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Las Vegas. Individuals interested in attending or sponsoring the event should contact Las Vegas HEALS at 702-952-2477 or visit the Gala page for more information.

About Las Vegas HEALS

Founded in 2002, Las Vegas HEALS (Health, Education, Advocacy, and Leadership in Southern Nevada) is a nonprofit, membership-based association whose mission is to foster strategic alliances in the healthcare community, collaborating on workforce issues, and being a proactive force for legislative initiatives to improve access and the delivery of quality healthcare. The organization now represents members who collectively employ over 34,000 healthcare professionals. Multiple task forces, councils and committees meet on a regular basis to address various issues and opportunities.

John Burke Las Vegas HEALS

Las Vegas HEALS Hires John Burke as Vice President of Memberships

By | Featured, Press Release

Burke charged with overall membership, sponsorship development and strategic planning

John Burke named vice president of memberships for Las Vegas HEALS.

Las Vegas HEALS, a nonprofit membership-based healthcare association, today announced the hiring of John Burke to serve as vice president of memberships. In his new position, he will be responsible for overall membership and sponsorship development, as well as strategic planning for the organization to ensure that all programs will continue to deliver value to its members and partners.

Burke brings more than 15 years of experience in the healthcare industry to his new position at Las Vegas HEALS. He spent over 10 years in the medical staffing industry working with hospital CEOs and healthcare executives, addressing workforce shortages in the areas of nursing and allied health. Burke then became CEO of Instep Recovery for 5 years, working with adult and adolescents offering various levels of addiction services. In this role he worked closely with the behavioral health sub-committee of the Southern Nevada Forum. Most recently Burke served as vice president of Assurity Labs in Las Vegas, overseeing a team of five regional reps.

“We are proud to have a professional of John’s caliber join our team,” said Doug Geinzer, CEO of Las Vegas HEALS. “He has worked with many Las Vegas organizations in the past and has a stellar reputation in the industry. We could not be happier to have him on board.”

Burke has been a resident of Las Vegas for the past five years and is a presidential member of the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce. Burke is passionate about giving back to the community and enjoys coaching basketball at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada.

About Las Vegas HEALS

Founded in 2002, Las Vegas HEALS (Health, Education, Advocacy, and Leadership in Southern Nevada) is a nonprofit, membership-based association whose mission is to foster strategic alliances in the healthcare community, collaborating on workforce issues, and being a proactive force for legislative initiatives to improve access and the delivery of quality healthcare. The organization now represents members who collectively employ over 34,000 healthcare professionals. Multiple task forces, councils and committees meet on a regular basis to address various issues and opportunities.

Nursing Board to Move Licensing Process to the Cloud

By | Featured, Press Release

Nevada Nurse Portal is expected to be available June 4

The Nevada State Board of Nursing is transitioning to a cloud-based system that will allow all applicants to complete their initial and renewal applications online through the Nevada Nurse Portal.

Because of this upgrade the Board of Nursing will no longer accept new or renewal paper applications for nursing licenses effective Friday, May 25, 2018.

It is anticipated that the Nevada Nurse Portal will be available Monday, June 4, 2018.

There will be down time in the application system between May 25 and June 4.

Further details for new nursing license applicants and for renewals can be found in the letter from the Board of Nursing on the Bureau of Health Care Quality and Compliance blog site or call 1-888-590-6726.

Cure 4 The Kids Foundation and Roseman University of Health Sciences Announce Partnership

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Cure 4 The Kids Foundation to Become Independent Division of Roseman University

Since 2007, hundreds of children have been treated for childhood cancer at Cure 4 The Kids Foundation. Cole Thow is among those patients. Now 11-years-old, Cole has finished his treatment for Medulloblastoma.

Two local nonprofit organizations, Cure 4 The Kids Foundation and Roseman University of Health Sciences, have formally agreed to a partnership to create a one-of-a-kind collaboration in the State of Nevada. Effective June 1, 2018, Cure 4 The Kids Foundation will become an independent division of Roseman University of Health Sciences.

“The impact and strength of our medically based organizations are already substantial, yet our partnership will make our organizations stronger, providing additional benefits to the surrounding community,” said Renee Coffman, president of Roseman University. “This unification is an unprecedented opportunity for both our organizations to benefit from each other’s strengths, abilities and expertise as we collaborate in our shared missions focused on education, research and patient care.”

“This is the kind of partnership we always dreamed of,” said Annette Logan-Parker, CEO and President of Cure 4 The Kids Foundation. “The incredible resources of Roseman University will help us accelerate our long-range plans to create a medical center of excellence focused on childhood cancer bringing an increasing amount of treatment options to Nevada’s children.”

Beginning in June, Cure 4 The Kids Foundation will move its operations to Roseman University’s Summerlin campus at One Breakthrough Way, located at Town Center Drive and the 215 Freeway. The Cure 4 The Kids Foundation Charity Care Program, which provides treatment to patients with or without medical insurance, and regardless of ability to pay for treatment, will continue.

Logan-Parker says, this important partnership helps Cure 4 The Kids Foundation achieve two very important long-range goals. It will give Cure 4 The Kids Foundation providers and medical staff greater access to academic research, an in-house laboratory, clinical trials and educational programs as they relate to pediatric medical treatment. While Cure 4 The Kids Foundation has always provided access to important clinical trials through our partnership with Children’s Oncology Group, and will continue to do so, having additional direct, in-house access to the laboratory and staff at Roseman University of Health Sciences will benefit patients even more. Secondly, the partnership allows Cure 4 The Kids Foundation to continue with its strategic plan to expand into a larger location and state-of-the-art building, which until now has been cost prohibitive.

There are many other benefits

Cure 4 The Kids Foundation will relocate all its operations to Roseman University’s Summerlin campus at One Breakthrough Way, located near Town Center Drive and the 215 Freeway.

Medical Education collaboration – Roseman University students pursuing degrees in dental medicine, pharmacy, nursing and healthcare business administration will benefit from clinical experiential opportunities with Cure 4 The Kids Foundation physicians to fully understand the real-world demands of medical treatment.

Public Awareness and Education – Cure 4 The Kids and Roseman University and its student organizations have a long history of developing community events, learning events, outreach and support to increase public awareness of important healthcare issues affecting children.

Medical Center of Excellence – By partnering with Roseman University of Health Sciences, Cure 4 The Kids Foundation is better positioned to add possible new patient treatment specialties in the future, tapping into a shared network of clinical affiliations with various southern Nevada hospitals and physician groups.

Discussions about collaboration between two of Southern Nevada’s premier nonprofit medical industry organizations began in earnest in early 2017. Over the course of several months and through hours of thoughtful conversations, an agreement was approved by the Board of Directors of Cure 4 The Kids Foundation and the Board of Trustees of Roseman University of Health Sciences. The partnership allows the two local organizations to mutually benefit from the resources and specialties of the other as both entities work to meet the needs of a growing community.

About Cure 4 The Kids
Founded in Las Vegas in 2007, Cure 4 The Kids Foundation exists to provide high-quality, research-focused medical treatment to children battling cancer and many other life-threatening conditions. Cure 4 The Kids Foundation operates the only outpatient childhood cancer treatment center in the State of Nevada, and is proudly accredited by The Joint Commission. This stringent medical accreditation, and its required unannounced inspections, ensure that patients are getting the best care possible. From the beginning, the mission of Cure 4 The Kids Foundation has been to bring increased community access to these specialized treatments that are leading the way to improved patient outcomes. Cure 4 The Kids Foundation’s Charity Care Program provides high-quality treatment on a sliding scale basis. No patient is ever turned away from treatment for financial reasons. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

About Roseman University of Health Sciences

Founded in Henderson, Nevada in 1999, Roseman University of Health Sciences is a non-profit, private institution of higher learning training the next generation of undergraduate and graduate level healthcare professionals that serve, collaborate and set new standards in their communities and within their professions. With campuses in Henderson, Summerlin and South Jordan, Utah, the University is comprised of the College of Dental Medicine, offering an Advanced Education in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics/MBA residency and Doctor of Dental Medicine program; College of Pharmacy, offering a Doctor of Pharmacy and Professional Continuing Education; College of Nursing, offering a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing; and an MBA program. Roseman University of Health Sciences will also offer a Doctor of Medicine through its College of Medicine, once it becomes accredited. More than 5,000 Roseman graduates are caring for patients, conducting research, and engaged in public health and policy in Nevada, Utah and across the country. Roseman University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

UNLV Secures $11.4 Million Grant from National Institutes of Health

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Funding from National Institutes of Health will support human genetics research, develop pipeline of scientists working to make Nevada a leader in personalized medicine.

UNLV was recently awarded an $11.4 million federal grant to build Nevada’s first center of excellence in personalized medicine. (UNLV Creative Services)

The five-year award marks the first time UNLV will lead a project funded through the NIH’s competitive Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) program. It’s also the first COBRE program in the nation focused exclusively on personalized medicine.

Led by faculty in UNLV’s Nevada Institute of Personalized Medicine, the program will bring together local and regional partners, including the university’s School of Medicine and health sciences programs, to grow human genetics research and related infrastructure and mentor early career professionals in this emerging field.

As the program matures, organizers will leverage this foundation to expand or launch clinical services and education programs in genetics in Nevada.

“Society is progressing beyond ‘trial and error medicine’ into a new data-driven era where a person’s genetic makeup is used to improve accuracy in medical diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment,” said Martin Schiller, UNLV life sciences professor and lead researcher on the grant. “This program will give us the means to further investigate the impact of personalized medicine and its potential for modern medicine, and to explore the potential for expanded clinical and educational services in Nevada.”

Personalized medicine is based on the concept that a person’s unique genetic makeup – their DNA – already encodes the blueprint for effective treatment and disease prevention. Over the next five years, scientists from UNLV and partner institutions will advance research in personalized medicine by doing things like decoding genes to better predict disease susceptibility, and by finding ways to more easily sift through myriad treatment options and fine-tune drug dosages.

A mentoring panel for new scientists made up of university and industry experts will also be established, and the program will fund roughly a dozen pilot research grants aimed at creating a pipeline of scientists and universities working to make personalized medicine in Nevada a reality.

“Personalized medicine is revolutionizing how we individualize care for patients, and this effort will position UNLV to play a central role in the growth and development of this emerging field,” said Mary Croughan, UNLV Vice President for Research and Economic Development. “Creating a strong, nationwide biomedical research and mentorship network will also bring creative new ideas to Nevada and support innovation that will move our region’s healthcare infrastructure forward.”

The center of excellence is the latest in a series of important steps at UNLV over the past several years to advance personalized medicine in the Silver State. The news was covered locally by Fox 5 as well as by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

In 2015, the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents approved the Nevada Institute of Personalized Medicine at UNLV. Formed initially through seed funding from the State of Nevada’s Knowledge Fund, the institute draws scientists from throughout the campus together to improve individual and community health in Nevada through research and technology commercialization, education, and workforce training. Research activity from the institute has generated two start-up companies within the past two years.

The institute’s efforts to swiftly sift through massive amounts of health data were bolstered in 2015 when UNLV partnered with data company Switch to acquire the Intel “Cherry Creek” supercomputer, which ranks among the world’s fastest and most powerful supercomputers.

This is just the second program in Southern Nevada to be funded through the NIH COBRE initiative. In 2015, a Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health-led partnership with UNLV was formed to address the complexities Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.

Collaborative Effort Needed to Combat Doctor Shortage in Nevada

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This piece was created by Las Vegas HEALS and posted in Healthcare Quarterly

Nevada’s economy is growing at a healthy pace, especially when looking at where the Silver State was a decade ago. More than 250,000 new jobs have been created in the state since the recession, a number that will be increasing with the dozens of new projects across the state, including the $1.9 billion Las Vegas Stadium and the $4 million Apple shipping and receiving warehouse in downtown Reno. But despite these promising job growth numbers coming to the state, there is still work to be done. The need for doctors in the state of Nevada is a very real problem, and because of the state’s low reimbursement rates, it’s an issue that won’t be going away anytime soon.

This real problem has dismal numbers, with the state ranking 48th in the country for physicians per capita. Nationally there are about 251 physicians for every 100,000 people, whereas the state of Nevada has just under 200. Las Vegas ranks poorly in the number of specialists and subspecialists, ranging from endocrinologists to oncologists, pediatrics to geriatrics. This problem in Nevada is due to several factors, including population growth, an increase of people with insurance since the Affordable Care Act took effect, a lack of graduate medical education (GME), and poor doctor reimbursement rates.

Graduate Medical Education

Having the opportunities for graduate medical education as well as seats in the classroom is key in fixing the doctor shortage problem in Nevada. According to Doug Geinzer, chief executive officer of Las Vegas HEALS, a nonprofit, membership-based association whose mission is to foster strategic alliances in the health care community, “we have doctor shortages across all areas, it’s not just in one particular specialty. An area that compounds the problem is that, as a region, we didn’t have significant academic medicine present until recently, but it’s growing now and will create more doctors for our future.”

Touro University, Nevada’s largest medical school, recently expanded its medical school from 135 students to 181 students due to its large number of applications; and UNLV’s medical school will be welcoming its second class of 60 students in July. Even with the graduate medical education expansion, including having residencies in almost every valley hospital, the state is lacking in graduate medical education opportunities, so that poses the question: Where will all these medical students go once they graduate?

“The challenge we have in the state is not the number of medical schools or medical students, it’s the lack of residency programs which are commonly known as graduate medical education,” said Shelley Berkley, Touro University chief executive officer and senor provost. “Our students who graduate from medical school have to leave the state in order to satisfy their 3-year residency requirements.”

A residency is a stage of graduate medical training for new doctors in which they practice medicine under the supervision of a hospital or clinic. The average residency lasts three years, and the students practice in their chosen specialty, such as emergency medicine or pediatrics. States typically have 40 residents per 100,000 people, but Nevada has somewhere between 12 and 14 residencies per 100,000. Funding for graduate medical education comes out of the Medicare fund from the federal government. A number of years ago, Congress put a cap on graduate medical education in order to attempt to balance the federal budget. For growth states such as Nevada, this action proved to be devastating, as there was no funding to create additional residency spots and no place to obtain additional funds. Fast forward to two legislative sessions ago, Governor Brian Sandoval announced that $10 million will be distributed throughout the state to expand graduate medical education opportunities.

“The legislature and Governor Sandoval have been helpful in providing resources to help create residency programs in the state, but it is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Berkley. “If we want to actually keep young future doctors from leaving town and leaving the state, we have to provide a dramatic increase in residency programs to keep them here. What is so troubling is that national statistics demonstrate that 70 percent of doctors end up practicing where they do their residency, so unless the student has strong ties to Nevada, if they are forced to leave in order to satisfy their residency requirement, 70 percent are not coming back. So right now, we are educating a whole lot of future doctors to practice someplace else.”

Population growth and low reinbursement

Low reimbursement rates are another reason that Nevada can’t seem to retain doctors. “Doctors are in high demand wherever you go in the country — there are shortages, it’s not just in Nevada. However, when these students get out of medical school, most are saddled with somewhere between $175,000-$225,000 of student loan debt,” said Geinzer. “Medical school garners the highest level of school loans, so these doctors have to earn a good living, therefore they need to be reimbursed at adequate levels or they can’t pay their student loans. Doctors can earn 20 percent more in the neighboring Southwest states, which will allow them to service their student debts a lot quicker.”

There is a common myth that all doctors’ wages come easily to them, and they spend their days on the golf course. However, doctors’ salaries are based on how much they get reimbursed from the insurance companies for services they perform, and those reimbursement rates vary by state. A doctor’s compensation is directly tied to reimbursement, and Nevada is one of the worst reimbursed states in the country, with Medicaid being the provider with the lowest reimbursement rates. In 2013, Gov. Brian Sandoval expanded Medicaid, and the number of enrollers in the state doubled from 320,000 Medicaid utilizers to 650,000. As supportive as the medical community has been about this expansion, the state’s reimbursement rates did not go up, so doctors are seeing triple the number of patients using the payer that reimburses the least in the state, Geinzer noted.

Todd Sklamberg, chief executive officer of Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, said, “within the state of Nevada, Medicaid reimburses acute care hospitals across the state at 57 percent of our cost, not our charges, but the cost to provide care. Since 2001, there has been one increase in 2015, so over the last 17 years there has only been one rate increase. If you assume an inflation rate of 3 percent annually, our costs in this timeframe have gone up by almost 50 percent with no increase in the reimbursement. Sunrise Hospital specifically gets reimbursed half our cost — it’s a challenge.”

On the private practice end of the spectrum, the low reimbursement rates affect the level of care that patients receive due to the lack of doctors in primary care. “One of the things that happens with low reimbursement rates is physicians in primary care tend to see more patients per hour than they can easily accommodate,” said Dr. Howard Baron, president-elect of the Nevada State Medical Association. “What ends up happening is when physicians are overbooked in their primary care clinic, they end up making referrals to specialists for things that may have been able to stay in primary care in other states. Primary care doctors don’t have enough time per patient to do extended visits to take care of things that are more medically complex. With the influx of patients, the specialists get overwhelmed with problems that don’t always require specialty care, and then that drives up the cost and time for the patients, and also decreases the satisfaction of the service, so it’s a whole vicious cycle.”

Medical professionals agree that something has got to give in Nevada when it comes to reimbursement rates. “If we don’t get the reimbursement part of the equation right, we’re going to find ourselves in a place where our taxpayer dollars are going to be supplementing training doctors to go to other states to work, which is not what we want to happen,” said Geinzer.

The Future of Health Care in Nevada

Although health care has faced challenges in Nevada for years, significant efforts are being made to fix the problem including bringing top-of-the-line medical entities to the state, such as the new VA hospital, Roseman University and the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. Medical professionals also believe that just by starting the discussion on this topic, changes can be made. “I think having the conversation is a huge start, putting it out there really helps,” said Cleveland Clinic Administrative Director Erick Vidmar. “Bringing players in the market, like the Cleveland Clinic and others, have improved the quality of care provided in Nevada. As we improve quality, people will recognize that quality costs additional money so that will help drive reimbursements up and attract new providers.”

The doctor shortage is not just a Nevada problem. By 2030, studies predict a shortage of more than 100,000 doctors in the United States. Nevada needs to be committed to fix this problem by continuing to fund additional graduate medical education opportunities so the state can produce more homegrown doctors. The reimbursement rates also need to be improved as a way to recruit and retain doctors to the state.

“It has to be a collaborative effort to find a solution to improve reimbursement rates,” said Las Vegas HEALS Chairman of Board of Directors Bob Cooper. “It is a complex, challenging issue, but it’s one that needs to be addressed in order to improve health care for the future. Our organization’s goal is to start this serious conversation as soon as possible with our members and key stakeholders.”

Las Vegas HEALS Partners with Touro University for May Healthcare Happy Hour

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May 16 Event Registration Free for Las Vegas HEALS Members

Las Vegas HEALS and Touro University have partnered up for the next Las Vegas HEALS Healthcare Happy Hour. Touro University will welcome guests into its new Michael Tang Regional Center for Clinical Simulation and the Chantal and Stephen J. Cloobeck Regional Center for Disaster Life Support. These two state-of-the-art centers will have a profound impact on health care education and the community by providing opportunities for interdisciplinary, team-based, hyper-realistic training for health care providers and first responders.

The next Healthcare Happy Hour will take place from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 16 at 874 American Pacific Drive in Henderson. This networking event will include hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, and remarks by Doug Geinzer of Las Vegas HEALS and Shelley Berkley of Touro University Nevada. Event registration is free for all Las Vegas HEALS members by emailing their RSVP to Admin@LasVegasHEALS.org or call 702.952.2477. Non-members who are interested in attending the Healthcare Happy Hour event for the first time may also register for free as a guest.

“Touro is delighted to showcase our two new regional Centers at this month’s Healthcare Happy Hour, said Shelley Berkley, chief executive officer and senior provost of Touro University. These Centers demonstrate Touro’s dedication to providing our students with the knowledge and proficiency needed to be successful. The Centers also will be a resource for health care providers, first responders, and others in the community who can utilize these environments for training.”

The Michael Tang Center incorporates simulated technology to enhance the education for students from Touro’s medical school and other health care programs. The Center features anatomage tables, sim-men, surgical cut suits, ultrasound machines, and heart and lung simulators. Healthcare Happy Hour attendees will be able to experience this technology first hand. The Cloobeck Center, which will become Southern Nevada’s only National Disaster Life Support Foundation-certified facility, will offer cutting-edge training and disaster management courses for health care providers and first responders. Training in the Cloobeck Center will feature classroom instruction, table top exercises, and mass casualty disaster simulated scenario-based training, which will be showcased at Las Vegas HEALS Healthcare Happy Hour.

“This event will be a very special one, as Touro University will be showcasing its two new state-of-the-art disaster life support centers,” said Doug Geinzer, chief executive officer of Las Vegas HEALS. “It is Las Vegas HEALS’ goal for our state to be a globally recognized destination in the medical tourism industry, and every time we open another top-of-the-line medical entity to the state, it brings us one step closer to achieving that goal.”

Inside Medicine

Touro’s Shelley Berkley was recently a guest with Doug on Inside Medicine, where she discussed community involvement. Watch the video: