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A program that provides incentives for international medical graduates to practice in rural areas where physicians are scarce is set to get a three-year extension.
On Sept. 13, the House of Representatives voted 412-3 to approve legislation to continue the Conrad State 30 J-1 Visa Waiver Program through Sept. 30, 2015. Advocates of the program in organized medicine say passage of the bill is a victory, but they would like to see more than an extension.
“We are pleased the program has been reauthorized and would like the program to be permanent,” said Elizabeth Lietz, spokeswoman for the American Hospital Assn.
IMGs represent about a quarter of the U.S. physician work force, including practicing physicians and physicians-in-training. Initiated in 1994, the Conrad 30 program allows IMGs to stay in the U.S. after completing their medical training if they agree to work at least three years in a medically under-served community. Without the waiver, physicians who train in the U ...
In the latest battle among doctors and insurers over what constitutes “medically necessary” treatment, the Los Angeles County Medical Assn. is suing Health Net, claiming that the plan routinely denies payment for lifesaving health care services. The medical association is asking a judge to immediately block the insurer’s payment practices, which doctors say includes a faulty set of criteria used to define medical necessity.
Health Net is irreparably harming the doctor-patient relationship and keeping physicians from ensuring that their patients receive appropriate care, said Rocky Delgadillo, the association’s CEO.
“Doctors and the patients that they serve are being hurt by Health Net defining medical necessity by its own terms and by its own people,” he said. “It’s another case of insurers putting profit over patients and denying care simply because the care is expensive.”
Health Net said in a statement that it carefully follows the guidelines established by ...
A bill introduced by Rep. Jim McDermott, MD (D, Wash.) seeks to add thousands of new primary care doctors to the work force by establishing a program that would pay for a student’s medical school education in return for several years of service as a primary care doctor in a medically under-served area.
Dr. McDermott said his RDOCS program, or the Restoring the Doctors of Our Country through Scholarships Act of 2012, follows the model of ROTC programs, which pay college expenses for students who commit to be trained as reserve officers in the U.S. military. Most of the funding for the new program would come from the federal government, but states would administer it for participating medical students attending state medical schools. In exchange for scholarship funds, students would conduct their residencies in primary care and serve as primary care physicians in under-served areas of their respective states for five years.
The nation is facing a projected shortage of 45,000 doct ...