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East Harlem’s $300-million cancer center nears completion

New York, NY — It’s been nine years in the making, but the New York Proton Center is finally nearing completion.  And when it opens, it will be Manhattan’s first.

 

The high-tech facility, built around three 300-ton gantries that rotate around patients to deliver precision radiation, is located at 126th St. in Manhattan’s East Harlem neighborhood.  It’s expected to see its first patient in February of 2019, as well as employ 125 people and see some 1,400 patients a year.

 

The New York Proton Center is a joint project of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Montefiore Health System and Mount Sinai Health System.

 

The advantage of proton-beam therapy over traditional radiation oncology in treating cancer is that it offers another degree of precision, primarily by helping oncologists limit radiation exposure to nearby healthy tissue.

 

There are about 25 proton-beam cancer treatment centers nationwide, with another ten under development.

 

Nursing: In changing industry, surveys clash

New York, NY — Over 90 percent of U.S. nurses say they would choose nursing as a career if they knew then what they know now, says the 2017 Medscape Nurse Career Satisfaction Report.

 

But an RNnetwork study earlier this year found that 70 percent of nurses feel burnt out, with half considering leaving the profession.

 

The traditional hospital nurse industry is apparently taking the hardest hit.  According to a Kronos Incorporated survey earlier this year, 83 percent of surveyed nurses reported that hospitals are losing good nurses because non-hospital employers offer a better work/life balance.

 

So what’s going on in today’s nursing?  In short, increased technology and increased workload. 

 

Nurses today, like doctors, are spending an increasing amount of time using computers and other technology, which many feel gets in the way of direct patient care.  And on top of that, four of every five nurses play a larger role in patient care management today than even two years ago, said a 2016 survey by the University of Phoenix.

 

Walgreens opening NYP telemedicine kiosks

New York, NY — NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital is partnering with Walgreens to provide its telemedicine services in its retail locations.  The first NYP telemedicine kiosk will open in a Duane Reade convenience store on Wall Street in Manhattan.

 

The kiosks will be located in private rooms in the stores, allowing patients to access quick examinations and diagnoses of non-threatening illnesses or injuries by connecting with clinicians at NYP OnDemand Urgent Care.  Pediatric emergency physicians will also be available during limited hours.

 

More Medicare costs created by hospital-employed physicians

Washington, DC — A new study says that between 2012 and 2015, hospital-employed physicians increased Medicare costs for four services by $3.1 billion.

 

According to the study, conducted by Avalere Health for the Physicians Advocacy Institute (PAI), Medicare paid $2.7 billion more for four specific cardiology, orthopedic and gastroenterology services in hospital outpatient settings over independent physicians’ offices.

 

Medicare beneficiaries also paid $411 million more in out-of-pocket costs for those services than they would have spent in independent physicians’ offices.

 

Health IT pros paid 20 percent less in 2017

Centennial, CO — A recent survey by Health eCareers shows that the average health information technology (IT) professional salary for year 2017 is 20 percent less than that of 2016.  Health IT pros earned an average of $73,117 this past year, according to the survey. 

 

While hospitals are investing heavily in healthcare IT, they aren’t necessarily paying top dollar for top IT pros.  One reason for the decline may be hospitals’ replacing high-paid consultants with cheaper in-house staff

 

On the other hand, the survey also found that salaries for health IT executives rose in 2017, with the median annual pay of $150,250 up from 2016’s $127,500.

 

Dignity/CHI merger would create biggest U.S. nonprofit hospital system

Chicago, IL — In early December, Dignity Health and Catholic Health Initiatives signed a definitive agreement to merge—which would create the largest non-profit U.S. hospital system by operating revenue.

 

The new health system would boast operations in 28 states, over 139 hospitals, 25,000 doctors and other clinicians, 159,000 employees and a combined revenue of $28.4 billion. 

 

It will also establish its corporate headquarters in Chicago and operate under a new name that will be chosen in the second half of 2018.  Local facilities will continue operating under their current names.