Physician Practice Roundup—Best, worst states to practice medicine; Health incubator wins $27.2M backing from American Medical Association

United States map atlas
New rankings show the best and worst places for doctors to practice. (Pixabay)

Best, worst places to practice medicine

The best place to practice medicine? North Dakota. The worst? West Virginia.

That’s according to the 2018 Medscape Best & Worst Places to Practice rankings. The five states that rank highest are a geographically diverse bunch that range from Hawaii to Vermont.

Those states align on the criteria used to judge physician happiness at work and in life, including factors such as low rates of burnout, low malpractice rates, low tax burden and cost of living. (Report)

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AMA sinks $27M in Health2047 to ramp up development of new clinical tools

A Silicon Valley digital health incubator is getting another round of funding from the nation’s largest physician organization and beefing up its leadership team with former executives from Apple, IBM and Johnson & Johnson.

The American Medical Association (AMA) announced a $27.2 million investment in Health2047, an innovation incubator launched by the association in 2016 with a $15 million investment. Since then, the incubator spun out SwitchCo Inc., a platform designed to securely share data across the industry.

The additional funding will “ramp up the development and commercialization of promising new technology-based solutions,” according to the release. Development will focus specifically on chronic disease reduction, productivity, and value-based healthcare. (FierceHealthcare)

Neurosurgeons top LinkedIn’s list of the 15 highest-paid doctors

Medicine promises high salaries, but some doctors make more than others. Neurosurgeons topped the list of LinkedIn’s 15 highest-paid doctors, earning a total mean salary of $575,000.

The list was drawn from LinkedIn data collected from the site’s salary tool over the past year, which was provided to Business Insider. You can check out which doctors’ specialties earn the most. (Business Insider report)

Healthy habits could extend patients’ lives by 12-14 years, study says

You’ve probably been advising patients for a long time to eat a nutritious diet, exercise at least 30 minutes a day, maintain a healthy weight, not smoke and drink in moderation.

Now you can give them an extra incentive to make these healthy choices: They pay off by adding years to patients’ lives, according to a new study. American women who followed the five factors lived about 14 years longer than those who followed none of them, and men lived about 12 years longer.

The bad news? Adherence to a low-risk lifestyle pattern has decreased during the last three decades, so that only 8% of American adults meet all five criteria as of 2006. Being obese was the big obstacle. (Circulation)

Florida judge tosses Envision-UnitedHealthcare lawsuit

A Florida federal judge has dismissed Envision's lawsuit against UnitedHealthcare over a contract dispute involving staffing and payments, the latest development in the drama between the two companies.

Instead, the judge said the dispute should be resolved through arbitration.

Envision, which staffs emergency departments in hospitals across the country, filed suit against UnitedHealth in mid-March, alleging that the payer violated its contract by not adding Envision doctors to its network and “unilaterally” decreasing contractual rates. (FierceHealthcare)

Industry Voices—Why insurers are spending billions to acquire physician practices

A couple of giant proposals for healthcare mergers have garnered a lot of attention in recent months. People want to know what CVS’ $69 billion deal for Aetna or Cigna’s $52 billion agreement to buy Express Scripts can tell us about the future of U.S. healthcare.

But a clearer picture of how the industry is changing might actually come from a string of smaller, less heralded deals.

Insurers are snapping up physician practices. UnitedHealth Group, the largest U.S. health insurance company, agreed in December to pay $4.9 billion for DaVita Medical Group, whose physicians serve some 1.7 million people a year in nearly 300 clinics. That’s the largest recent deal, but it was at least the fourth acquisition of a medical provider group by the company in 2017. (FierceHealthcare)

Industry Voices—Embracing the changing landscape of medicine

When I was a kid, I remember watching the Jetsons and thinking that this was how my adult life was going to be: push a button and get lunch, have a robot to take care of the household chores, and simply click the television remote to see a doctor. It seemed very convenient and logical.

As I went through medical school, residency, and training, I never thought about the Jetsons nor how medicine would continue to evolve after my training. It wasn’t until I moved to North Dakota that I started to recognize how many barriers there were for rural families to obtain medical care. (FierceHealthcare)

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