Physician Practice Roundup—Texas doctor apologizes after saying female physicians make less because they don’t work as hard

A doctor examining a patient's eyes
A Texas doctor touched off a firestorm when he said female physicians make less money than males because they don't work as hard. (Getty/monkeybusinessimages)

Texas doctor apologizes after saying female physicians make less because they don’t work as hard

A Texas doctor who found himself in a storm of controversy, apologized over comments published in the Dallas Medical Journal in which he said female physicians make less money because they don’t work as hard.

“I sincerely apologize to all female physicians for my comments and the pain they have caused,” Gary Tigges, M.D., said in a statement on his now-deleted Twitter account.

In comments published in the medical journal, Tigges said there is a pay gap between male and female physicians because “female physicians do not work as hard and do not see as many patients as male physicians.”

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Those comments prompted angry responses on Facebook, Twitter and Yelp. (USA Today article)

Pediatric group recommends flu shots rather than nasal spray vaccine

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is recommending doctors vaccinate children with injectable flu vaccine rather than the nasal spray vaccine FluMist.

The AAP recommendations were published Monday in the journal Pediatrics and recommend annual flu vaccination for everyone six months and older. The group said doctors may use nasal vaccine spray for children who would not otherwise receive an influenza vaccine, such as refusing a shot.

The AAP recommendations differ from those of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which say that any of the flu vaccines approved for children can be used for the coming flu season. The AAP said it recommended the shot because the effectiveness of the nasal spray was inferior during past flu seasons and is unknown for the upcoming season. (Pediatrics recommendations)

CMS data shows ACOs saved Medicare $314M in 2017

New data from released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Thursday shows accountable care organizations (ACOs) generated hundreds of millions in savings last year, reigniting the debate around the agency’s proposal to push ACOs into two-sided risk models.

All told, 472 ACOs caring from 9 million Medicare beneficiaries recorded $1.1 billion in gross savings in 2017. After accounting for $780 million in shared savings payments, ACOs in the Medicare Shared Savings Program saved $314 million, according to data released by CMS. (FierceHealthcare)

CMMI director: Home visits could be focus of upcoming Medicare demos

Before he became director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), Adam Boehler founded Landmark Health, a provider group that gives chronically ill patients medical care in their homes—and foregoes the fee-for-service model, taking full financial risk.

“We never did what we did because somebody paid us per visit. We did whatever it made sense to do to take care of the patient,” Boehler told reporters at an event sponsored by the Alliance for Health Policy on Thursday. Landmark reduced hospital admissions among its patients by 40% and even decreased mortality, he said.

Now, Boehler may implement this work on another level. He said it’s “a possibility” that CMMI will create a home health bundled payment model, adding that the agency “will look at everything." (FierceHealthcare)

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