Physician Practice Roundup—USC reaches proposed $240M settlement with women who accused gynecologist of sexual abuse

Male doctor in white lab coat
USC will pay millions of dollars to settle charges of sexual abuse against gynecologist George Tyndall. (Getty/Saklakova)

USC reaches proposed $240M settlement with women who accused gynecologist of sexual abuse

The University of Southern California reached a proposed $240 million settlement with hundreds of current and former students who filed a class-action lawsuit against the school accusing its student health center gynecologist of sexual abuse dating back decades. 

The women alleged George Tyndall subjected patients to unnecessary penetration with his hands and other inappropriate touching, as well as sexual harassment, the Washington Post reported. They also alleged the university has known about the complaints since 1990.

The school announced in a release it agreed to a settlement in principle of up to $215 million. In addition to that, the settlement includes an agreement for the school to pay up to $25 million in fees, the Post reported. (Washington Post article | Release)

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What business do hospitals have addressing gun violence? Plenty, doctors argue

If gun violence were a disease, the bullets would be the virus. 

The symptoms include catastrophic soft tissue injuries, hemorrhaging, fractures, lifelong disability and death caused by high-velocity entry of those bullets, said Stephen Hargarten, M.D., director of the Comprehensive Injury Center at the Medical College of Wisconsin. 

Hargarten is among a small army of providers that is trying to mobilize U.S. healthcare systems around addressing gun violence the way they would if a new disease resulting in life-altering injuries and death swept the nation.

Many of them came together at a small conference at the National Academy of Sciences on firearm injuries hosted by Kaiser Permanente this week and the American Hospital Association last week. (FierceHealthcare article)

Report: More providers adopting value-based payment models, but plenty still hesitate to take on risk

The number of payments tied to value-based models continues to grow, but there’s more work to be done to drive providers to take on risk, according to a new report. 

The Health Care Payment Learning & Action Network released its latest progress report on the uptake of alternative payment models at its LAN Summit on Monday and found that 34% of payments in 2017 were tied to APMs that were either built on fee-for-service or use a population health-based approach.

However, most payments fall into shared savings models, with just 12.5% in 2017 falling into models with higher risk sharing. (FierceHealthcare article)

Study shows benefits of community health workers in primary care settings

Support from community health workers can improve the patient-perceived quality of care and reduce hospitalizations, according to a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Researchers conducted a randomized trial with nearly 600 patients in a Veterans Affairs medical center, a federally qualified health center and an academic family practice clinic located in Philadelphia. Half of the patients received support from a community health worker as well as standard primary care.

Patients with help from a community health worker were nearly twice as likely to report they received high-quality care and spent fewer days in the hospital. (JAMA Internal Medicine study)

Arizona medical group pulls endorsement after candidate calls challenger a ‘phony’ doctor

Sparks are flying in an Arizona election where physician Hiral Tipirneni, M.D., a Democrat, is trying to unseat incumbent U.S. Rep. Debbie Lesko.

The Arizona Medical Association, which endorsed Lesko in Arizona’s 8th Congressional District, rescinded that endorsement after the Republican candidate charged Tipirneni with being a “phony doctor,” according to AZcentral. It was the first time in its history the medical group took back an endorsement, as members saw Tipirneni, a former emergency department doctor who now works as a cancer-research advocate, attacked in yard signs as a “fake doctor” and in TV ads as a “phony.” (AZCentral article)

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